romance novels

What Makes a Story’s Black Moment a Black Moment?

December 16, 2014 Writing Stuff
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The Black Moment is usually one of the most emotional sections of the story, so it can be difficult to pull together. If we read stories (or watch movies), we’ve seen this beat play out endless times, so we probably understand the plot point more than we may think. But let’s take a closer look and see if we can learn something new.

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The Pros and Cons of Switching Genres — Guest: Summerita Rhayne

November 6, 2014 Writing Stuff
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We often choose which story to focus on by writing the idea that pesters us the most. That “squeaky wheel” path might lead us to hop genres without meaning to, and our brand is often tied to our genre. So should we ignore that idea? Learn some of the pros and cons we should keep in mind if we consider following our muse’s lead.

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Ask Jami: How Do We Describe Characters?

October 28, 2014 Writing Stuff
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How we describe characters often depends on our story’s genre and what impression we want readers to have. When we’ve talked about descriptions here before, we focused on how it’s important to describe our settings enough to anchor our readers. Do we have to describe our characters to the same extent?

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Ask Jami: Whose Point of View Should We Use?

October 23, 2014 Writing Stuff
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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?”

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Ask Jami: How Many Characters Is “Too Many”?

October 21, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Kim wants to know if there’s an optimal number of characters to include in a novel. That’s a great question because we want to hit the balance between the claustrophobia of too few characters and the confusion of too many characters.

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Why No Advice Is Perfect: Character Emotions

September 30, 2014 Writing Stuff
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There’s never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ guideline for any aspect of writing. Every story is different, so some advice doesn’t apply to us. What’s right for one genre might not be right for another genre. Ditto for the point of view of the story. Or the characters. Or the plot.

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Banned Books? Or Freedom to Write and Read?

September 23, 2014 Random Musings
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This week is Banned Books Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association celebrating the freedom to read. Many have already blogged about the political aspects of this event, so I’m tackling this issue from a less serious perspective. Sort of. *smile*

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How to Create a DIY Book Trailer — Guest: Angela Quarles

September 9, 2014 Writing Stuff
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We’re all familiar with the concept of movie trailers, but book trailers are becoming more common too. Like a movie trailer, a book trailer is meant to increase interest in a story. Where queries and back-cover blurbs pitch a story in writing, book trailers pitch a story by showing. Literally. Some publishers of big name authors will […]

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The Character Debate: Strong and Vulnerable?

August 14, 2014 Writing Stuff
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If we want our protagonists to seem heroic, they need to have strong traits. Yet at the same time, if we want our protagonists to be relatable, they need have vulnerabilities. This is never an easy balance, especially when clichés fill our heads about what a “strong character” means.

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Favorite Stories: Reading vs. Writing

July 15, 2014 Random Musings
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The story elements I loved as a child still hold true for me today. The stories and genres I read now have grown up and matured, but the aspects that resonate with me haven’t changed.

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