emotional heart

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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Story Themes: What’s Your Worldview?

April 1, 2014 Writing Stuff
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We often struggle with identifying a story’s theme, and when it comes to including themes in our own stories, we might be at a loss for how to do so. This past weekend, a writing workshop for preteens included lessons on how to write with themes. The processes the kids went through to discover how to incorporate themes in their stories might help us too.

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Branding 101: Do You Have a Tagline?

December 31, 2013 Writing Stuff
Burlap canvas with an overlay of text,

Even though I’m not a big fan of Facebook, I’ve been spending more time there lately. A major reason for that is I’ve discovered some fantastically helpful FB groups. One of the best is Facebook the WANA Way, started by Facebook guru Lisa Hall-Wilson. Lisa’s been a guest here before, comparing Facebook’s Profiles and Pages, […]

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Book Series: Should We Include a Teaser Excerpt?

August 1, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Yesterday, Kristen Lamb ran an encore of one of my posts from last year on her blog. We both liked that post because it discusses the importance of leaving the reader room to use their imagination. In the post, I made an aside about the danger of including a teaser excerpt for the next book in […]

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Why Is Storytelling Ability So Important?

April 30, 2013 Writing Stuff
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What makes some poorly written books fall flat on their face while others succeed despite their flaws? One common answer is “storytelling ability.” But what is storytelling? The concept can seem vague and immeasurable—rather like “voice.” A recent experience with two poorly written books gave me insight into how a deeply flawed story can still […]

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Can Story Themes Help Pantsers Write?

February 19, 2013 Writing Stuff
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My favorite blogger, Janice Hardy, had another great post last week. This time she talked about how writers can develop their theme. She shared three tips for understanding how themes work in our stories. One of her tips struck me—a confirmed pantser—as a great way to keep our pantsed stories on track. When we draft […]

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Life Lessons from the “Epic Road Trip”

November 8, 2012 Random Musings
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Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have heard that my family and I took a two-week road trip a couple of months ago. And yes, it was “epic.” We traveled over 2100 miles on our way to visit four National Parks, two National Monuments, and one Tribal Park. Er, yeah. I had […]

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NaNo Prep: Using Music to Get into a Writing Mood

October 23, 2012 Writing Stuff
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Last time, we shared suggestions on how to kick our muse into gear. One of my favorite techniques is using music. With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—challenge yourself to write 50K words during November) fast approaching, now is the perfect time to revisit all the ways music can help our writing. On a day-to-day basis, music—er, […]

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3 Tips for Writing Heavy Emotional Scenes

June 26, 2012 Writing Stuff
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Yesterday, I tweeted a link to a great post by Sally Apokedak about not cheating the reader by skipping emotional scenes. Some writers struggle with heavy scenes. They’re uncomfortable with “invading” the privacy of their characters. They worry about creating laughably cheesy scenes. Or they think a scene that’s essential to the emotional journey is […]

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How to Make the Most of a Scene

June 7, 2012 Writing Stuff
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This post originally ran several months ago at the Girls With Pens blog.  It’s one of my favorites because I’m always looking for checklists to make sure I’m not missing anything while editing and revising.  I hope you find it useful. Whether we plot our stories ahead of time or write by the seat of our […]

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