Ask Jami

Tangents and Subplots: When Do They Work?

August 25, 2015 Writing Stuff
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My Elements of a Scene Checklist helps us identify whether a scene is truly necessary and contributing to our story by making sure it fulfills a story purpose. The same judgment criteria can apply to subplots as well. Let’s take a look at how can we make sure our tangents and subplots are adding to the story and not acting as a distraction.

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Save Money by Designing Your Own Promo

June 18, 2015 Writing Stuff
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While I paid for a cover designer for my books, I created the bookmarks myself to save money. Several people asked me how I made them complement the cover so well, and since saving money is always a good thing, I figured I should post about the topic.

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Romance Writers: New Scrivener Template!

June 11, 2015 Writing Stuff
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One of my most popular posts is for my Romance Beat Sheet, but one of my readers asked if I could create a Scrivener template to go along with the Romance Beat Sheet. Yes! If you’re a romance author and use Scrivener for drafting your stories, today’s post is for you.

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Point of View: What Does Your Character Know?

June 4, 2015 Writing Stuff
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When it comes to learning about point of view and how to avoid issues like head-hopping, it doesn’t help that half the information out there is confusing and contradictory. Let’s take a closer look at how we can find and fix these issues.

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Ask Jami: Can We Use Beat Sheets with Multiple POVs?

April 7, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Stories with multiple major characters—with their own point-of-view (POV) scenes—can make story structure complicated. Do we have to make beat sheets for each character? As a romance author, I write with multiple POVs all the time, so let’s see if we can figure out how to make beat sheets work in those situations.

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Should Our Protagonist Be in the First Scene?

February 17, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Most stories open with the protagonist on page one, but every once in a while, our story seems to work best if we start with another character. If we understand why the protagonist usually works best as the point-of-view character for the first page, we might be able to remake those exceptions into stronger openings.

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Balancing Conflict in Romance Stories

January 22, 2015 Writing Stuff
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One of my commenters asked a great question last week that gets to the heart of the balancing game we have to play when writing romance. The characters have to be perfect enough for each other to make a believable couple, but there also has to be enough conflict between them to sustain a story.

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Ask Jami: How Can We Make a Story Believable?

December 11, 2014 Writing Stuff
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As soon as immersion is broken for a reader, their suspension of disbelief is at risk, so we don’t want unbelievable aspects of our story to kick readers out of the story midway. When it comes to believability, issues could crop up within the plot, characters, or worldbuilding, and we have to find the right balance within each of those areas.

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Ask Jami: How Do We Describe Characters?

October 28, 2014 Writing Stuff
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How we describe characters often depends on our story’s genre and what impression we want readers to have. When we’ve talked about descriptions here before, we focused on how it’s important to describe our settings enough to anchor our readers. Do we have to describe our characters to the same extent?

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Ask Jami: Whose Point of View Should We Use?

October 23, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Today’s Question: “How does one figure out which POVs to use and when? … How can I balance it out so that each character has their share of the novel without revealing too much or ruining the suspense?”

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