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Writer Unboxed is 14 Today! Plus: CONTEST

Writer Unboxed is 14 years old today! Over these many years, we’ve written over 4,700 posts, to help inspire creativity, instill courage, improve craft, educate, and spread wisdom as we write on. This year, we have over 70 contributors–writers, administrators, and social media leaders–all working to support the mission. We …

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SQUISH! What Cows and Writing Competence Have in Common

In mid-December, with teeth aching from the sweetness of Hallmark movies and a half-crocheted afghan to complete for Christmas, I changed TV channels in search of a different kind of background noise. That’s how I stumbled across a treasure: the Emmy-award-winning biopic, Temple Grandin. I wasn’t familiar with Grandin and …

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Writing Advice, Ranked

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody. With so much writing advice freely available, how do you know what advice to take? You could try lots of different …

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The Compelling, Emotional Complex Sentence

We’re delighted to introduce Jeanne Cavelos as WU’s newest contributor! Jeanne is a bestselling author, an award-winning editor, and the director of the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, a nonprofit devoted to helping writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror improve their work. Since Jeanne loves working with developing writers, …

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What Do People Get Wrong About You?

We writers can go lots of places to find lists of questions to help us get to know our characters better and to lead us to twist the screws tighter to make them have to change. Writer Unboxed’s own Donald Maass is the king of questions that make us think …

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Do You Really Want to Be a Writer?

When people ask what I do and I say I’m a novel editor, they tell me they’d love to write a book some day, once the kids are grown up, when they have more time, or if only they were good enough. Some people have already given up trying. They …

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What Do You Save?

Flickr Creative Commons: bertknot I’m writing this having just come back from a morning walk up the road, enjoying a sight we haven’t seen in much too long in our area—water running and singing to itself in ditches, water puddling on roadsides, water rushing into dams and tanks…Rain, rain at …

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Wherein We Resume Our Discussion Regarding Evil

Evil? by neverything Any quasi-sentient being who’s been paying attention to recent news has encountered frequent if not exuberant usage of that uniquely evocative word, “evil.” The assassination of Qesem Suleimani alone has brought forth the word with impressive regularity, ironically not just to describe the decedent but also those …

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Bridging Temporal Story Gaps

photo adapted / Horia Varlan Slowing and speeding up time can effectively enhance our stories, as my last post showed. It seems apt that this January post should discuss the mechanics of such manipulation. Just nine days ago felt like last year! First, a confession. When I attempted my first …

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A Light in the Darkness

At the time I write this, Australia is burning. I’d planned to post on a different topic, but I can’t get my mind off the fires that are eating up our forests, killing wildlife, domestic animals and humans, destroying farms and small towns and livelihoods, and filling the air with …

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