Blog Profile / Writer Unboxed

Filed Under:Arts / Writing
Posts on Regator:2414
Posts / Week:4.8
Archived Since:April 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Concept Check: The Book Doula

4 hours agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Doubtful About Doulas? The Matera Women’s Fiction Festival in Italy includes an international writers conference. The conference was on hiatus last year. A lot of us were glad when the event’s longtime (tireless) driver Elizabeth Jennings and her fine associates were able to get it back onto the calendar this year, in late September. The […]

The Spark That Won’t Die

For some writers it’s an image: A grief-broken man cradling his dead son. For other writers it’s a sentence or a title: “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” For yet others it’s a character, or characters, who pop into your head all at once. They’re all the sparks that ignite the creative process of writing a novel, […]

The Writerly Skills Test

This week I handed eighteen writers a list of skills – from dialogue to structure to imagery to ability to take criticism and resilience. The writers scored each of their perceived abilities on a scale of 1-10. They weren’t comparing themselves to literary giants, just their own limitations. [Click here to see the list and […]

Lessons Learned from Ruby Dixon: How to Write Sex Scenes That Readers Can’t and Won’t Skip

  Write fiction for long enough, and eventually you’re going to land on a storyline that requires you to address a sexual relationship between characters. If you write in a sweet, mannerly style in which sex only happens once all major story questions and conflicts are addressed, you might get away with writing closed-door sex […]

Sexual Tension in Fiction

Please welcome Michael Mohr to WU today, to talk about something that may be in most of our books, at least to some degree: sexual tension. A little about Michael, from his bio: Michael is a Bay Area writer, former literary agent’s assistant and freelance book editor. His fiction has been published in the following: […]

Writing What You (Hope Never To) Know: Empathy, Perception, Projection

A few years ago I went to visit a friend I’d not seen in a while to say a quick hello on my way to a lunch. I was dressed in my favorite jeans and top, and I even wore makeup and managed to blow-dry my hair all shiny. I was then as I still […]

How to Keep Track of All Your Novel’s Details

Please welcome Jim Dempsey back to Writer Unboxed today! Jim is a professional member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and works as a book editor at a company called Novel Gazing. In his own words, Jim tells us that: ‘I’ve been editing for a little more than 20 years, gradually making the shift from […]

Value the Outsider’s Perspective

For an outsider, life is a lock to be picked. It’s human nature to want in, and gain the acceptance that will let us rest easy in our skins. Outsiders become keen observers of how the walls between them and others are built, and how gates allow or deny entry. Our emotions speak of the […]

Bun in the Oven: The Gestation Period of a Novel

According to, the female frilled shark carries her babies for up to 3.5 years before giving birth. As someone who was throw-uppy for the duration of my pregnancies, I think the frilled shark’s lengthy gestation sounds miserable. On the other hand, as someone who is gestating a novel (and has been for the past […]

Picture This

A few weeks ago, Dave King posted a marvelous piece here concerning lessons to be learned about creating surprise by analyzing the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, specifically his Fantasia and Fugue in A minor. In the comments following the piece, I remarked that I had had a similar revelation about lessons to be learned […]

One Important Question You May Not Be Asking Your Publicist

One of the things I am most grateful for in my post-writing-life adventure of running a small but busy literary PR agency is the wonderfully talented team that makes it all possible.  Their creativity, insights, storytelling acumen and dedication are a gift to all those who work with them. Today I’m filled with pride and gratitude as […]

How I Won NaNoWriMo in My First (and Last?) Attempt

Last November I wrote over 50,000 words of a new novel and won my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Are you on the fence about participating this year? Do you have the same skeptical reaction I did every year? Let this post provide catharsis for your worries and guidance for making a decision on […]

Write Like a Girl

My original intention this month was to write about some of the common challenges people have when writing across gender lines—that is, male writers writing female characters and female writers writing male characters. For some people, this comes quite naturally. For others, it seems an almost impossible task—particularly when the character in question is the […]

Bringing Shape and Color to a Book Cover’s Blank Canvas

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Book covers are influential. When I saw Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book in the store, I stole it immediately. (Abbie, thank you for not titling your book Eat Your Poop.) I’ve been motivated and moved by cover artistry many times, so much so I’ve paid for books about which I knew little other than their […]

Should You Use Rose-Colored Glasses in Fiction?

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Please welcome New York Daily News columnist and novelist Linda Stasi to Writer Unboxed today, to talk about grit and realism in fiction — and the effect of Real Life. More about her: Linda Stasi, the popular columnist for the New York Daily News–her Wednesday and full-page Sunday columns has reached more than 600,000 in a […]

The World is Inside Out

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

How do you think of our world?  How is it organized, in your mind?  Geographically?  Planet, continents, countries, regions, states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, streets?  Politically, by a range of authority from dictatorships to...Show More Summary

Haters Gonna Hate (but you don’t have to)

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Heads up, WU’ers: Bryn Greenwood‘s bestselling novel All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is available in paperback today! All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, was named Book of the Month Club 2016 Book of the Year, and took second place in Goodreads’ ‘Best Fiction of 2016’ contest. […]

Seasons Of Writing

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

I’ve never been one of those writers who writes every single day, rain or shine, all year ’round. It works perfectly for some. It doesn’t work for me. But I’m also not a writer who waits on inspiration. There are times (especially when I’m under deadline) that I’ll be writing, whether or not I feel […]

Take Five with Heather Webb: Last Christmas in Paris

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Congratulations to multi-published novelist and WU contributor Heather Webb on the release of Last Christmas in Paris— a novel written in conjunction with novelist Hazel Gaynor! Last Christmas in Paris will be sold in bookstores nationwide and at Target, and is releasing worldwide in 10 countries. (The book releases on 10/3 in the U.S. and […]

How to Find the Right Developmental Editor for Your Book

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Books elicit different responses from different people, so it’s no wonder that the feedback we receive from critique groups and beta readers can be varied and even contradictory. As an indie author, it can be hard to discern good advice from bad or know whose feedback to trust—especially when that feedback is yanking your story […]

Copyright © 2015 Regator, LLC