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Why, Why, Why? Interrogating Characters About Their Motivations

Photo by Ksayer1 Do you remember that news clip of US figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s long, drawn-out “Whyyyyy? Whyyyyy? Whyyyyy?” after a hired assailant bashed her across the knee right before the US Figure Skating Championship that would determine the 1994 Olympic team? Media outlets played the wailing clip over …

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There Are No Wasted Words: Power to the Pantsers

courtesy Flickr’s -missmonypenny- Please welcome WU community member and author Carol Newman Cronin to Writer Unboxed today! A bit about Carol: Carol Newman Cronin is an award-winning author, editor, and Olympian. She is represented by April Eberhardt, and her fourth novel, Ferry to Cooperation Island, will be published in the spring of 2020. …

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The Life-Changing Magic of Zeroing Non-Writing Commitments

At Chez O’Hara, we’re about to enter a new phase of life. My husband is retiring, leaving his workplace of thirty-five years. Our youngest is about to graduate and will probably receive a job offer in another town, making us empty-nesters. Even if we weren’t halfway through 2019, it would be …

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Barbara O’Neal and When We believed in Mermaids

    Please join us in congratulating Barbara O’Neal, a WU contributor who continues to give succinct advice from the trenches, on the upcoming release of her latest novel, When We Believed In Mermaids.  Barbara O’Neal is the author of twelve novels of women’s fiction, including The Art of Inheriting …

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The Rejection

About Ray Rhamey Ray Rhamey is the author of four novels and one writing craft book, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling. He’s also an editor of book-length fiction and designs book covers and interiors for Indie authors and small presses. His website, crrreative.com, offers an a la carte menu …

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In Search of a Moral Compass

Rose Compass by Enrico Strocchi How do our characters navigate their way through difficult choices where the moral issues are ambiguous, contradictory, or insufficient to resolve the dilemma? How are they to determine what is the right or the good thing to do? How can they be sure of what …

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What 5 Reading Guide Questions Can Teach Us

photo adapted / Horia Varlan Long before I started writing fiction, I belonged to numerous book clubs. For me, adding book-centered conversation to a glass of wine, snacks, and the chance to poke around in a neighbor’s house creates a perfect social event. Yet 90 million Goodreads members and the …

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Why Editing Matters

Yesterday I wrote those deeply satisfying words, The End. At least, metaphorically I did. I had reached the last words of the last chapter of my current work in progress, the second book in the historical fantasy series, Warrior Bards. It felt pretty good to be finished after months and …

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Achieve Your Writing Goals

There are times when writing is easy, when you get through that daily word count without too much effort. And there are times when the final goal – that moment when you can type The End – seems very far away. There will be days when you think it will …

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Anne O’Brien Carelli—Perseverance and Blind Optimism

Author Anne O’Brien making friendship bracelets. In this week’s Author Up Close, I interview Anne O’Brien Carelli, author of adult nonfiction, the middle-grade book Skylark and Wallcreeper, and the picture book Amina’s New Friends. She’s been a friend and mentor since we met at our first Writer Unboxed conference.  Anne is the …

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