Tag Archive 'advice for writers'

Stirring Higher Emotions

What was the most emotional day of your life?  Google for people’s stories and you’ll read a lot that are probably like your own: birth, death, betrayal, trauma, marriage, divorce, miscarriage, failure, second chance, recovery, a dream achieved, a confession of love, getting a helping hand. Now, those are events.  Let’s look at the emotions […]

You Say You Want a Resolution

I know, I know—an article in early January about New Year’s resolutions? How original is that? But I happen to be a list maker junkie and New Year’s resolutions are the mother of all lists, so I can’t help it. I look forward to setting new goals, charting my progress, marking off the accomplishments on […]

Creating Unforgettable Characters

I’m fascinated by personality tests, you know, the kind you run across all the time online or in magazines. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test twice (I’m an INFJ), the Keirsey Temperament Test (also an INFJ) and studied the Enneagram (I’m a 2). And while all of this is fodder for good cocktail party conversation and […]

What Your Writer’s Resume Says About Your Chances for Recognition

Lately, a new mantra has caught on: “There’s no better time to be a writer.” Not only has self-publishing helped open the doors to so many aspiring authors, but the online world has created more opportunities than ever before to build a platform, network and self-promote. From a schmoozing and promotion perspective, anything seems possible. […]

Plotting the Non-Plot-Driven Novel

Have you ever grown impatient with a novel?  Have you ever restlessly flipped ahead wishing that something would happen?  Of course.  It’s a common feeling.  Put politely, you feel frustrated.  Put plainly, you’re bored. Perhaps your own current manuscript has also had you feeling, at times, impatient.  Have you struggled to find a way to […]

The Point of Writing

There’s a lot of talk these days about getting yourself a presence on social media, upping your profile, selling yourself, marketing your work, using every angle and every connection in order to “get out there,” hustle your product, hit the bestseller lists, make a splash. This post is just to remind you that none of […]

On Not Giving Up

This week, my new adult novel, first in a big new series called Trinity, is coming out. I’m going to be celebrating even more than usual, because this one’s had a long hard road to publication, with nearly four years and several rejections before it was accepted. Even though I’m a well-established author with many […]

The Meaning of Everything

It was my son’s seventh birthday.  We asked what he wanted.  He told us.  And so… …we got a puppy. A boy and his dog.  Growing up  together.  How sweet.  How classic.  Our son is adopted.  He comes from a hard place.  He has struggled to attach, a long process of pendulum swings from safety […]

Everything I Need to Know About Plot, I Learned From Buffy

A couple of weeks ago, a client told me one of his beta readers had said his book read like a comic book.  I asked why that was a bad thing. Granted, you don’t want your characters to be shallow caricatures or your plot to be mechanical or contrived, which is what many people mean […]

Interview: Ellen Edwards, Executive Editor at Penguin Random House

I have been with Ellen Edwards at New American Library, a division of Penguin Random House, since I became a traditionally published author. In an age where writers often lament that they do not get edited, I can firmly say that not only do I get edited, but Ellen’s sharp eye, brilliance, and insights have […]

Two Pages Tell a Story

Today’s guest is Yona Zeldis McDonough, the award-winning author of six novels, most recently You Were Meant for Me. She is also the author of twenty-three books for children and she’s the editor of two essay collections. Of today’s post, Yona says: “I have written six novels and I want to share some of what I […]

Advice From My Authors

I’ve spent the last year offering agent advice on Writer Unboxed—everything from writing query letters to maintaining an open and productive working relationship with your representative. As I sit down today, I fear I may be fresh out of wisdom of my own, but as I think of some of the best advice I’ve learned […]