Self-Soothing is Really All about Micro-Tension
Writer Unboxed
by Heather Webb
3d ago
  It’s been a while since I’ve shared thoughts here, my dear Unboxers. I took a sabbatical last year for a chance to catch up on a deadline that I was horribly behind on after covid and a major family emergency. Ironically, the time off allowed me to enjoy so many more of your posts. You really are a brilliant bunch of writers. There are as many thought-provoking comments as there are posts. This community is so special and I feel lucky to be among you. But I digress. All is well here now. It’s well…except for January.   January. It was all things. And it was one thing, like a solid ..read more
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Taming the Haters: How to Handle Malicious Online Comments About Your Work
Writer Unboxed
by Guest
4d ago
Please welcome guest author Emilie-Noelle Provost to Writer Unboxed today! Emilie-Noelle is an accomplished editor and writer, having held editorial positions with four magazines and written hundreds of articles over the years. She has a published book of middle-grade fiction, The Blue Bottle, and her first novel of adult fiction, The River is Everywhere–about a 16-year-old who must overcome doubt after his best friend’s shattering death–will release on March 14th. “Provost’s writing is vivid, and her pace is swift. Readers of all ages will be drawn to this moving coming-of-age tale.” – Paul ..read more
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To Warn or not to Warn: The Controversy around Trigger Warnings in Literature
Writer Unboxed
by Guest
5d ago
Please welcome bestselling Jamie Beck to Writer Unboxed today! Recently, Jamie asked the opinion of other writers about trigger warnings on novels, and such a robust conversation evolved that it seemed obvious: This would make a great topic to explore on WU. Happily, Jamie agreed to write the piece. From her bio: Jamie Beck is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of 18 novels, many of which have been translated into multiple languages and have collectively sold more than three million copies worldwide. Critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist hav ..read more
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When Doody Calls (AKA A Telltale Sign of Writerly Procrastination, and What It May Reveal)
Writer Unboxed
by Guest
6d ago
Please welcome author and book coach Mary McDonough to Writer Unboxed today! If the name Mary McDonough sounds familiar, it may be because she portrayed Erin on The Waltons for a decade. Mary chronicles her Walton family and life beyond the mountain in Lessons from the Mountain, What I Learned from Erin Walton. Her debut novel, One Year, was published in 2014, followed by a second novel, Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane, which was made into a Hallmark movie. “A warm, heartfelt novel about what it means to belong to a family. You won’t want to put it down.” –Mary Alice Monroe, New ..read more
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Writer Unboxed Turns 17
Writer Unboxed
by Therese Walsh
1w ago
Therese here. Today marks Writer Unboxed’s seventeenth year. Wow. I think that means WU is off to college soon. In other news, I just popped a new gray hair. A wee bit of history: Writer Unboxed was founded in 2006 by Kathleen Bolton and me. This was the same year Twitter was founded and Facebook opened its doors to the public. On the one hand, we’ve obviously not experienced the same meteoric rise in success as those social media giants. On the other hand, we’ve never been accused of using our vast influence to try to sway an election or snuff out our competitors, so overall I think we’re do ..read more
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Flog a Pro: Would You Turn the First Page of this Bestseller?
Writer Unboxed
by Ray Rhamey
1w ago
Trained by reading hundreds of submissions, editors and agents often make their read/not-read decision on the first page. In a customarily formatted book manuscript with chapters starting about 1/3 of the way down the page (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type), there are 16 or 17 lines on the first page. Here’s the question: Would you pay good money to read the rest of the chapter? With 50 chapters in a book that costs $15, each chapter would be “worth” 30 cents. So, before you read the excerpt, take 30 cents from your pocket or purse. When you’re done, decide what to do with those t ..read more
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Desmond’s Drops: Pacing
Writer Unboxed
by Desmond Hall
1w ago
Welcome to a new edition of Desmond’s Drops! This month, enjoy three drops focused on one topic–pacing–each packed with great examples. Pacing Montage Compression Email subscribers, please click directly to writerunboxed.com to view, or visit all of Demond’s Drops on YouTube. Look for more of Desmond’s Drops in March! Have your own bit of wisdom to share? Drop it in comments ..read more
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The Prologue is Past?
Writer Unboxed
by Dave King
1w ago
One of the more famous prologues, courtesy of Star Wars. I’m all for retiring outdated storytelling techniques.  I don’t miss the puzzle mysteries of the teens and twenties, where the characters were little more than props in complicated, contrived, often implausible mysteries.  Second person narration died with Bright Lights, Big City, and that’s fine.  And, naturally, a lot fewer people are writing epistolary novels now that a lot fewer people are writing epistles. But it’s too soon to give up on prologues, as a recent client wanted to do.  He had a storytelling situati ..read more
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Not Writing? Have You Ego-Trapped Yourself?
Writer Unboxed
by Jan O'Hara
1w ago
If you’re in a non-writing phase and frustrated, several recent Writer Unboxed posts might speak to your lack of production. They address the seasonal nature of writing careers, the need to respect creative limitations, and how to cope when life gets in the way. This is all well and good. I support this advice one hundred percent. But what if, as per Kelsey Allagood’s recent post, some part of you knows fatigue and overwhelm aren’t your issue? What if somehow, despite a calendar that could be cleared and an express desire to write, your efforts can best be described as lackluster? What if enc ..read more
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Writing Cromulent Dialogue
Writer Unboxed
by David Corbett
2w ago
In the never-ending search for snappy dialogue, we often overlook the ways in which our own personal exchanges with friends and family members provide us with creative language we can use (i.e., steal) for our stories. Using idioms to freshen up dialogue is hardly a revolutionary idea. But many idioms have become so commonly and widely used they amount to clichés: Look what the cat dragged in. Better get cracking. Gotta keep the wolf from the door. [If you’re looking for a source for such expressions, trite and not so trite, check out this idiom dictionary.] The problem with some of our perso ..read more
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