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Jami’s rants

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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Writer Sanity: Recognizing Takers & Setting Boundaries

Old West "wanted" poster with text: Takers Who Don't Give Back

Last week, I challenged writers to think about how they’re giving back to the writing community because it needs our help to thrive. Yet no matter what I recommend, there will be takers infecting our community, so let’s learn how to recognize them for what they are.

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January 12, 2016

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Writer Karma: Don’t Be a Taker

Many hands reaching to grab with text: Are You Giving or Just Taking?

Everyone who knows me and follows my blog knows I love to help others. Most people who contact me are appreciative, and I really am happy to help. But there are a few… *sigh*

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January 5, 2016

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Discovering Our Writing Processes

Light trails over black background with text: Any Process Can Get Us to "The End"

We’ve probably all seen us vs. them attitudes for many aspects of writing, implying that there’s only one right process. However, just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, and in the end, there’s only one thing that matters.

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December 10, 2015

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Subjectivity and Reader Shaming

A woman with her head in her hands with text: Have You Ever Been "Reader Shamed"?

If we write genre fiction, we might bemoan the lack of respect, but the same lack of respect occurs at the reader level too. Readers of science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, young adult, and romance have also been looked down on. Many outsiders have attempted to make readers ashamed of their reading choices by judging by subjective measures.

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August 11, 2015

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