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Ask Jami

Collection of Jami’s answers to questions from writers and authors.

Help! What If I Can’t Find Beta Readers?

Magnifying glass over a blank page with text: Can't Find Beta Readers?

Every writer struggles to get their thoughts on the page and make their ideas make sense to others. The typical advice for how to resolve that issue is to use beta readers, but what if we can’t find beta readers? What can we do?

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January 17, 2017

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Writing Coaches: What Are They and Do We Need One?

Trainer visiting with a sea lion with text: Do We Need a Writing Coach?

A question over at my guest post at Writers Helping Writers asked what a writing coach was, but there’s no definitive answer. On some level, a coach is anyone who gives advice, so before asking ourselves if we need or want a writing coach, we’d first have to dig into what we mean by the term.

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December 27, 2016

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Writing Building Blocks: Paragraph Breaks & Voice

Close up of a keyboard's Enter key with text: Paragraphs Are about Voice?

From school, we’re probably all familiar with using topic sentences to break ideas into paragraphs in non-fiction, but the rules are different for fiction. Choosing where to put paragraph breaks is one of the most voice-dependent decisions we can make as writers.

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April 12, 2016

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Writer Sanity: Recognizing Takers & Setting Boundaries

Old West "wanted" poster with text: Takers Who Don't Give Back

Last week, I challenged writers to think about how they’re giving back to the writing community because it needs our help to thrive. Yet no matter what I recommend, there will be takers infecting our community, so let’s learn how to recognize them for what they are.

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January 12, 2016

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Writer Karma: Don’t Be a Taker

Many hands reaching to grab with text: Are You Giving or Just Taking?

Everyone who knows me and follows my blog knows I love to help others. Most people who contact me are appreciative, and I really am happy to help. But there are a few… *sigh*

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January 5, 2016

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Ask Jami: Why Isn’t There One Right Way to Write?

Pen on a notebook with text: Why Isn't There a Right Way to Write?

When we’re young, the world feels like it’s made up of wrong answers and right answers. Not surprisingly, writing is one of those areas of our life where “one right way” doesn’t apply, and there are several reasons why there’s no definitive “right” way to write a book.

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December 15, 2015

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Developing Our Story: From Beat Sheet to Scene List

Rebar steel ready for construction with text: Building a Scene List for Our Story

My regular readers know that I’m a pantser, but I’m naturally a planner/plotter in the rest of my life. So when a reader asked me how to build a scene list from a beat sheet, I didn’t shudder and scream in horror. Instead for my plotter-loving friends and readers, I figured I’d put together a real answer.

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October 8, 2015

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