Close

drafting

Blogiversary Winners & Writing Flexibility

Sketches of sea shells with text: Writing Flexibility

Some writers can find themselves paralyzed by the thought of needing to get their first draft “right.” That’s crazy-making, however. A draft—a first draft especially—is a tool to help us discover the story we want to tell, the characters we want to meet, and the themes we want to explore. That’s it.

Pin It

July 14, 2015

Read More

7 Tips for Adding Humor — Guest: Rhoda Baxter

Writing in beach sand of "Gas 237000 Miles" with text: How to Add Humor to Our Stories

Most genres benefit from including touches of humor here or there—even the dark and angsty stories. But I’m not naturally a funny person, so I jumped at the chance to host an expert on comedy writing. Rhoda Baxter is here to share her tips that will help us add humor to any genre.

Pin It

July 7, 2015

Read More

Romance Writers: New Scrivener Template!

Black and white image of couple walking in Paris with text: Isn't It Romantic...with Scrivener

One of my most popular posts is for my Romance Beat Sheet, but one of my readers asked if I could create a Scrivener template to go along with the Romance Beat Sheet. Yes! If you’re a romance author and use Scrivener for drafting your stories, today’s post is for you.

Pin It

June 11, 2015

Read More

Story Climax: Forcing Characters to Move Forward

One arrow pointed in an opposite direction with text: How to Make Our Characters Move Forward

Whatever happens in the Climax is often the reason we decided to write the story back when it was just a twinkle in our muse’s eye. But just before the beat of the Climax, our character experienced the Black Moment/Crisis, where they gave up. How do we get them to recommit to the story goals?

Pin It

April 30, 2015

Read More

Ask Jami: Can We Use Beat Sheets with Multiple POVs?

Shelves of plaster heads with text: Using One Beat Sheet for Multiple Characters

Stories with multiple major characters—with their own point-of-view (POV) scenes—can make story structure complicated. Do we have to make beat sheets for each character? As a romance author, I write with multiple POVs all the time, so let’s see if we can figure out how to make beat sheets work in those situations.

Pin It

April 7, 2015

Read More

How to Be a Better Hooker (in Writing!) — Guest: Mary Buckham

Fishing hook with text: Improve Our Writing with Hooks

One of the ways we create compelling writing is by creating a need within our readers to keep turning pages. So a common piece of advice is to create hooks—phrases, sentences, ideas, questions, etc.—to fuel that need within readers. Today, Mary Buckham’s here to touch on the 9 types of hooks and to answer frequent questions about hooks.

Pin It

March 31, 2015

Read More

Using Examples to Learn Beat Sheets

Chalkboard with text: Learning Beat Sheets by Example

One technique for drafting or editing our stories into shape is using beat sheets, but it can be tricky to understand how to use them. Here’s a round-up beat sheet and story structure resources that might help us understand beat sheets.

Pin It

March 17, 2015

Read More

Should Our Protagonist Be in the First Scene?

A face hidden by a hoodie with text: When Should Readers Meet the Protagonist?

Most stories open with the protagonist on page one, but every once in a while, our story seems to work best if we start with another character. If we understand why the protagonist usually works best as the point-of-view character for the first page, we might be able to remake those exceptions into stronger openings.

Pin It

February 17, 2015

Read More