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How Do Story Beats Work in Our Genre?

Writers Helping Writers: Deepen Your Craft with Resident Writing Coach Jami Gold

It’s time for another post as a Resident Writing Coach over at Writers Helping Writers, and this time we’re talking about how to take the major beats of a beat sheet and apply them to our story’s genre.

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September 12, 2017

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Story Tropes: What’s the Subtext?

Book open to a blurry page with text: The Subtext of Tropes: What's the Hidden Message?

A story’s meaning and hidden messages often lurk in the subtext. Subtext flows throughout our plots, characters, themes, genres…and story tropes. Depending on how we use and twist story tropes, we might create very different messages for readers.

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August 1, 2017

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Story Tropes: Lazy or Helpful?

Note on top of rose petals with text: Can Story Tropes Be Good?

Every genre and medium of storytelling uses tropes, and they often have a bad reputation—for good reason. All too frequently, they can indicate lazy storytelling or worldbuilding. But they don’t have to be a bad thing.

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July 27, 2017

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When Readers Don’t Believe Our Writing

Monopoly money with text: When Readers Don't Believe in Our Story...

One of the many reasons we need feedback is to help us fill in the blanks for things we can’t see or for understanding how others might interpret our words. But what happens when readers see our words and understand our intention, but they don’t believe what we’re telling them?

May 16, 2017

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Release News! How Do You Celebrate?

Wine corks spilling out of wine glass with text: Do You Take Time to Celebrate?

Yesterday marked the release of my fifth book, Stone-Cold Heart. Even though I didn’t do anything special, that was a mistake. We should take the time to celebrate our victories, no matter what they are or where we find them.

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May 11, 2017

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Genre Reading: Is “Escapism” a Bad Thing?

Barrel-of-monkey toys linked inside jar to the top edge with text: Can Readers Escape with a Story?

Certain types of reading are sometimes valued more than others. One descriptive term that’s often used as a put-down for genre stories is escapism, but is romance or any other genre story really “escapism”? What does that mean? Is escapism a “bad” thing, and if so, why?

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April 18, 2017

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Story Immersion: What Pulls You In?

Woman's legs sticking above water surface mid-dive with text: Becoming Immersed in a Story

When I first joined Goodreads, their account form asked me: “What Kind of Books Do You Like to Read?” My answer to that question helped me realize that I love becoming immersed in a story, the sense that we’re not just reading words on a page. But what creates story immersion?

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March 2, 2017

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Are There Story Elements You Avoid Writing?

Red handprint covered with "NOPE!" and text: What Do You Avoid Writing About?

The stories we write are affected by our worldview, but that’s not the only thing that might make us avoid writing about certain elements. By looking at the other reasons we might have, we can decide whether our avoidance makes sense or points out an opportunity to improve.

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February 23, 2017

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