plotter vs. pantser

Writing Truth: We’re Making It Up as We Go

March 29, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Last Friday, Angela Quarles’s book Must Love Chainmail was named a finalist in RWA’s RITA award, and my writing bestie’s success reminded me of an important lesson for all of us. The road to success can look an awful lot like chaos. *smile*

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Using Ebooks to Understand Story Structure

February 11, 2016 Writing Stuff
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If we’ve ever had a friend ramble or go off on tangents when describing a movie, we understand how story structure can help make stories more enjoyable. In other words, good story structure is an important element of good storytelling. Here’s how we can learn to analyze the structure of stories…

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Does Our Personality Affect Our Writing Process?

December 17, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Whether we put any stock into tests like Myers-Briggs, they’re interesting for providing insights into our strengths and weaknesses. Once we understand our traits, we can decide whether we wish to fight to improve, find a way around them, or embrace them as part of our process.

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Ask Jami: Why Isn’t There One Right Way to Write?

December 15, 2015 Writing Stuff
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When we’re young, the world feels like it’s made up of wrong answers and right answers. Not surprisingly, writing is one of those areas of our life where “one right way” doesn’t apply, and there are several reasons why there’s no definitive “right” way to write a book.

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Discovering Our Writing Processes

December 10, 2015 Writing Stuff
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We’ve probably all seen us vs. them attitudes for many aspects of writing, implying that there’s only one right process. However, just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, and in the end, there’s only one thing that matters.

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Writing Tools: Killer Resources for Drafting Our Story — Guest: Angela Ackerman

October 13, 2015 Writing Stuff
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I started visiting the original The Bookshelf Muse website by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi soon after they started it, and it’s been fantastic to see their vision grow. So I’m thrilled to welcome Angela here today, as she’s going to share writing-related goodies with us.

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Developing Our Story: From Beat Sheet to Scene List

October 8, 2015 Writing Stuff
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My regular readers know that I’m a pantser, but I’m naturally a planner/plotter in the rest of my life. So when a reader asked me how to build a scene list from a beat sheet, I didn’t shudder and scream in horror. Instead for my plotter-loving friends and readers, I figured I’d put together a real answer.

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Need Help Understanding Story Structure?

September 1, 2015 News
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Some authors are able to write coherent stories while drafting. Others put together words willy-nilly and end up with a story that doesn’t hold together. And still others plot but are just writing their chaos down in advance. For all, a strong sense of story structure would help them during planning, drafting, and/or revisions.

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Blogiversary Winners & Writing Flexibility

July 14, 2015 News
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Some writers can find themselves paralyzed by the thought of needing to get their first draft “right.” That’s crazy-making, however. A draft—a first draft especially—is a tool to help us discover the story we want to tell, the characters we want to meet, and the themes we want to explore. That’s it.

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Romance Writers: New Scrivener Template!

June 11, 2015 Writing Stuff
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One of my most popular posts is for my Romance Beat Sheet, but one of my readers asked if I could create a Scrivener template to go along with the Romance Beat Sheet. Yes! If you’re a romance author and use Scrivener for drafting your stories, today’s post is for you.

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