Conflict & Chemistry: A July 2020 Scribbler Unboxing! (Spoilers!)

Posted September 1, 2020 by Amber in Bookish Things, Unboxings / 0 Comments

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Good morning everyone!

It’s been a little while since I’ve done an unboxing, but Scribbler incited me with the promise of three books.  Who can say no to a book box that you know you generally like… that is claiming to have three books!?  I have a weakness for multiple books.

For those unfamiliar, Scribbler is a book box for writers.  The books included in this box are always chosen around a particular theme and intended to give the subscriber an example of a very successful execution of that theme.  Plus, usually, when there are extra books, it’s usually because they are craft books, which, yay?  Who doesn’t love craft books?

This month’s box had the theme of “Conflict”… but SURPRISE!  One of the extra books included a second passport, this one for “Chemistry”.  Goodness knows both of these are important driving factors in character development, so these are both good things to have.

Just to get the legal stuff out of the way – I am not a rep for Scribbler, nor am I compensated in any way for writing this unboxing.  I am a paying on-again-off-again subscriber to this box and share these unboxing to grow awareness of this subscription and its offerings in order to offer potential subscribers the opportunity to judge the quality of the contents for themselves.

     

One of the things I really enjoy about Scribbler over the other book boxes – aside from it’s uniqueness – is its lack of “stuff”.  Last week on the blog, I spoke a little about book swag and how book subscriptions left me with so much “stuff” I didn’t love and didn’t know what to do with.  That’s never been the case with Scribbler.  In one of every three boxes, there may be an item I either don’t like or don’t know what to do with, but never both, and it’s super rare.  This box excels at useful things, and I appreciate that.

As this month’s box was book-heavy, it was pretty swag-light, and that’s fine with me!  There were two items, pictured above.  First, a “The Write Stuff” iron-on patch which I actually quite like… but I never know what to do with patches?  I’m keeping it until I think of something, along with the Care of Magical Creatures patch from my Ink and Wonder unboxing last year.

Second is this fabulous character planning notepad.  It’s very simple and direct and I really, really like it.  You better believe I’m going to start using this for my characters.  This is really about motivation and reaction.  If Scribbler made one to fill out physical traits, that would be it.  All I needed for character work forever.  Freaking fabulous.

 

Standard information items included in Scribbler’s boxes are their “Inside Look” booklets and their live chats with professionals in the publishing business.  The “Inside Look” pamphlets always interest me, but I only attended one Live Chat before… but you know what, I noticed something this time:  they’re recorded!  I think the first live chat I joined was for the very first box because I was lucky and the time lined up for me.  But now that I can go back and visit any time I like, I’m really interested in this unique and informational offering.  July’s is a chat with literary agent Erica Silverman.

This month’s “Inside Look” pamphlet has my name all over it.  That is to say, in July, Scribbler is looking at pitches.  Book pitches are the bane of my existence and one of the things that make me shy away from publishing the most.  Brevity is not my strong point.  I’m really interested to look inside at Andrew Mayne’s original pitches and process and to try and learn from them.

 

Scribbler’s writing passports are another stable of this box, and you’re promised to find at least one in every box.  I love these passports.  I think they’re so informational and again, it’s really nice to have an inside look at advice from a single topic from the craft, written by someone who excels at that particular thing.

This month we have two essays – one on writing conflict, and the other on writing chemistry.  Okay, while I came here for the conflict passport, I can’t deny that I need to learn more about writing chemistry.  Particularly in my contemporary WIPs, I’m learning that my characters are stiff and hard to connect to – chemistry is a need so looking forward to digging into these.

 

As I mentioned at the beginning, July’s Scribbler included two bonus books.  And, yay!  Who doesn’t like bonus books?  Usually, these are specifically books on the craft, like The Cure for Writer’s Block, which was written by the same person as the main book in this box.  This is a pretty traditional bonus book inclusion for this box, and since it’s a writing-focused book box, getting bonus writing-focused books is always useful.

As an extra bonus in this box and in direct relation to the chemistry passport, we also received a copy of The Rogue King.  And I gotta be honest here, my initial reaction to pulling this book out of the box was OH NO.  This is clearly a paranormal romance, which is a genre that is SOLIDLY not for me.  I liked it okay-ish in high school, but since I have grown into a grumpy, jaded human and gotten over it.  I will add this to my TBR and see what good steamy dragon lycanthropes have in store… I… guess? Eek.  Not my genre.

The main book in this month’s box is The Girl Beneath the Sea, also by Andrew Payne.  This is a thriller, so I’m significantly more likely to like this than The Rogue King, so, ah, deep breath of relief for me.  This is the one thing about Scribbler that I don’t like, and that is the fact the book choice is a little less of a comfortable safe place for me.  Thy push me out of my comfort zone, which is not bad… it just makes me nervous.

So, generally, I really like this box.  Unlike many other book boxes, Scribbler isn’t built for fans or promotion, but rather, to offer tools to the subscribers to improve their craft, and I think Scribbler accomplishes that goal.

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What do you think about the Scribbler box?  Do you think this is a useful book box for writers?  Let me know what you think about the material in this box in the comments!

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