Ask Jami

Help! What If I Can’t Find Beta Readers?

January 17, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Every writer struggles to get their thoughts on the page and make their ideas make sense to others. The typical advice for how to resolve that issue is to use beta readers, but what if we can’t find beta readers? What can we do?

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Writing Coaches: What Are They and Do We Need One?

December 27, 2016 Writing Stuff
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A question over at my guest post at Writers Helping Writers asked what a writing coach was, but there’s no definitive answer. On some level, a coach is anyone who gives advice, so before asking ourselves if we need or want a writing coach, we’d first have to dig into what we mean by the term.

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Pros & Cons: Referencing the Real World in Our Story

September 6, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Should we refer to the real world in our fictional story? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons and why we might want to include those references, as well as why we might not.

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When Is a Shocking Scene Necessary…or Gratuitous?

August 2, 2016 Writing Stuff
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As authors, we need to be careful when dealing with shocking, horrifying, or potentially problematic story elements. Let’s explore the steps we can go through to figure out the right approach for our genre, story, and characters.

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Blogiversary Winners & a Bonus Contest!

July 12, 2016 News
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Are you one of my Blogiversary winners? If not, never fear—there’s a bonus contest!

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Writing Building Blocks: Paragraph Breaks & Voice

April 12, 2016 Writing Stuff
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From school, we’re probably all familiar with using topic sentences to break ideas into paragraphs in non-fiction, but the rules are different for fiction. Choosing where to put paragraph breaks is one of the most voice-dependent decisions we can make as writers.

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Writer Sanity: Recognizing Takers & Setting Boundaries

January 12, 2016 Random Musings
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Last week, I challenged writers to think about how they’re giving back to the writing community because it needs our help to thrive. Yet no matter what I recommend, there will be takers infecting our community, so let’s learn how to recognize them for what they are.

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Writer Karma: Don’t Be a Taker

January 5, 2016 Random Musings
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Everyone who knows me and follows my blog knows I love to help others. Most people who contact me are appreciative, and I really am happy to help. But there are a few… *sigh*

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Ask Jami: Why Isn’t There One Right Way to Write?

December 15, 2015 Writing Stuff
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When we’re young, the world feels like it’s made up of wrong answers and right answers. Not surprisingly, writing is one of those areas of our life where “one right way” doesn’t apply, and there are several reasons why there’s no definitive “right” way to write a book.

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Developing Our Story: From Beat Sheet to Scene List

October 8, 2015 Writing Stuff
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My regular readers know that I’m a pantser, but I’m naturally a planner/plotter in the rest of my life. So when a reader asked me how to build a scene list from a beat sheet, I didn’t shudder and scream in horror. Instead for my plotter-loving friends and readers, I figured I’d put together a real answer.

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