Jami’s rants

One Step to Better Writing and More Diversity

June 5, 2014 Writing Stuff
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The push for diversity isn’t about valuing diversity over storytelling. Or about meeting a quota. Or making a statement. This is about being a better writer.

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The Danger of Political Correctness for Diverse Books

June 3, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Diverse books are important—not simply for the sake of diversity—but so that by sheer number of representations, any one type of character isn’t limited to a stereotype. The truth is that we are all diverse. No one stereotypical character will ever represent us, no matter our color, nationality, or background.

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The Value of “Crap” Jobs

May 29, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Endless advice exists telling us “life is a journey; enjoy the ride” and “happiness comes from within.” On some level, we’ve probably heard that advice so much that we dismiss what it really means.
But that advice is true and valid. Life is what we make of it.

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Is “Do What You Love” Good Advice?

May 27, 2014 Random Musings
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Life is filled with work that needs to be done whether someone loves to do it or not. I’ll be the first to admit that I write because I love it. But the problem with thinking that we should do what we love and love what we do—as a career—is many layered.

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Can Genre Fiction Be “Art”?

April 17, 2014 Writing Stuff
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We have a hard time defining literary fiction. Society gives us assumptions on the relative value of genre vs. literary fiction, but those assumptions miss the point. Assigning value judgments to the labels “literary” and “genre” doesn’t make sense because preferences are subjective opinions and there’s no “better” or “worse.”

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Literary vs. Genre Fiction: Which Do You Prefer?

April 15, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Reading is subjective. The stories some of us hate, others love. Personally, I have no interest in non-genre stories. This is not a sign of my inability to think deeply, but rather a personal preference. Mary Buckham’s ideas about the differences between literary and commercial fiction made me wonder about this preference.

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Rediscovering Our Love of Reading

April 10, 2014 Random Musings
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Too many kids who were voracious readers earlier in their life learn to hate reading during their teenage years. According to a post on Writer Unboxed, one third of high school graduates won’t read another book—for the rest of their lives. For too many, reading becomes a means to an end. Absorbing knowledge. Period. And reading for pleasure now seems like a faraway dream.

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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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How Can We Identify a Good Editor?

February 27, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Back at the start of the ebook revolution, self-publishing was still a “no-no” and only a handful of small and e-publishers existed for my genre. Since then, our choices for publication have exploded, from self-publishing becoming accepted to dozens of small and e-publishers hopping on the ebook train. Before, we used to deal with whatever […]

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In Defense of Pantsing

January 30, 2014 Writing Stuff
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When it comes to writing, there’s no “one right way.” We use different methods, take different paths, and have different goals. The same goes for our approach to drafting a story. Some plot their stories in advance, while others write by the seat of their pants (known as pantsing or pantsers). Unlike many, I never […]

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