To outline, or not to outline – by Dean Lappi

Author Dean Lappi

To outline, or not to outline, that is the question

When I’ve been interviewed, one of the common questions I get is – what type of writer am I? When starting a new book, do I plan it out with a full outline or do I just let it flow to see where the story takes me.

I think most writers fall into one of these two categories. For my first novel, I definitely was the second type. I came up with the basic idea of my fantasy novel Black Numbers, which was – what if magic was created through advanced mathematics instead of spells? I started writing and the book came to life as I wrote each chapter. I just seemed to be along for the ride. Continue reading “To outline, or not to outline – by Dean Lappi”

I Get By With a Little Help From My …

You’re up at 5:30 in the morning. The glow from your cave-like writing space provides a small level of companionship—that, and the voices in your head. If you’re like me, getting up early is not fun. There’s something wrong about being up before the sun. It doesn’t matter though, because you’ve found your passion and this is the only time you have to write. After pounding out a quick 1,000 words, you shift gears and get the kids ready for school or pack up and head to the office for your “real” job.

It’s a scenario that thousands, if not millions, of writers struggle through each day. How do you balance the dream of writing and publishing with the reality of putting food on the table?

We here at Indies Unlimited believe that self-publishing is the way to go. That being said, it’s still good to review what happens on the other side. A recent Author’s Guild Survey reported that the average author earns about $10,000 per year. If you break it down into categories; First time authors make between $4,000 and $10,000 per year, midlist authors range between $20,000 and $40,000 a year and the A-list can make between $60,000 to $100,000 per year. This is not taking into consideration the outliers like a Stephen Hise King or J.K. Rowling. Continue reading “I Get By With a Little Help From My …”

Indies Unlimited Adds Laurie Boris to the Team!

Author Laurie Boris

We are very pleased to announce that Indies Unlimited has added the multi-talented  Laurie Boris to the staff. She is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer with a long history of ignoring housework and pots on the stove to sneak in “just a few more pages” of her novels. She has had her short fiction published in small magazines and on the Web. Her first novel, The Joke’s on Me, was published through small press 4RV Publishing, LLC in 2011. Her second, Drawing Breath, will be self-published soon. A genre-bender and a lover of the character-driven story, Laurie plans to continue writing more tragicomic sagas, some darker than others. I expect she’ll draw plenty of inspiration from her experience here.

When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, reading, and helping aspiring novelists. She lives in New York’s lovely Hudson Valley with her very patient husband, Paul Blumstein, a commercial illustrator.

Learn more about Laurie at

Please welcome Laurie to the all-star staff of Indies Unlimited.


W.E. Competition Week 8: Fire on the Mountain

Photograph by K.S. Brooks

Where there is smoke, there is fire. That usually portends disaster—but not today. Your character is heartened by the sight of the smoke he sees through the mountain gap. Who is he, what is he doing and why should the sight of the fire be good news?

In 250 words or less, tell me a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced. Continue reading “W.E. Competition Week 8: Fire on the Mountain”