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5 Tips for Getting Unstuck in Our Story

Brick wall with text: Facing a Wall? 5 Tips for Getting Unstuck

A couple of weeks ago, I was stuck in my latest work-in-progress (WIP). One scene wasn’t progressing because I couldn’t figure out why my character was doing what he was doing. I just knew that he was doing it, even though he knew the action was a Bad Idea (TM). Why, […]

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August 27, 2013

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Calling All Pantsers!

Close up of blue jeans with text: Calling All Pantsers

I’m afraid I don’t have much of a post here today, but I have a good excuse—with news to help writers. *smile* First, I have a guest post over at Paranormal Unbound, where Angela Quarles and I discuss the subtext in paranormal stories. What does it mean for the romance […]

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August 20, 2013

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A Pantser’s Guide to Beat Sheets

Map with text: A Pantser's Guide to Beat Sheets

I’ve mentioned many times that I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve also expressed my love of beat sheets—by creating several of them. I have beat sheets that focus on plot points, another focused on character arcs, and yet another focused on romance arcs. Wait, someone who writes […]

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July 9, 2013

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Stuck in Your Book? Try a Brainstorming Warm-up

Car stuck in the mud with text: Stuck in Your Story?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve started drafting a new story. The first week, my word counts were rather lame, but this past week has been going much better. Each day finds me getting into my writing groove more easily. I joked to my family that I’d […]

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June 25, 2013

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Does Drafting Terrify or Energize You?

Woman leaping above a field with text: Does Drafting Make You Feel Free?

Last week I started a new work-in-progress (WIP). Yay! I love drafting but I know others don’t. Some people call the first draft a “discovery draft,” and that description certainly holds true for me. My first drafts are all about discovering the story. Literally. I’m a reformed plotter and now […]

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June 11, 2013

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Can Story Themes Help Pantsers Write?

Landscape with Magnifying Loupe in foreground with text: Themes: Our Story's Big Picture

My favorite blogger, Janice Hardy, had another great post last week. This time she talked about how writers can develop their theme. She shared three tips for understanding how themes work in our stories. One of her tips struck me—a confirmed pantser—as a great way to keep our pantsed stories […]

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February 19, 2013

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NaNo Wrap-up, Part 2: Can Slow Writers Win Too?

Giant tortoise with text: Can "Slow" Writers Win Too?

Whether we officially “won” NaNoWriMo or not, most of us who participated probably racked up higher than normal daily word counts. And building on my previous NaNo wrap-up post, that success can carry over into other areas of our writing life. Author Roni Loren and I have talked several times about our “slow” writing […]

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December 6, 2012

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Actions and Reactions: The End-All-Be-All of Storytelling

Rippled panel with text: Building a Story One Action & Reaction at a Time

This might be a deep philosophical post. Or it might be random thoughts triggered by my remaining sugar coma (7 Thanksgiving desserts!). You’ll have to let me know. I’d been thinking about doing another post about actions and reactions in writing, but the more I thought about it, the bigger […]

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November 29, 2012

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The Point of a Scene: Thinking in Concepts

Pencil connected to a light bulb with text: How Detailed Do Our Ideas Need to Be?

A couple of months ago, I read a blog post that forever changed how I approached drafting scenes. That probably sounds melodramatic, but it’s true. We’ve often talked about the differences between plotters and pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants), and how as a die-hard-and-happy-about-it pantser, […]

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November 20, 2012

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NaNo Check-In: Lessons from the Halfway Point

Image of Jami Gold's "My Month" NaNo calendar

Today, November 15th, marks the halfway point for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—write a 50K word novel during November). That means all NaNo participants should reach 25,000 words on their NaNo project by midnight tonight. Yikes! That sounds like a big number—and it is—but I passed that milestone on November 11th. […]

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November 15, 2012

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