plotter vs. pantser

What Creates a Story’s Theme?

December 18, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for What Creates a Story’s Theme?

Many stories that stick with us over time resonate with some aspect of our life, belief, or worldview. Often, the theme of the story creates that resonance. If we understand what creates a story’s theme, we might be able to improve the resonance of our stories.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Plotting Tip: One Simple Step to Ensure Our Story Works

December 9, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Plotting Tip: One Simple Step to Ensure Our Story Works

Either plot events affect the character and the story, or they don’t. One style is common in storytelling, and one might sink our writing. If we understand the difference, we can learn what to look out for and know how to fix any problems.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Ask Jami: Whose Point of View Should We Use?

October 23, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Ask Jami: Whose Point of View Should We Use?

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?”

Pin It
Click here to read more

NaNo Prep: Are You Ready to Start Drafting?

October 16, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for NaNo Prep: Are You Ready to Start Drafting?

It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo, when thousands of writers will try to cram 50,000 words into a 30-day deadline. If you’re doing NaNo and anything like me, you might be freaking out a little as November nears. Although this is my third year with NaNo, this will be my first time doing it “for really-real.”

Pin It
Click here to read more

Are You an Expert? How Writing Changes Our Brain

August 19, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Are You an Expert? How Writing Changes Our Brain

Recently, an interesting article discussed research on the brains of writers. One important finding seemed to match research in other areas, namely that experienced people think differently from those just learning the ropes. Being an expert isn’t just about knowing more.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Building a Character Arc: Start at the End

July 17, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Building a Character Arc: Start at the End

As I mentioned with the worksheet I shared last week, it’s often easier to work backward when we’re framing our story. At the very least, knowing the ending often makes it easier to see our character’s arc.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Blogiversary Winners & a New Worksheet!

July 10, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Blogiversary Winners & a New Worksheet!

I can’t make everyone a winner in my Blogiversary contest, but I can give everyone a gift by releasing a new worksheet. Yay! A couple of my readers asked me to take a look a John Truby’s work and see if I could come up with a worksheet based on his teachings.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Writer’s Block? Use a Random Generator

June 10, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Writer’s Block? Use a Random Generator

I’ll probably jinx myself by saying this, but I have more than enough story ideas to keep me busy writing for the rest of my natural life and I haven’t yet suffered from writer’s block. But I know others do struggle and come up blank. My “seat of my pants” writing style means that I rely on […]

Pin It
Click here to read more

What Drives You to Write?

May 22, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for What Drives You to Write?

Writing can be a difficult career. Writers can be lonely, plagued by self-doubt, faced with rejections that feel personal and judgmental, and expected to be good at everything (creative and a sales/marketing person!). Yet we do it anyway. We must have our reasons…beyond sheer insanity, I mean.

Pin It
Click here to read more

How Can We Show a Character’s Internal Journey?

May 15, 2014 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for How Can We Show a Character’s Internal Journey?

I’m a big fan of Michael Hauge’s approach to characters. His insights helped me figure out how to match a character’s internal journey to the external plot. This is often tricky, though, so let’s go deeper into how characters change.

Pin It
Click here to read more