Archive for the 'Humor' Category

How to Win a Literary Feud

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody. Every author strives for greatness. You’ll have to invest thousands of hours honing your craft and dealing with rejection, though, if you want to be mentioned […]

Finding Mr. Write

My high school boyfriend wore eye liner and had self-pierced body piercings. He dealt drugs and somehow managed to acquire a not-for-hunting gun. He was also Sophomore Class President. He loved me as passionately as one sixteen-year-old could love another sixteen-year-old. And after cheating on me (as sixteen-year-old Romeos are wont to do), he carved an “A” into his […]

Share Your Earliest Literary Efforts

I’ve become quite nostalgic in recent years. But my interest in the past extends far beyond my own. I’m also fascinated by the pasts of other people – for example, I really enjoy seeing all those “Throwback Thursday” photos on Facebook each week. And in particular, I am deeply intrigued by glimpses into the mysterious pasts […]

Irony — The Final Cliché

Next week I’ll be moderating a panel at Left Coast Crime in Portland titled, “The Taste of Copper, the Smell of Cordite: Clichés in Crime Fiction.” This topic in one form or another crops up just about every year, making the panel itself a kind of cliché. I’ve heard Martyn Waite deride the jazz-loving detective, […]

Musings on Genres, Shame, and Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I don’t tell my ‘academic’ colleagues that I write fiction. I don’t talk much about my non-fiction writing to my fiction-writing community. I LOVE e-readers because they don’t reveal whether I’m reading a steamy romance, popular history, angst-ridden literary novel, nineteenth-century article on hospitals, or an idiot’s guide to something technical that even my nine-year-old […]

Shag, Marry, Kill (Literary Edition)

I grew up on game shows. Jeopardy. Wheel of Fortune. Family Feud. The Dating Game. My favorites were the celebrity editions where we, Jane and John Does, sitting on our couches across America got to see famous people unscripted. To laugh alongside them like we were all a bunch of friends having pizza and soda […]

How to Nurture Your Fan Base

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody. Fans are one of the greatest rewards of being a writer. It wouldn’t take much, since there’s so little money in publishing, but still. A loyal […]

Writing… Will You Be My Valentine?

For this day of love, I invited other Writer Unboxed contributors to join me in writing words of love about writing: a sentiment that could fit inside a greeting card, on a school valentine, or even on a candy heart. The instructions were simple: “Write a love note to writing. It can be sweet, bitter, funny, serious, […]

Story Lessons from South Park

Wait, what? Yes, I’m serious. My post today is about the storytelling lessons we can learn from possibly the most tasteless and offensive TV show of all time: South Park. Full disclosure: I haven’t actually watched an episode of South Park in quite a long time. But I’ve seen many episodes over the years, and I […]

Editing, Uhh! What Is It Good For?

  I’m closing in on finishing a book about how to see as a writer [note: wear glasses], and there’s a little section on editing in there, from which some of this is excerpted and massaged. (Porter, I feel the gorge rise: the horror! Another book about writing! But no, no, this one’s different: For […]