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What Makes a Character Unlikable?

Frowning

Believe it or not, I sometimes actually follow my own advice.  *smile*  Recently, I helped score a few contest entries, just like I recommend in my post about why all writers should volunteer to judge contests. One of the entries was—I’m afraid there’s no nice way to say this—dreadful.  The […]

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June 21, 2011

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Branding 101: Online Brand vs. Author Brand

Brand name tag on Levi's jeans

Brand.  Platform.  Social media presence.  How many of us cringe at those words?  Whatever happened to the days when writers could simply write? But the truth is that as soon as we’re sociable as a writer, whether online with Twitter or in real life at a conference, we’re forming our […]

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May 31, 2011

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What Disneyland Can Teach Us about World-building

Puzzle of globe

First, I want to thank J.A. Paul and Rachel Firasek for their guest posts.  I had fun with their interviews and I hope you all did too. Yes, I’m back from a fun, exhausting trip to Disneyland.  And yes, my vacation inspired a blog post.  You’re not surprised, are you? […]

May 17, 2011

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Interview with a…Muse – Guest: J.A. Paul

J. A. Paul picture

“Hey, Jami, now that you have a bazillion things to do and no time to get it all done, what are you going to do?” “I’m going to Disneyland!” That’s right.  I threw up my hands and decided everything could wait a week while I head to Disneyland with the […]

May 10, 2011

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“What’s Your Book About?”

Forked road

Do you dread that question?  If you tell the cashier at the grocery store you’re a writer and they ask what your book is about, do you have an answer? All writers who want readers have to be able to answer that question.  Whether it’s our brother-in-law at a holiday […]

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April 21, 2011

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Would You Ever Turn Down a Contract?

Thumbs down

The comments for my last post were fantastic—thank you!  The range of opinions really got me to think deeper about the traditional vs. self publishing issue. Many people wrote in with circumstances for when self publishing works (and possibly works “better”).  Others noted situations where traditional publishing is the only […]

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March 31, 2011

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Should Beta Readers Match Your Market?

Square peg in a round hole

Several months ago, I ran a post about what to look for in a critique partner.  One of the points I’d made was to evaluate whether a potential critique partner was familiar with our genre.  Only someone knowledgeable about our genre would know the expectations for pacing, character development, etc. […]

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March 10, 2011

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How to Avoid Head-Hopping

Relay race baton pass with text: Point of View: Handling Hand-Offs

We’ve learned that head-hopping should be avoided if we want to maintain a strong connection between the reader and the characters, and we’ve learned that just calling something omniscient doesn’t solve the head-hopping problem. This brings up the obvious question: How do we avoid head-hopping? The answer might be different […]

February 3, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part Two

Green eggs and ham

Writers are often overwhelmed with story ideas.  When I’m in the middle of difficult revisions, it’s normal for me to think of several other shiny ideas that I would much rather work on instead of doing yet another round of edits.  But not every idea is worthy of a story, […]

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January 20, 2011

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What’s Your Favorite Writing Lesson?

Chalkboard

Yesterday, the inimitable Tawna Fenske had a blog post about how reading outside our comfort zone can make us better writers.  Her post got me thinking about a book I recently finished, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Unlike my usual genres of paranormal or historical, Anna and […]

January 13, 2011

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