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The Static Hiss

I don’t much listen to my car radio. With my phone connected via Bluetooth, I can listen to audiobooks, stream podcasts or enjoy my own playlists.  Plus, the top hits of the Eighties and Nineties were great back then but I don’t want them on an endless loop in my head.  If I stream a radio station it’s jazz, like Newark’s WBGO. Still, once in a while...

Writing Truth in an Era of Falsehoods

Our world is in turmoil, and not simply because a seemingly unending pandemic just pulled another arrow from its quiver. For as unrelenting as Covid has been, a more insidious contagion spreads among us, one that bruises the heart and drains the spirit. It is the scourge of falsehoods, an onslaught of lies and deceptions that hits like a tsunami, ripping...

Characters in Motion (Keep Readers in Motion)

I’ll be fine as soon as I get to Vegas. With apologies to Isaac Newton, who I’m sure had polished off a great deal of hard cider before being bonked by that apple pulled earthward, I’ll paraphrase his first law of motion: most fictional characters in their conventional orbits aren’t intriguing unless they are acted upon by an external force. And a...

You Should Consider Quitting

Sorry about that title… I didn’t mean it to sound confrontational. It’s really just my internal monologue. Because I consider quitting. I consider quitting all the time. Every day. This applies both to my specific writing projects, and also to writing in general. And with all my other creative endeavors. But I don’t mean to say that I give up on everything....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Big thanks to author, illustrator, and former regular Writer Unboxed contributor Debbie Ohi for use of this comic. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! About Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~50 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and...

The Issue of Slavery in Historical Novel Writing

Please welcome author Annette Nauraine (she/her) to WU today! Annette reached out to us recently after learning more about slavery in the 1700-1800s in Great Britain. It made her wonder about the responsibility that a historical author has to depict those times authentically. From her bio: Annette’s latest book is Kissing the Kavalier.  She is a wife,...

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hello, this is a post and I’m here to see how this looks… About Therese WalshTherese Walsh (she/her) co-founded WU in 2006 and is the site's editorial director. She was the architect and 1st editor of WU's only book, Author in Progress, and orchestrates the WU UnConference. Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, was named one of the best books of...

Uses for Scrivener Beyond the Manuscript

I believe most of us here focus our writing efforts on long-form fiction and nonfiction, but Scrivener is also great for creating and organizing shorter works and non-writing projects. Here are a few ideas for getting value from Scrivener beyond your manuscripts. Blog Posts, Newsletters, and Articles I have one Scrivener project that contains all...

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time in Winter 2021

This contest submissions season covers deadlines from December 1, 2021 through February 28, 2022. Thanks to Literistic, Poets & Writers, Submittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.  Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below...

The Easy-ish Way to Create Believable, Unforgettable Fictional Worlds

Worldbuilding gets a bad rap sometimes. If you ask certain people, worldbuilding is either for nerds looking for almanacs, not fiction, or it’s a useless distinction that should be an intrinsic part of writing. But there are plenty of writers who recognize the essential nature of worldbuilding separate from the act of storytelling—for science fiction...

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