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What motivates your characters? (And what motivates you?)

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Time to Write

There are four stages of motivation, says Benjamin Hardy in an article on Medium. That may be an oversimplification, but a useful one when creating characters for your screenplay or novel--as well as for a bit of navel-gazing. Here's how...

Learning from first pages that work...or don't

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Time to Write

You pick up a book or check the "look inside" feature on Amazon, and read the first page. Do you want to continue reading? Enough to buy the book? On the Writer Unboxed site, there's a feature called "Flog a...

First and last lines of movies

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Time to Write

What do the first and last lines of a movie reveal? You can check it out yourself at a new site, created by ATT Internet Services, where they connect the first and last lines with brief animations that mirror the...

Breaking Worse? The 'Ozark' Pilot Treads Dark Territory

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : LitReactor

In this breakdown of the "Ozark" pilot, Fred Venturini breaks down how the episode sets milestones for the series, sets an aggressive pace, and uses characterization to build tension. Column by Fred Venturini Heavy spoiler warning!!! Ozark...Show More Summary

A Conversation With Leza Cantoral on Trash Pandas, Writing Partner Partners, and the Bizarro Genre

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : LitReactor

Leza Cantoral stops by for a chat about her poetry, her podcasting, her writing, and some gossip about her fiancé, fellow writer Christoph Paul. Interview by Rob Hart Leza Cantoral is one hell of a multi-hyphenate: writer-poet-publisher-editor-podcaster-social...Show More Summary

10 Stephen King Sequels I Want to Read

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : LitReactor

John Wick but with a cat instead of Keanu Reeves. Column by Max Booth III Despite having published over fifty novels, Stephen King has never been too eager to write sequels. There’s the Dark Tower series, and the recent Bill Hodges Trilogy,...Show More Summary

Seriously Funny: 7 Ways To Add Humor To A Novel

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Please welcome novelist Marilyn Simon Rothstein to Writer Unboxed today! Marilyn Simon Rothstein is the author of Lift And Separate, the story of a woman forced to restart her life when her husband of thirty-three years, the Bra King, leaves her for a perkier fit. It was released by Lake Union Publishers in December 2016 […]

The Hidden Dangers in Short-Form Publishing Deals

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Authors have many things to watch out for when evaluating a publishing deal, but one of the most common—and most serious—dangers is something the author doesn’t see: the vital clauses and protections that are often missing from “short-form” publishing contracts. Most authors look at standard publishing contracts (which can easily run from ten to twenty […]

Whose Line Is It Anyway? Mastering Deep POV (+ Giveaway!)

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Please welcome Jess Lourey (rhymes with “dowry”) and Shannon Baker back to WU today! Jess and Shannon have written over 20 books between them, and are currently on their second national blog tour, Double-booked Round Two. Shannon is promoting Dark Signal, the second in the Kate Fox series (Longmire meets The Good Wife) and Jess is […]

What Is Your “Home Rice”?

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

I grew up eating only one type of rice: white. When I was young, I thought there was only that one type of rice. Of course, as I grew older I learned about white rice and brown rice, but I don’t think I ventured much further than that. Then, at a point in my food […]

Historical Novels—Your Research To-Do List

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Please welcome Lydia Kang, author of several books, including the newly released Beautiful Poison, to Writer Unboxed today! Lydia is a physician and author of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine. She completed her residency and chief residency at […]

Agent Update: Rachel Vogel

In the annual “Get an Agent” feature of Writer’s Digest, we work hard to feature a multitude of agents who are actively seeking new writers. We also seek agents who don’t have the intention of leaving the business, or who aren’t actively in the process of switching agencies (or looking to close to submissions). Show More Summary

Flat Tire

You're traveling in a rental car when you hear the thumping of a flat tire. You pull over and discover the thumping is not coming from a flat, after all, but from the trunk. What or who is making the noise? The post Flat Tire appeared first on

7 Top Tips to Create a Cinematic Novel

Writing a story that has all the enticing elements of a screenplay in novel form can be a challenge, but if done right it can lead to a cinematic manuscript that's bound to catch the eye of agents and readers. Here are seven ways toShow More Summary

New Agent Alert: Adrienne Rosado of Stonesong

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Adrienne Rosado of Stonesong) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Adrienne: Adrienne has spent the entirety of her career on the agency side of publishing and joined Stonesong in September 2017. Show More Summary

Weekly Round-Up: Lost in Translation and Keeping in Touch

Every week our editors publish somewhere between 10 and 15 blog posts—but it can be hard to keep up amidst the busyness of everyday life. To make sure you never miss another post, we’ve created a new weekly round-up series. Each Saturday, find the previous week’s posts all in one place. Show More Summary

The Marketing Perspective of Query Letters: Turning Your Query Into Agent Bait

At some point in your writing life, you will have completed a manuscript and are ready to move forward on your path to become published. First, acknowledge what you’ve accomplished! The how-to-write learning curve, for most writers, is extensive. Show More Summary

Your Writing Voice: The Tools of the Trade

We hear the word “voice” a lot in appraisals of writing. The term can be confusing. You might hear, “Aden’s voice is just so original!” or “The voice of this piece really punched me in the gut.” These are terrific compliments, but what...Show More Summary

5 Things the Screenwriting Business Taught Me About Writing

A confession: I bristled at being called a “screenwriter” while jacket copy for Magicians Impossible, my debut novel, was being finalized. Everyone else wanted that facet of my biography in; I wanted it out. I didn’t want to be “screenwriter...Show More Summary

Nine Lessons I Learned About Writing as a Trial Lawyer

I was a trial lawyer for thirty-one years before I retired and began a second career as a mystery/crime novelist. My law practice was not glamorous—no flashy criminal trials or high-profile, big-dollar civil cases. I did run-of-the-mill civil litigation: mostly real estate claims, business disputes, contract matters and employment cases. Show More Summary

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