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Jami’s rants

Sexy Scenes: Open Door or Closed Door?

Ladybugs mating on a flower with text: How Much Intimacy Should We Show?

There’s no right or wrong answer for how to depict intimacy in our writing—only what’s right for our story. The “right” amount can depend on our genre, our characters, their situation, their emotional journey, and our target audience.

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September 28, 2017

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When Does Disagreement Become Bullying?

Two men arguing on a couch with text: Can We Disagree without Being a Bully?

Several situations related to the line between disagreeing and bullying have been swirling through Publishing Land recently, so I want to address the subject while it’s relevant. That said, I’m sharing my opinion in this post, and you might have a different opinion. That’s okay.

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August 29, 2017

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Do You Meet the Prerequisites to Be a Writer?

Second story door missing stairs down with text: Writing Prerequisites: Are We Missing a Step?

Are there prerequisites to call ourselves a writer? No. If you write, you’re a writer. Period. But when we pay attention to other writers, every writer—no matter how successful—could find something to feel inadequate about if we let our self-doubt get a hold of us.

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July 13, 2017

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Wonder Woman: The Essence of a Strong Female Character

Wonder Woman poster: Silhouette on a beach at sunset with added text: The Wonder of a Strong Female Character

What makes a “strong female character”? We can struggle to define them because we see so few successful portrayals of such characters—especially in movies. Luckily, Diana Prince in Wonder Woman is a wonderful (ha!) example, so let’s break down her strengths so we can push for more characters like her in our stories.

June 8, 2017

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Genre Reading: Is “Escapism” a Bad Thing?

Barrel-of-monkey toys linked inside jar to the top edge with text: Can Readers Escape with a Story?

Certain types of reading are sometimes valued more than others. One descriptive term that’s often used as a put-down for genre stories is escapism, but is romance or any other genre story really “escapism”? What does that mean? Is escapism a “bad” thing, and if so, why?

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April 18, 2017

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When Fiction Is Better Behaved than Reality

Stick figures holding hands with text: Consent Matters: In Fiction & in Life

Recently, the U.S. election insanity dragged in the romance genre. Uh, wait, what? Some memes have claimed women shouldn’t be mad about the words used in Trump’s bragging because…Fifty Shades of Grey. Let’s explore this idea—without politics. *smile*

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October 11, 2016

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Character Development Is a Two-Edged Sword

Pen on a contract with text: The Promise of Character Development

As writers, we do everything we can to make readers invested in our characters in some way. An invested reader is a happy reader, right?
Well, maybe not. Let’s take a look at the other side of character development.

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May 26, 2016

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What Does Your Genre’s Theme Promise to Readers?

Field of green grass with text: What's Your Genre's Promise?

Theme is one of those concepts that can be hard to understand, but by understanding themes, we’ll better satisfy our readers. In the recent debate about the romance genre’s requirement for a happy ending, the controversy comes down to themes, believe it or not. *smile*

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March 24, 2016

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Egos in Publishing: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Big close up of a head with text: Egos in Publishing

Everyone has an ego, a sense of how they fit into the world. In the publishing world, that “everyone” includes the newbie writer and the multi-published NYT bestseller, the professionals of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Sometimes egos are healthy and helpful for getting things done. Other times…not so much.

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March 22, 2016

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