Archive for the 'Inspirations' Category

Bringing a Strong Vision to Your Fiction

QQ Li (Flickr Creative Commons)

Please welcome Laura K. Cowan to Writer Unboxed. Laura writes imaginative stories that explore the connections between the spiritual and natural worlds. Laura’s debut novel The Little Seer was a Top 5 Kindle Bestseller for free titles in Christian Suspense and Occult/Supernatural, and it was hailed by reviewers and readers as “riveting” as well as “moving and lyrical.” Her second novel, a redemptive ghost story titled Music of Sacred Lakes, and her first short story [...]

Unlocking the Story-Box

photo by Flickr’s A♥

“Where do you get your ideas from?”

It’s the classic question you nearly always get asked, as a writer, and there are always the classic answers to give back: something you’ve experienced, read about, observed; a place, a person, an overheard conversation, a newspaper report, a dream, an emotion, a picture, a fairy tale, a poem. These are my usual kinds of triggers, some happened on by chance, others more deliberately sought. But there are other kinds [...]

The Crushing Weight of Expectations

Rock Slide by ActiveSteve (Flickr)

It is a truth rarely acknowledged that the act of writing often comes with an entire catalog of weighted expectations attached to it. For published writers, it is SO easy for our self worth to become wrapped up in our commercial performance; it is almost inevitable that the weight of those hopes and expectations will leak out into our work. Maybe this book will bring us the coveted significant advance, or maybe this is the [...]

Doubt, Fear and Constipation

Once upon a time, I didn’t believe in monsters under the bed. Boogeymen were also make-believe, and hostile, big-eyed aliens were only real in movies. I didn’t want to believe in scary stuff so I chose not to believe in it. Behold, Ladies and Gentlemen . . . da Queen of de Nial!

I applied the same head-in-sand mentality to Writer’s Block. When my high school English students claimed Writer’s Block rendered them unable to write their Hamlet essays, I rolled my eyes and called [...]

Drawing from Real Life in Fiction

Unlike many people I know, I’ve never wanted to write the story of my life. And I’ve come to belatedly believe that this lack of autobiographic desire on my part has affected my fiction writing, and not necessarily for the best.

I say “belatedly” because I’ve been writing fiction for close to 15 years, but only a few years ago did I start to readjust what I now see as a rather closed and negative mindset I’d been maintaining.

In the past, [...]

O, Brave New (Adult) World!

“Emergence” by Alice Popkorn (Flickr)

Today’s guest is Lorin Oberweger. Lorin has been an independent editor and story development coach for almost twenty years, and her company Free Expressions also offers some of the country’s most highly regarded writing workshops. Lorin and New York Times Bestselling Author Veronica Rossi—writing together as Noelle August—are launching their new adult trilogy this month, beginning with the novel Boomerang. Says Lorin, “Noelle August is an anagram for Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger. Just kidding, it’s [...]

Stroke Clinic

By Atos, Flickr Creative Commons

Our guest today is Marybeth Whalen, author of five novels. The newest one The Bridge Tender releases this month and brings readers back to Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Marybeth is the cofounder of the popular site, She Reads.

I am passionate about the craft of writing and encouraging other writers in that craft.

She and her husband Curt have been married for twenty-two years and are the parents of six children—ranging in age from college to elementary [...]

The Four Characteristics of Author Attitude and Why You Need Them

Victory by sgatto (Flickr Creative Commons)

Today’s guest, Nina Amir, author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, transforms writers into inspired, successful authors, authorpreneurs and blogpreneurs. Known as the “Inspiration to Creation Coach,” Nina moves her clients from ideas to finished books as well as to careers as authors by helping them combine their passion and purpose so they create products that positively and meaningfully impact the world. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their [...]

A Letter to Aspiring-Writer-Me from Debut-Novelist-Me

Please welcome Natalia Sylvester, debut author of Chasing the Sun. Natalia was born in Lima, Peru, and she came to the U.S. at age four. She grew up in South Florida and received a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Miami. A former magazine editor, Natalia now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Her articles have appeared in Latina Magazine, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and NBCLatino.com.

Here’s what Seré Prince Halverson, author of The Underside of Joy, had [...]

Recovering the Joy In Writing

A few years ago, I taught a class on recovering joy in the writing process. It wasn’t quite right at the time, and I have not had time to really dig into what would make it better, but I stumbled over some of the notes recently.  I have also stumbled over some discussions of burnout and loss of faith in writing, so it seems like a good time to post some of my notes.

There are many things that cause writers [...]

Writers’ Anxiety: Less Prozac, More Presence

I’m no guru. I love an evening cocktail (and then another), love the tingling chemistry coaxed by a chocolate bender, and sit entranced in front of artificially charged television dramas. I’m too much of a skeptic to go paleo, give up the gluten, or free my coffee of caffeine. So I’m not one to offer anything that smacks of spiritual advice, because I fear the sound of a duck quacking in the background.

But I’m comfortable discussing some of the vagaries [...]

3 Insights That Lead to Successful Publishing Careers

by Jenny Downing / Flickr

When it comes to interviews and profiles of commercially successful writers (or anyone for that matter), there’s always an undercurrent of “What led to their success?”—especially if we dream of following in their footsteps.

We know there’s not a single formula, but we still hope for that shard of insight that will make it clear how we might do even just one thing different—and that will make all the difference to our path.

Such insights do occur from [...]