Tag Archive 'Anna Elliott'

Plot vs Story

I just watched this very interesting clip of an interview with Martin Scorsese, in which he talks about the distinction between story and plot. (Go ahead and watch it; it’s only 2 minutes).

Essentially he defines plot as the bare bones of what happens in a movie–the basic outline.  Story involves the characters, the cinematography choices, the casting choices and the emotions portrayed by the actors on the screen.  And he concludes by saying that he finds story more compelling than plot, […]

Marketing Mash-up

I’m in the throes this week of at long last putting the final, finishing touches on The Impossible Book (insert huge, slightly crazy-eyed sigh of relief here) so my post this month is a bit of a mash-up.  Part news bulletin, part platform/marketing advice, part philosophical reflection.  Have I scared everyone off yet?  Well, if not (and I really don’t hold it against you if so!) a little background:

I think I’ve mentioned before on other WU posts that the relentless cries […]

Lessons Learned from Wrangling with the Impossible Book

I have spent the last seven months or so wrangling with The Impossible Book.   Never mind the working title, that’s what I’ve begun to call it in my head.  Now, I’ve published 8 books at this point, so I do know the universal truth about book writing: it is freaking hard work.  No author–at least no one I know–shrugs and says, Oh yeah, easy-peasy.  when asked about their work in progress.  In fact, if you’re writing a […]


 There’s a lot of talk in the writing/publishing world about contracts.  Author/Agent contracts, publisher’s contracts, advances, foreign rights, non-exclusivity clauses.  But those aren’t actually the kind of contracts I wanted to talk about today.  I want to talk about the most basic contract of all in the writing business–and it’s not one you sign in triplicate after getting a lawyer’s advice.  It’s the fundamental, unwritten and unspoken contract between you as an author and your readers.

I have […]

What Not To Do or What I’ve Learned from Watching Season 4 of Castle

            Anyone else out there a fan of ABC’s hit crime drama Castle?  Anyone else out there totally frustrated by the direction the show has taken in the most recent episodes?  I’ve been watching the show since it first started airing–it was a show about an author!  Starring Nathan Fillion, whom I seriously would watch in anything!–and have always both really enjoyed it and honestly admired it as an example of truly […]

Trust Your Instincts

            People often ask me for recommendations on resources for learning to write, and I’m happy to give them.  There are some great guidebooks out there–any of our own Donald Maass’s books being some of the best, in my opinion.  But I have a confession: I think the advice that books on writing give is very often stellar.  But when I’m drafting a novel myself, I very rarely use it in any […]

Sunshiny Day

I truly believe that this is a great time to be a writer.  There’s so much concern, it seems to me, about the state of publishing–bookstores closing or stocking fewer and fewer books, publishing houses not accepting new submissions, or not supporting the authors they’ve already signed, or offering far lower advances than they once were.  And not that those are not absolutely valid concerns.  But I still say–this is a great time to be a writer.

The e-book revolution has […]

Dating Your Characters

Back in October, I blogged about sloppy firsts: how terrifying it is to begin that clumsy first draft of a book. And now I’m there: in the early stages of drafting a new novel. It’s exciting. It really is. I should have mentioned that in October’s post—having all the potential of a new story stretching out before you is amazing, a feeling like no other. But all the same . . .

I just finished a trilogy—which means that the last […]

Sloppy Firsts

Please welcome Anna Elliott to our family of amazing contributors! Dark Moon of Avalon, Anna’s second novel, will release in May 2010. She recently welcomed a daughter to her growing family, and we look forward to her perspectives on juggling motherhood, writing and sanity. Welcome, Anna!

When I was an aspiring author, I spent a lot of time poring over web sites on writing (including Writer Unboxed!), voraciously reading my favorite authors’ sites and blogs–anything to find inspiration in the […]


I’m sure y’all have noticed a few changes on our portal.  We are in the process of upgrading our WordPress interface, long overdue.   There was a nasty worm going around the old WordPress blogs which we luckily never had to deal with, but the thought of losing our huge archive of posts and interviews made us sick. We apologize for the downtime this weekend, but the upgrade happened more quickly than we thought possible (yay!). 

Right now we are continuing with […]