critique partners/groups

Could We Be a Good Editor?

March 4, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Last week I wrote about how to find a good editor, partly as a rant against the flood of bad editors out there. It seems like everyone and their brother—and their second cousin three-times-removed—thinks they can be a freelance editor. And if my inbox is any indication, the flood is only going to increase. Since […]

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Ask Jami: Where to Find Beta Readers

January 16, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Almost two years ago, I posted advice for how to find beta readers. In the time since then, many people have asked me where they can find beta readers. I’d love to be able to offer a mega-list of resources for finding beta readers, and maybe this post can be the first step. As I mentioned […]

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How to Make Characters Vulnerable to Readers

November 7, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Most tips for creating sympathetic characters point out that our characters need flaws. And that’s very true. But it can be a real trick to show flaws for characters who bottle up their emotions in an attempt to hide their weaknesses. While very common, that defense mechanism can leave very little for us, as authors, […]

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Writing Rule #1: There Is No “One Right Way”

August 29, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Every once in a while, I come across a blog post or a workshop description that makes me want to warn newbie writers away. The problem usually lies with the author/presenter’s insistence that their way is the best way, or in some cases, the only way. The truth is that we all have to find what works best for […]

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5 1/2 Steps for Making Feedback Work for Us

July 18, 2013 Writing Stuff
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We’re in the dog days of summer here in the U.S., so this is a great time for me to update one of my older posts. Actually, there’s never a bad time to talk about beta reading and critiquing. *smile* If we want to improve our work, we first need to have beta readers, critique partners, […]

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3rd Annual Blogiversary Contest — Prize: Me! Wait…er, What?

June 27, 2013 News
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It’s that time of year again. My three-year blogiversary is coming up on July 12th.  And I’m once again amazed by the fact that I’ve been writing this blog for three years. How can something feel like yesterday and forever at the same time? Mostly, I’m amazed that I found that much to blog about, […]

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Ask Jami: Can This Story Be Saved?

June 4, 2013 Writing Stuff
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I do a lot of beta reading for friends, and sometimes they come to me with a question along the lines of: “I’ve really struggled with x aspect of this story, and I’m wondering if I should just abandon it. Can you take a look and see if this story can be saved?” Here’s a hint […]

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Four Tips for Beta Reading in Other Genres

May 21, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Recently, a good friend of mine asked for my help in identifying the issues with her story. She’d struggled with it on and off for years and was wondering if she should just chuck the whole thing. I offered to take a look at it, even though her story’s genre isn’t one I know well. […]

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Three Tips for Being a Better Beta Reader

April 4, 2013 Writing Stuff
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The Golden Rule of “treat others how you’d like to be treated” applies to most aspects of our lives—including our author life. One of the best things we can do to find beta readers for our work (at least among our network of author friends) is to offer to beta read for others. Inside the beta […]

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How Should We Deal with Conflicting Advice?

February 26, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Did you hear? History was made this past weekend. And no, I’m not speaking in hyperbole. *smile* Imagine a writers’ conference with high-quality speakers, matching those found at national conferences. Imagine being able to attend for a fraction of the cost of other national writers’ conferences and with no travel costs. Imagine being able to […]

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