Tag Archive 'writing'

Let’s Talk About Me

“Let’s talk about me!” Generally speaking, that’s not good advice for handling yourself in social situations.  Better is to listen and ask questions.  Being interested in others is the way to make friends and influence people.  (Smile too.  That helps.) In bonding readers to characters on the page, though, the reverse is true.  We open […]

How Does Your Novel Grow? The Writing/Gardening Connection

Perhaps this essay is only my desperate attempt to connect to spring in spite of the seven inches of additional snow currently falling on my yard and life. I should be glad to have a reason to stay inside and stick to my writing schedule, before gardening season distracts me. But I am itchy to […]

Tying Character Types to Plot, Suspense, and Emotion

Our guest today is Jeanne Cavelos, creator of the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to helping developing writers of fantastic fiction improve their work. A writer, editor, scientist, and teacher, Jeanne began her professional life as an astrophysicist, working in the Astronaut Training Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, but […]

If the ‘Elastic Mind’ Snaps: A Lenten Lullaby

    This will be my last post until Monday, April 13,2015. No, not me.  (You wish.) No, that’s a colleague, the memoirist Kathy Pooler. She’s a good, cold-weather Catholic, mind you, so Lent means a lot more to her than it does to troppo Protestants like me. Following a retreat with some author-colleagues, Pooler has […]

Surviving a Drought

I was sitting in D.C.’s Lincoln Theater about three months ago, listening to The Milk Carton Kids and Sarah Jarosz, talented folk musicians who sing some of the most gorgeous harmonies I’ve ever heard. The theater itself is a visual concert—a beautiful 1920’s-era building, with gold ceilings and crystal chandeliers and lovely arched moldings and […]

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, […]

Writing Truth in Reverse

Writing the truth has always been a challenge for me. In college, I started out as a journalism major, but it was strongly suggested that I transfer into the fiction department as quickly as possible. Let’s just say I have a tendency to embellish that wiser minds quickly realized would make journalism a poor career […]

Doing the Work

Today’s guest is Robin Antalek author of The Grown Ups (William Morrow, 2015) and The Summer We Fell Apart (Harper Collins, 2010) which was chosen as a Target Breakout Book. Robin’s non-fiction work has been published at The Weeklings, The Nervous Breakdown, and collected in the following anthologies: The Beautiful Anthology; Writing off Script: Writers on […]

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 […]

When ‘There Are No Words,’ I Can’t Even

‘What This Loss of a Language Means’ “I can’t even.” You know the phrase, right? Another day, another pop-media whine. “I can’t even” is credited to the bloggrs of Tumblr, who apparently can’t even find it in their hearts to give us an “e” before an “r.” Call me Portr. I am so hip that […]

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 […]

The Lonely Writer

I feel lucky. I love being a writer and part of why I do is because it allows me to work alone, be alone. It’s not exactly that I don’t like being around other people (I do, kind of). But when I worked in corporate America, I couldn’t get away from people, couldn’t find time […]