plotter vs. pantser

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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How to Organize Our Writing Research & Notes — Guest: Jenny Hansen

March 27, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Today’s post continues the “secret weapon” theme from Tuesday’s post, but this time we’re going to talk about issues related to our writing. And this time, the secret weapon is Microsoft’s OneNote. Researching character or location pictures? Use OneNote. Want to capture the most useful tips on a blog post? Use OneNote. Want to remember […]

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Websites, Beat Sheets, and Lost Pants—Oh My!

March 11, 2014 News
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I’ve been there, struggling in the same way we all do. My life is a constant balancing act between family and all my (many) various work projects. Between that common understanding and my epic, mini-ebook-length workshop handouts, my workshops are popular.

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How to Make Turning Points Drive Arcs and Themes

February 11, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Last week, we looked at turning points from the perspective of beat sheets—how to identify them and ensure they’re changing the direction of the story enough to deserve their name. But turning points affect the story in other ways too. Turning points aren’t just about plot twists. (In fact, plot twists come with a warning.) […]

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What Makes a Story Event a “Turning Point”?

February 4, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Between questions on Facebook and some of my editing clients, I’ve had several conversations lately about story turning points: what they are, what they mean, and how to recognize them. As writers, we all need to understand turning points. If we plot or plan our story in advance, we need ideas for the turning points […]

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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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Why Story Structure Matters

January 2, 2014 Writing Stuff
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It’s no secret that I’m a proud pantser (writing by the seat of my pants), and yet I’m a firm believer in story structure. My writing worksheets for story and scene construction make that latter point abundantly clear. But I haven’t discussed before why story structure is so important. Recently, a couple of situations reminded me […]

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Ask Jami: Can We Use Beat Sheets with Scrivener?

December 17, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Do you use the Scrivener program for your writing? Many writers do, especially as Scrivener sponsors NaNoWriMo and offers a discount to participants. I started using Scrivener for my NaNo drafting last year and was able to buy the program at half-off because of my NaNo win. Woo hoo! Many writers like Scrivener (Windows and Mac) for […]

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NaNo Wrap-Up: Beat Sheets 101

December 3, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Now is the time of year when thousands of writers look at their NaNoWriMo story and think: Yay! Okay, now what? (Or if you’re like me, you’re still drafting the denouement for the final scene, but I’m close to finishing. *smile*) Whether we wrote by the seat of our pants or had an outline, there are […]

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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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