Home / Tag Archives: fiction

Tag Archives: fiction

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 …

Read More »

On (Not) Defending Historical Fiction

Image by thecrypt I had the pleasure of attending this year’s National Book Festival in Washington, DC, and as a historical novelist, of course I gravitated to the sessions on historical fiction. Hundreds of audience members flocked to hear perspectives from Philippa Gregory and Margaret George in one session and …

Read More »

Foreign Language in Fiction

Please welcome author Ann Mah to Writer Unboxed today! Ann–who is based in Paris and Washington, D.C.–is the author of two novels, The Lost Vintage and Kitchen Chinese; a food memoir, Mastering the Art of French Eating; and a cookbook, Instantly French. She contributes regularly to the New York Times …

Read More »

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time in Fall 2019

Since my last contest roundup, I’m ecstatic to share that I was awarded 2nd place in Glimmer Train’s final Family Matters contest. I’ve featured their contests here many times before. How about you, fellow submitter? What victories do you have to share? Who are you excited to hear back from …

Read More »

The Values of Good Fiction

Flickr Creative Commons: John Dyer Many years ago, the magazine I worked for decided to do a special issue on “Values,” and we chose a handful of key values and interviewed people who exemplified those values. Chris Fields, the firefighter who tenderly carried the baby killed in the Oklahoma City …

Read More »

Women’s Fiction Day

Once upon a time, circa 2005 to be exact, an agent suggested that the story I had written wanted to be women’s fiction. I had no real idea what ‘women’s fiction’ meant, and so I set out to learn—and ran into some significant silence. Few articles existed about women’s fiction …

Read More »

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time in Summer 2019

This contest submissions season covers deadlines from June 1, 2019 through September 1, 2019. Summer is a slower time for any literary journal or contest associated with a university, but there are still opportunities between beach waves and new drafts. Thanks to Literistic, Poets & Writers, Submittable Discover, and New …

Read More »

History Wasn’t White. Why Should Historical Fiction Be?

Painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle (l) and her cousin Elizabeth Murray (r), circa 1778 I start this call to action with a confession. I began writing my first historical novel, The Magician’s Lie, around 2009. After multiple rewrites, working with my agent and an outside editor, we finally sold the …

Read More »

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time in Spring 2019

This submissions season covers deadlines from March 1, 2019 through May 31, 2019. How was the start of your writing year? Deep into drafts and submissions or still working up to your first? Here’s another invigorating round of opportunities. Thanks to Literistic, Poets & Writers, Submittable Discover, and New Pages …

Read More »

Fiction Therapy—What’s Your Story’s Problem?

Every month, I examine some aspect of fiction—character development, plot, story structure, etc.—and offer advice and tips to help you work through the problems in your novel. I have adapted many of the concepts you’ll see here from proven techniques used in modern psychotherapy. Hence: Fiction Therapy. If you have …

Read More »