Archive for June, 2008

Anniversary: Gone with the Wind

A little inspiration from The Writer’s Almanac:
It was on this day in 1936 that the novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was first published. When she handed the manuscript over to editors, it was in terrible shape, with more than 1,000 pages of faded and dog-eared paper, poorly typed and with penciled changes. But they loved the story. They asked Mitchell to change the original title, “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” because at the time there were already 13 […]

Movie Analysis: Lars and the Real Girl

I don’t know what the deal is with my Netflix queue, the cycle is messed up or maybe we forgot to return a DVD and we don’t even know it yet. Thus I headed into the weekend without a movie. So I schleped down to Hollywood Video, intending to rent Juno. People raved about it. So hilarious. Ellen Page is a marvel. The screenplay by Diablo Cody (that’s gotta be a made-up name) won […]

Interview: Julie Buxbaum

Today, WU contributor Allison Winn Scotch steps in for a Q&A with fellow author Julie Buxbaum.

It’s not every day that an aspiring writer quits her cushy lawyer job in the hopes of being published. It’s also not every day that she then writes a debut novel that, according to Publisher’s Marketplace, sells (in conjunction with a second book) for over seven-figures. But for Julie Buxbaum, the above scenario is a reality: the now-London-based writer’s first book, The Opposite […]

Update: Victoria Holmes on the Today’s Show

Former WU contributor Victoria Holmes has again scored another bestseller! As the brainchild behind YA mega-phenom series WARRIORS (under the pen name Erin Hunter), she’s developed a new series for this readership. Reviews have been raves.

SEEKERS: THE QUEST BEGINS is a new spin on the Warriors animal survival stories. This time, three bear cubs struggle to survive in a world beset by global warming and human activity. The series challenges this readership while offering another character-driven […]

Velvety Shadows: Dealing with Fear

I’m teaching quite a bit this summer, and one of the things that writers always talk about is their fears. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of self-revelation. Fear of your sister realizing that awful character is her. Free-floating fears, too, that morph into whatever shape currently needed to keep the writer from taking whatever plunge is required just now.

I am a person who has always been afraid. My six year old self was so […]

Home Run! Therese Finds her Perfect Agent

There’s some seriously great news coming, so I’ll start it off with my announcement: As of this past Friday, I have an agent! Now before I tell you how much I love her, let me back up a sec–because the journey deserves a retrospective glance.

You know I’ve been working on the same manuscript since Kath and I started Writer Unboxed. You’ve read about my struggles with the unpublished writer’s seven deadly sins, not to mention guy talk that sounds authentic […]


Lots of goodies for WU readers this week:

Just in case this opportunity got lost over the weekend, I’ll repeat it again. Pat Walsh, editor at MacAdam/Cage Publishing, is actively looking for submissions.

Thanks so much and please let your readership know that MacAdam/Cage is once again accepting unsolicited manuscripts and we are actively seeking great books from the slush. We are also going to try and give as much feedback as we can.

MacAdam/Cage publishes an eclectic mix of literary and commercial […]

Bid on a Critique by Barbara Samuel!

Hey WU readers, listen up. RITA-award-winning author and WU contributor Barbara Samuel is auctioning off some critiques on eBay in order to raise money for the AVON breast cancer walk in late June. This, from her eBay description page:
This is highly unusual–I never, ever do critiques and this is a 1 in 3 chance to get one, and also help me raise money for a very worth cause that touches many, many women: The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I’ll […]

Interview: Pat Walsh, editor at MacAdam/Cage Publishing

You’re in for it now, WU readers!

I’d read 78 REASONS WHY YOUR BOOK MAY NEVER BE PUBLISHED & 14 REASONS WHY IT JUST MIGHT by Pat Walsh, a senior editor at MacAdam/Cage Publishing, back in February, and laughed my head off through the entire book. It’s an insiders view of the publishing world from the point of view of an editor. No hold’s barred, funny as hell, Walsh’s book is like eating potato chips….you know you should […]

Creating the Care Factor

Readers demand a protagonist that they can care about. Not necessarily “like,” but care about. Uber-fiction-agent Donald Maass, in his Writing the Breakout Novel book and workbook, tells us that one key characteristic of the 100 bestselling novels that he analyzed is that the authors created protagonists that readers cared about.

Thus it comes to pass that acquisition editors at publishing houses demand that your manuscript and mine have that characteristic. But how do you make it happen?


Lou Aronica, an editor […]

Creating a book trailer

Everyone’s familiar with movie trailers—and everyone knows how some of them really work, really whetting your appetite for the movie. And how others somehow take all the juice from it, spoil your enjoyment by letting you in on all the jokes, for instance. The difference between the good and bad movie trailers of course is whether they act as an enticing, spicy appetiser; or as the kind of stodgy nibbles that spoil your appetite for the main course. And that’s […]

Scene: ACCPT

A friend of mine is working to shorten up her overlong manuscript. She has my empathy. I have yet to learn how to write short, only how to edit more efficiently.

When I was working to tighten my manuscript, I scoured books and online sources for the best tips, then found a way to make it all easy. I developed a quick acronym, based on some of Holly Lisle’s principals, called ACCPT.

I’d accept that a scene (probably) had a […]