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Ask Jami

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

What’s the Perfect Job for Our Characters?

Employee Only sign with text: Finding the Perfect Job (for Our Characters)

If we write our story well, every aspect of the story will contribute to the overall picture and create an impression for the reader. There aren’t any unimportant details in a well-written story. And that means the careers for our characters shouldn’t be an afterthought either.

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April 29, 2014

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What Makes a Story Event a “Turning Point”?

Wood plank balanced on an old pier post with text: How to Recognize a Turning Point

Between questions on Facebook and some of my editing clients, I’ve had several conversations lately about story turning points: what they are, what they mean, and how to recognize them. As writers, we all need to understand turning points. If we plot or plan our story in advance, we need […]

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February 4, 2014

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Ask Jami: Where to Find Beta Readers

Globe on black background with text: Where to Find Beta Readers

Need a beta reader? Check this mega-list of resources. For beta readers, we’re not necessarily looking for writing craft experts but for people we connect with, people who will follow through on promises, and people who can read with awareness and push us and our story to be better.

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January 16, 2014

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What Are You Looking for in Your Reading Choices?

Stick figure hunting a heart in a maze with text: Choosing What to Read...

Last time, we talked about our reading habits and whether the price of an ebook affects its ranking in our to-be-read pile. (If you haven’t answered the polls with your answers to that question yet, please check out that post.) Today we’ll continue the reading-habits theme with two other issues […]

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January 9, 2014

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Why Story Structure Matters

Inside view of top of clear dome's structure with text: Why Story Structure Matters

It’s no secret that I’m a proud pantser (writing by the seat of my pants), and yet I’m a firm believer in story structure. My writing worksheets for story and scene construction make that latter point abundantly clear. But I haven’t discussed before why story structure is so important. Recently, a […]

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January 2, 2014

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Ask Jami: Can We Use Beat Sheets with Scrivener?

Scrivener logo and Basic Beat Sheet title with text: Using Beat Sheets with Scrivener

Do you use the Scrivener program for your writing? Many writers do, especially as Scrivener sponsors NaNoWriMo and offers a discount to participants. I started using Scrivener for my NaNo drafting last year and was able to buy the program at half-off because of my NaNo win. Woo hoo! Many writers […]

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December 17, 2013

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Ask Jami: Writing Advice Podcast

Art Share.org logo and episode information

Yesterday, Brigid Ashwood interviewed me for her weekly Art Share podcast. On Art Share, Brigid speaks with authors and other creative artists about all aspects of the creative arts—from processes to business matters. She broadcasts live as a Google+ Hangouts On Air, which is then posted as a YouTube video so […]

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November 21, 2013

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Should We Use a Blog Commenting System?

Stick figure with speech bubble and text: Who Wants Comments?

I’ve mentioned before that I wish I could change how comments work on my blog. I’d love for readers to easily see when someone replies to their comments here or provide the ability to subscribe to comments for a post. A system like that often encourages more interaction on a […]

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July 2, 2013

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Ask Jami: Can This Story Be Saved?

Puzzle missing a piece with text: Can a Broken Story Be Saved?

I do a lot of beta reading for friends, and sometimes they come to me with a question along the lines of: “I’ve really struggled with x aspect of this story, and I’m wondering if I should just abandon it. Can you take a look and see if this story can […]

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June 4, 2013

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