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Are Your Characters Based on Real People?

"Careful, or you'll end up in my novel" mug

One of the stereotypical author interview questions is “Are any of your characters based on real people?” And I’m always struck when an author answers “Yes.” Usually, they’ll even share that so-and-so was based on such-and-such person. Sometimes they’ve based a character on a friend or family member. Sometimes they’ve […]

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September 6, 2012

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How “The Amazing Spider-Man” Rocks Subtext

The Amazing Spider-Man movie poster with text added: "Subtext and" [The Amazing Spider-Man]

Subtext? In a comic book movie? Really, Jami? Yes, really. Now, I’m not calling The Amazing Spider-Man groundbreakingly genius or anything, but it’s an, er, amazingly good movie character-wise compared to… Oh, say, the Green Lantern. If you remember from my Green Lantern posts about how how not to write plot or characters, […]

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July 10, 2012

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The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing

Array of spices for sale

As we head into “writing conference” season, I thought I’d revisit my post about how to write a pitch.  This post originally ran several months ago, but the information never gets old.  (In fact, I’ve used this to help myself write pitches lately.) Pitches fall into many categories, from loglines […]

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June 5, 2012

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Pitch Prep: How to Write a Pitch

Baseball pitcher throwing a pitch

This week we’re preparing for the Pitch Your Shorts pitch session coming here January 10th.  Even if you’re not pitching this time, stick around.  Today we have The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing.  (Thursday’s post will cover story openings.) The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing Pitches fall into many categories, from loglines […]

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January 3, 2012

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How Do You Deal with Difficult Characters?

Man's hands bound by a strap

(Side note:  Do you know how troublesome it is to find a picture of someone bound and/or gagged that doesn’t look…well, inappropriate for this blog?  *snicker*) Writers all know the type—the character who refuses to play by the rules, who doesn’t communicate with us, or who wants to be a […]

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August 11, 2011

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A Rating System for Books, Part Two: How Can We Include Context?

Harry Potter Half Blood Prince movie poster vs. book cover

Thanks once again to all who responded to my last blog post about whether books should have a rating system.  And I say that not just because I didn’t need my flame-proof jacket.  *smile* Many shared thoughtful ideas here on my blog, Google+, and Twitter that helped me refine my opinion.  If […]

August 2, 2011

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The Green Lantern Movie: How *Not* to Plot a Story

Green Lantern Movie image

I recently saw the Green Lantern movie.  I know, I know.  The reviews were terrible, but I often enjoy turn-brain-off movies.  This fun-but-dumb superhero action flick definitely fit the bill. But the real entertainment came after the movie, as my family and I analyzed why this superhero movie failed compared to other […]

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July 5, 2011

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Do Stories Need a Theme?

Disney's California Adventure theme park

Earlier this week, Julie Musil had a great post about how to create story endings that resonate.  I almost wrote an epic comment to her post, but decided to save my wordiness for here.  And I get to use one of my vacation pictures—Disney’s California Adventure theme park, get it? […]

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May 26, 2011

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Make Your Antagonist a Force for Good

Sinister man

Wait…what? Well, we want to make our antagonist good for our story anyway.  *smile* Kristen Lamb has been running a fantastic series on antagonists (Part One, Part Two, Villains, Balancing Evil, Inner and Outer Demons).  She shares more gems than I can capture here, so definitely check out her posts. For […]

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May 5, 2011

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