Tag Archive 'Inspirations'

In Praise of Paper Books

I recently started rereading a book I bought many years ago – one volume of an eight volume collected set of The Spectator, a London daily periodical from the early 18th century. William Addison and Joseph Steele wrote most of the The Spectator’s 2500-word, witty and wise essays on serious topics of social value. A […]

Anything for the Story: Tension

Today’s guest is Clayton Lindemuth, with a post about tension and author integrity because first, they are linked, and second, learning to let go of our nice selves is critical to good writing. If the reader doesn’t perceive the reality of the challenge or conflict facing the protagonist, the story is weak. His debut, Cold […]

Nine Good Gifts for the New Year

I’m not keen on New Year’s resolutions. It’s too easy for us to end up in a mire of guilt, weighed down by our failure to meet our own expectations. On the other hand, defined goals can help those of us who might otherwise become TV watching, junk food eating couch potatoes, with nothing more […]

The Book of Life

Therese here. Today’s guest is an author I personally admire, Margaret Dilloway. Margaret’s latest novel, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, is a beautifully written character-driven story about the struggles of a woman riddled with kidney disease–and an abrupt personality–and how her life as a rose breeder is disrupted by the arrival of […]

Out of the Ashes

On the first day of the winter break, my granddaughters’ school was gutted by fire. It started in the middle of the night, and by the time firefighters reached the scene, the hundred-year-old heritage building was well ablaze. Whoever set this fire – and it was certainly arson, with three separate ignition points – not […]

Planting the Russian Seed

Childhood books are so powerful. They can imbue us with a passion for something unexpected, but whose effects are lifelong. And sometimes, when you look back, you can see the precise moment when it happened, the exact story that turned you on to something deep and important. I was thinking about that recently—I’m in the […]

Updating Traditional Motifs to Create Fresh Fiction

I want to do something a bit different today. My new book The Boggle Hunters, a fantasy adventure novel for kids aged 8-12 has just come out this month in Australia (Scholastic Press Australia) and I want to talk about the sheer magic of creating this book and the fun I’ve had creating a new […]

The Writer’s Life is Full of Second Chances (or: Abandon Despair, All Ye Who Enter Here)

Heads up: Today’s post is one of the most inspirational I’ve ever read here on Writer Unboxed. (Therese here, by the way.) I’m so pleased to bring you our guest blogger, author Robin LaFevers. Robin is a multi-published author and the co-founder of a blog I’ve long admired, Shrinking Violets–a site geared toward introverted writers. […]

Writing a Novel: a drama told in three acts, with a prologue and epilogue

Prologue: Eureka moment, inspiration strikes. A new idea! Great excitement. Connections made in head, some scribbling in notebook. Floaty yet intense feeling, like being in love. Can’t think of anything else. Tingles up spine, gooseflesh, daydreams as the idea grows from little spark to fast-burning fire. Weird looks from people as novelist goes about muttering, […]

The Author’s Arsenal

Therese here. Today’s guest is returning author and WU friend Kristina McMorris. Kristina’s second novel, a dramatic WWII tale called Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, released just yesterday to high acclaim. “[Bridge of Scarlet Leaves] gracefully blossoms through swift prose and rich characters…this gripping story about two ‘brothers’ in arms and a young woman caught in […]

A Look at Writers’ Day Jobs

Let’s face it. With the exception of the tiny handful of writers lucky enough to generate handsome earnings from their books or to have the full financial support of a spouse or a trust fund (two things I tend to longingly confuse), nowadays, most of us need some sort of gainful day job. In fact, […]

Painting in the Blanks

Brunonia Barry on Painting in the Blanks

It isn’t the blank page that I find terrifying. It’s the idea of beginning. I can easily put words on a page, that’s not the problem. I often begin a new novel by doing something I’ve heard described as “clearing your throat.” I usually write fifty to a hundred pages that I will never use, but within those pages I often discover the entire back story of each character and the journey those characters will take together.