Writer Unboxed

about the craft and business of fiction

Latest articles

A Visitor and a Sin

“Welcome to My Nightmare,” by Morgana Hilra It came to me in a dream… Earlier this year (April, to be exact), I posted about the intriguing dreams I was having given the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately a month after that posting, I had a particularly curious dream in which I was wandering the basement halls of a vast hospital complex. (The real-life...

Identifying and Crafting Your Inciting Incident

photo adapted / Horia Varlan You are circulating at a gathering of fellow mountain climbers, listening in before joining the most interesting conversation. Martha speaks: “Did I ever tell you about the time I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of sixty?” (You think: Wow, there goes Martha again, bragging about her world travels and her fitness...

What About Book Two?

Please welcome longtime Writer Unboxed community member and author Melanie Conklin to WU today! Melanie grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer for ten years before she began her writing career. Her debut middle grade novel, Counting Thyme, is a Bank Street Best Children’s Book, winner of the International Literacy Association Teacher’s...

Publishing in a Pandemic: An Insider Interview with a Book Publicist

The first half of this year has been a monumental test in flexibility and resilience for authors and everyone in publishing. My debut novel, The Kindest Lie, will release on February 9, and that publishing date has changed several times as the William Morrow team attempted to position my book and others in their catalog for optimal success during these...

How to Weave in Backstory Without Stalling Out Your Story

Please welcome back Tiffany Yates Martin to Writer Unboxed today! Tiffany has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and bestselling authors as well as newer writers. She’s led workshops and seminars for conferences and writers’ groups across the country and is a frequent contributor to writers’...

Cooking Life Into Fiction: Writing From What You Know

Flickr Creative Commons: Peter Miller We’ve all heard the injunction to “write what you know.” Well, yes and no. If it were true, unequivocally, a female writer would have no male characters, and there would be no fantasy or historical fiction. That’s obviously not what the statement is meant to imply. While the injunction has merit in important ways—including,...

On the Way to Jerusalem

As it has for most of us, COVID-19 upended not just my plans, but my schedule. In March, all three of my weekly volunteer opportunities were cancelled until further notice, which put me in my house for six more hours a week than I usually am. I can’t remember what I frittered away those hours on the first few weeks of the shutdown, but by mid-April,...

We Are Unsafe

The world is not a safe place.  Our leaders cannot protect us.  Our society is not fair.  The ones who are supposed to take care of us are slaves to profit, or drugged with power.  Repression is the norm and corruption goes unpunished.  We speak of injustice but are dismissed.  We are keenly aware but nothing changes. We know that feelings of futility...

Communications in 2020: What Do Authors Value?

Photo by Retha Ferguson I think constantly about value. What will bring value to my client’s book—the write-up in People, the outreach to book clubs, the branded swag for influencers, a radio satellite tour to bring a specific message to a large audience. What is the marketing communications mix for my client? How will I generate conversation, drive...

Gaining Wisdom and Whimsy from the Natural World

One of my favorite parts of the novel Hild, by Nicola Griffith, is how the title character uses nature to fuel her insights (which is also to say that I love how Griffith uses the natural world in her writing). When she is only 6 she becomes the seer for her uncle Edwin, the king of Northumbria in 7th century now-England. Given that she’s a child with...

Discover, share and read the best on the web

Subscribe to RSS Feeds, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter searches, Facebook pages, even Email Newsletters! Get unfiltered news feeds or filter them to your liking.

Get Inoreader
Inoreader - Subscribe to RSS Feeds, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter searches, Facebook pages, even Email Newsletters!