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Writing

It’s Time to Call Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction) a Genre

Deep down, I wanted to label it Climate Fiction, but I wasn’t sure my book fit the criteria. Although I’d read a lot of climate-themed literature, I didn’t quite understand the scope of the genre. Is it even a real genre? Is a microgenre? I had some homework to do. …

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Find Your Way Back to Writing

“If you do not change your direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu I doubt Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu had a twenty-something pharmaceutical sales rep in mind when he dispensed this wisdom, but nonetheless, his words changed my life. For me, writing has been a …

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Keep your Characters Consistent

Ensuring consistency is a big part of my work as an editor. As I work through a book I make sure there are no variations in how words are spelled: it should be either while or whilst, never both in the same text. The same with words like among/amongst, towards/toward, …

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Good Advice, Bad Advice: Writing through the “Shoulds”

How many posts can we read on writing advice? I’ve read hundreds, bought at least a dozen craft books, and, yet, I always come back for more. Why is that? I’m passionate about improving my craft, but also for me, it’s about inspiration. I’m always hoping to find a little …

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The Importance of a Private Writing Habit

Writing has become very public these days. We write on Twitter and Facebook, on blogs and in emails. We work hard to write well, be clever, capture attention, and because we’re good at writing, we’re often successful. It feels like writing, doesn’t it? That series of events,  write-post-garner attention-repeat, feels …

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Theft by Finding

I’m not the first to say it, but being a writer can sometimes be a peculiar profession. The things one Googles, for instance (it’s research, NSA!), and the thoughts that can creep into your head at the worst moments while you’re in the middle of living. Or worse, when others …

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All the King’s Editors: David Corbett

This is another installment in our periodic editing program here at Writer Unboxed. The piece I’ve chosen for this particular exercise shows some real talent in description, setting, pacing, and dialogue, and it was enjoyable to read. That said, it lacked dramatic focus, and too much of what was happening …

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The Definitive Packing List for Authors

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. Look at you, a writer on the go! Maybe you’re off to a convention for the weekend, or to a mountain …

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The Attention Economy: Shorter

Image – iStockphoto: Kristina Jovanovic Hemming in the Tension When I tweeted up the author Anne R. Allen for writing that “Word count guidelines have been trending down in the last decade,” I found our colleague Hugh Howey checking in from a galaxy far, far away to say, “Slaughterhouse Five, Frankenstein, …

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The Art and Craft of the Book Proposal

So–the publisher or agent you’ve written to has responded favorably to your query letter, and now asks to see a book proposal. Attention spans aren’t long at the submissions coalface and if you miss your moment, it may not come again. It’s important that your proposal is not only ready …

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