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Career Cliff Diving

Red Bull Cliff Diving in Bilbao on 13 September 2019 from the Zubizuri near the Guggenheim. Image: #RedBullCliffDiving Artistry in High Places As I was headed to the airport in Bilbao a week ago tomorrow to fly to Amsterdam, my taxi driver languidly pointed to the left and said, “Calatrava.” …

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Maybe No One Will Notice

Photo by Bertalan Szürös Do you ever get the feeling that a scene you’re writing, just isn’t going to work? That no one would ever act this way? That no one would ever believe this outcome? Do you ever leave the questionable scene in any way because you need this …

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Displeasure Reading

Not long ago, a friend who has been reading literary novels for years recommended one to me – Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami – and gave me the Kindle version.  Murakami is award-winning and well-reviewed, so I launched into the book with considerable hope. I immediately met a protagonist who …

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Using Theme to Leverage Revision

“Everything seems simple until you think about it.”—Audrey Niffenegger, from The Time Traveler’s Wife I recently finished reading The Time Traveler’s Wife for the first time. I know, I know—it’s about time, right? It only came out sixteen years ago! If only I could go back and read it sooner …

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Living The Dreamy Dreamland

Photo Credit: Dreamland – Alice Popkorn We writers aren’t so unique, you know. It’s not the Writer who is especially unique—though we often in our self-indulgent brilliance think it is so—it is our personalities and tics and weirdnesses that are unique. Some of us are just a wee bit more …

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Turning a Terrible Truth into Compelling Fiction

This post is about series of vicious murders, a class I conducted on how to fictionalize such horrific events, and a student who taught me something important in the process. This all took place late last month at the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference in Corte Madera, California. For the …

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“Showing” through Exposition: A Study

photo adapted / Horia Varlan When writing teachers say “show, don’t tell,” they typically suggest doing so through dialogue, action, and sense imagery. Exposition, on the other hand—the writing that contextualizes the more active aspects of scene, and is often thought of as mere connective tissue—is often pointed to as …

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Writers on Show: Publicity and the Introvert

Hands up, authors who enjoy the publicity and marketing effort that attends the release of a new book. I’m talking about everything from public appearances, less common in this digital age, to heightened visibility on social media, to interviews on radio, podcast, by phone or email. There are guest blogs, …

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How to Give Useful Criticism

The great thing about Writer Unboxed is the sense of community it gives to writers. There’s the twitter account to follow, the Facebook group to connect with others, and, of course, the unconference where you can really engage in all things writery. All of this is so important in the …

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Writing Graphic Novels for Kids

I’ve always loved graphic novels and comic books—the whole art/literary form that in my native language, French, we call BD, short for Bandes Dessinées, or ‘drawn strips/illustrated panels’. In France, BD is an eminently mainstream genre that has been popular with readers since early in the 20th century, and which …

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