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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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Hiring a Developmental Editor — Guest: Stacy Jerger

March 20, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Those of us who haven’t been through the editing process with professionals don’t know what to expect. In the case of developmental editing, we might not even know what editors do. That’s not good. We need to understand what’s involved with the different stages of editing to judge whether an editor is right for us and will meet our needs.

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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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Taking Risks: You Have to Play the Game to Win

February 13, 2014 Random Musings
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Last night, WANA International‘s online writing conference hosted Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA for a free workshop offered as part of the run up to next weekend’s WANACon (February 21 and 22, 2014). Gabriela presented at last fall’s WANACon, and her popular sessions earned her a return invitation with two new workshops at WANACon 3.0 […]

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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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What Does “Happily Ever After” Mean to You?

December 26, 2013 Random Musings
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How were your holidays? Was Santa good to you? I’m still mostly offline, enjoying quality time with my family, so I’m rerunning this post from several years ago. My Christmas couldn’t have been any better, and I hope yours was everything you hoped for too. Of course, whether or not we’re disappointed often depends on what […]

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Fix 4 Common Writing Problems with “The Emotion Thesaurus”

December 10, 2013 Writing Stuff
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A couple of weeks ago, Becca Puglisi, one of the co-authors of the fantastic Thesaurus books, shared her tips for using the new The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus books. Her advice can help us develop our characters at all stages of planning, drafting, and editing. But the comments of that post pointed […]

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The Pros and Cons of Writing Contests

November 14, 2013 Writing Stuff
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The other week, my friend Janice Hardy emailed me for insight into a question one of her blog readers had about writing contests. She wanted to turn the question into a blog post on the pros and cons of writing contests and thought I might have something to say about the topic. She was right. I […]

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Handling Readers: Expectations and Disappointments

November 12, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Most of us suffer from self-doubt in some way. Those of us doing NaNoWriMo might have reached a point in our story where events aren’t playing out as cool as they seemed in our head. Or maybe NaNo’s going great, but we’re not sure we can keep up the quality. In our blogs, we worry […]

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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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