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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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Ask Jami: Writing Advice Podcast

November 21, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Yesterday, Brigid Ashwood interviewed me for her weekly Art Share podcast. On Art Share, Brigid speaks with authors and other creative artists about all aspects of the creative arts—from processes to business matters. She broadcasts live as a Google+ Hangouts On Air, which is then posted as a YouTube video so viewers can also catch up […]

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Does Fast Drafting Create Editing Nightmares?

October 17, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Last week, we discussed how we can plan our story and avoid writing a “hot mess.” With NaNoWriMo almost upon us, now is the time to think about basic planning for plot and character arcs so we end up with a coherent story. But what about the writing quality itself? NaNo writing—where we have the pressure […]

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5 Tips for Getting Unstuck in Our Story

August 27, 2013 Writing Stuff
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A couple of weeks ago, I was stuck in my latest work-in-progress (WIP). One scene wasn’t progressing because I couldn’t figure out why my character was doing what he was doing. I just knew that he was doing it, even though he knew the action was a Bad Idea (TM). Why, character, why? Some writers might […]

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Do Beat Sheets Lead to Formulaic Writing?

July 23, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Last week, Slate.com ran an article about how Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat book is ruining movies. According to that post’s author, “Snyder’s beat sheet has taken over Hollywood screenwriting. … Intentionally or not, it’s become a formula—a formula that threatens the world of original screenwriting as we know it.” I’ve run enough posts here about […]

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A Pantser’s Guide to Beat Sheets

July 9, 2013 Writing Stuff
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I’ve mentioned many times that I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve also expressed my love of beat sheets—by creating several of them. I have beat sheets that focus on plot points, another focused on character arcs, and yet another focused on romance arcs. Wait, someone who writes by the seat of her […]

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Stuck in Your Book? Try a Brainstorming Warm-up

June 25, 2013 Writing Stuff
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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve started drafting a new story. The first week, my word counts were rather lame, but this past week has been going much better. Each day finds me getting into my writing groove more easily. I joked to my family that I’d apparently needed to get my […]

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Writers: What Would the Government Uncover?

June 20, 2013 Random Musings
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Writers have a long history of joking about what government agencies would find if they investigated us. We’re known for researching the bizarre and the suspicious in the pursuit of accuracy for our books. Recent news about the PRISM program and others like it across the globe have made this long-running joke more real than before. […]

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Does Drafting Terrify or Energize You?

June 11, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Last week I started a new work-in-progress (WIP). Yay! I love drafting but I know others don’t. Some people call the first draft a “discovery draft,” and that description certainly holds true for me. My first drafts are all about discovering the story. Literally. I’m a reformed plotter and now write mostly by the seat […]

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Dread Writing Sexy Scenes? 5 Tips for Success

March 12, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Whatever genre we write, we often have to write scenes that make us uncomfortable. High on that discomfort scale for many authors are romantic scenes between characters. Whether we write romance or another genre with love interests, or whether the characters merely kiss or have sex with the door open to the reader, many of […]

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