July 12, 2016

Blogiversary Winners & a Bonus Contest!

Tic-tac-toe game with winner and text: It's Not Over Yet... A Bonus Contest!

Woo hoo! I officially made it to the six-year mark on my blog, and now I’m looking forward to another year with all of you. *smile*

On my post announcing my annual Blogiversary Contest, we had enough comments to earn three winners. In fact, we were just a couple of comments away from earning four winners.

So. Close. *sigh*

I always struggle with the part where selects the winners because I wish I could give everyone a prize. And this year, when we were so close to earning another winner, doubles that issue for me.

I’ve said it before, and I really mean it. You’re the reason I blog, and I appreciate you so much that I wish I could do something for each one of you.

So… I’m going to do a bonus level of the contest.

In addition to the three winners of my Blogiversary Contest, I’m going to award a fourth prize, but there are strings… *smile*

Introducing…The Bonus Contest!

On my original Blogiversary post, the rules were simple: Just leave a comment—any comment—to enter. For this bonus fourth prize, the comment has to be a bit more serious.

To enter my Bonus Contest and have a chance at the fourth prize, you have to leave a comment on this post with a question, request for a worksheet, insight, etc. that gives me an idea for a future post that I can write and share here at my blog.

Just like with my original Blogiversary post, I don’t want to leave out readers of my books, so the comment doesn’t have to be a writing craft or publishing question. Readers (or writers!) are welcome to comment with questions about my books, characters, inspirations, etc. as well.

I’ll leave this Bonus Contest open until midnight Eastern time on Sunday, July 17th, 2016. The winner will be chosen by a combination of being a valid entry (with a good or interesting future post idea) and random selection. That is, the winner won’t necessary be the best idea, but their comment does have to be a valid idea for a future post.

(Unlike my Blogiversary Contests, I won’t close comments here at the deadline so that readers coming across this post later will feel welcome to ask questions, but only comments left before that time are eligible for the contest.)

Blogiversary Contest Winners

And now, the part you’ve all really been waiting for…the winners from my 6th Annual Blogiversary Contest!

C.C. Cedras

Mary Stewart

Liz Searle

Congratulations to you all!  You should receive an email from me within the next day, so start thinking about what prize you want.  Should I be worried? *smile*

Do you have any questions for me? Any requests for worksheets? Any ideas for future blog posts? Any suggestions of which prize the winners should pick? *grin*

Pin It

Comments — What do you think?

Click here to learn more about Lost Your Pants workshop
  Subscribe to emails for Comments/Replies on this post  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jayne Fury

I would love a Scrivener template that combines the Save the Cat beat sheet with the Romance beat sheet — which of course would mean Frankensteining the beat sheets together and then of course a blog post on that.

Not much to ask, right? 😀


hum perhaps a post about how ebook are priced differently in different country without your word about it could be good i mean it will explain to some why we can’t get unintended gardian free even if we received notice from bookblub etc that it is

Carolyn McBride

Hi Jami! What about a post on titles, most especially of the ‘lesser read’ genres, like adventure, spec fic, something set in the multi-verse, or a genre equally ignored on amazon?


How about a blog on not just persistence for writers but just making it a habit to write daily..I find myself not writing for days then a burst of ideas, but no real content– I have to create a habit, but how? when we are all so busy? I’ve tried reading some books on habits, but that just sidetracks me from writing as I’m reading about writng.. =\

Also how about creating titles (good ones) and naming your characters (is that part of research for you?)
when you have a block and can’t move beyond that beat — when you are JUST creating the beats.. URGH! so frustrating!


Shannon Gonzalez

Hi Jami,

Here are a few ideas I’m working with:

Having the right balance between enough details, dialogue and description. I tend to write a lot of dialogue with action sentence tag lines. However it still feels removed, is it deep POV I need to study? Then I over write getting bogged down in minutiae and cut most of it as it doesn’t move the story along. How much does the reader really need to get the point across?

A worksheet on really knowing the difference between passive and active writing with examples of what not to do as with what to do.

Fears of the business, i.e. Piracy, all-out theft (as in re-titling your work and selling it under a different name), taxes and business sense, discoverability in a crowded market.

Finding beta readers and critique partners you can trust. How do you know if your writing is getting better if the critiques are from less experienced writers?

Validation, in the new world of publishing where do we find validation that really matters?

Thank you for the beat sheets and Scrivener templates (and you other blogposts that teach so much) they save a lot of time and headache!

Sharon Hughson

So sad we aren’t going to get to dress in drag and terrorize Phoenix. But wait! There’s another chance for me.

I’m struggling with my latest project. It’s women’s fiction and basically a relationship story. Three women struggling over the death of their mother/grandmother and the unique dynamics created by that (and other life choices) on their relationships with each other. No real antagonist. But the problem is their inability to articulate the issues surrounding the mother’s death. Which is why it is called ELEPHANT IN THE TEAROOM (and it takes place in Victoria BC, the climax happens in the fancy tearoom of a Victorian hotel during high tea).

What I wish I had was a beat sheet for this type of story. I’m trying to beat out the character arcs, but since there are three, they don’t necessarily coincide with the major beat points, 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4. Help!

C. C. Cedras

I am so freakin excited!!!! THANK YOU! *happy dance*

KR Brorman

Congratulations! So freaking excited for you!



I’ve been following the beat sheets and other story structure aids offered by several authors who teach writing. But, I feel the last quarter of the story — from the Black Moment (Cathy Yardley) or Lull (Larry Brooks) to the last page of the story — hasn’t been given as much loving detail and breakdown. What are the ‘milestones’ within the last quarter of a book? What kind of pacing guidelines are there? How much space should be given to the wrap-up? When in this quarter should the final fight scene happen (at the half-way point of that quarter? sooner? later?)?

I’ve been using an amalgamation of Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering and Cathy Yardley’s Rock Your Plot. I’ve stuck with Cathy’s terminology (since I’m on her Full-Time Fiction forum, it’s easiest), but I am also using Larry Brook’s suggested scene numbers (as a loose framework to guide me) as he shows here:

I’m about to purchase Scrivener (yay!), so I’ll be digging through your posts for hints, tips and tricks on this software. Thanks for offering another contest and another chance to win. 🙂



Clare O'Beara

Well done to the winners!

As a newcomer to the blog I don’t know what topics you’ve covered so I’ll step outside the writing process.
I suggest a look at the other places where we present ourselves such as Linked In and Goodreads profile pages. On Linked In recently I saw profiles from writers who had ‘thrity years’ of ‘outsanding performance’ and various other spelling mistooks. Even dyslexic people can ask friends or a spill chucker to run through their profile text.

Christina Hawthorne

Congratulations to all the winners, though I’d argue there are no losers visiting this site on a regular basis.

It’s difficult to imagine topics not covered. Thinking in terms of your expertise, I’m wondering about your thoughts concerning the nuances that rule the space between the beats, meaning the differences between stretches. For instance, after the first plot point and the second. Likewise, foreshadowing is always a favorite topic and ties to pinch points.

You mention above about beat sheets and different genres, specifically adapting the sheets. What about a comparison of how different genres differ from a beat sheet perspective?

By the way, my thanks. Several years ago I was hesitant to join Twitter. It was your encouragement and help that made the difference (you were then the first person I followed). That memory resurfaced last week while making lists and then creating columns in TweetDeck for them.

Alexis-Morgan Roark
Alexis-Morgan Roark

Would LOVE to know when your “Romancing to the Beat” workshop is being offered. Thanks for such an amazing site!!


I’d like to see a blog post on how to tell when your manuscript is ready for submission – I know there is a point of “done” where I would be a fool to try to self publish without paying for professional editing. And there is a point where polishing is just making tiny word shifts back and forth, this editing pass revering the changes of the lst pass.

After editing, and revising, and having a few brand new “delta” readers testing it out to see if the revisions seemed to accomplish what I was aiming for… what are some ways to tell whether the story is really ready to submit ( or to self publish), or whether it would benefit from more polishing.


I have a question I would like addressed in a blog. I know I missed the deadline for your contest. I fell asleep.


I’d like some discussion of pantsing. I have read several books on structure. There is no way I can outline a book. How can one do something with everything arising organically from what is before if there is no before? Your thoughts?

Rebekah Ganiere

I know I’m late to the party but I’d love to see a post on Voice 🙂 You rock Jami!!!!


[…] want to thank everyone who left comments on my post last week with suggestions for topics they’d like to see covered here on my blog. The ideas were all fantastic, and I’ll do my best to either write about them myself or find […]


[…] I left for the Romance Writers of America conference, I ran a Bonus Contest using comments with blog post ideas as the way to enter. Great! I’m always on the lookout for suggestions, and even though I haven’t run out of […]

Click to grab Treasured Claim now!