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Why Story Structure Matters

Inside view of top of clear dome's structure with text: Why Story Structure Matters

It’s no secret that I’m a proud pantser (writing by the seat of my pants), and yet I’m a firm believer in story structure. My writing worksheets for story and scene construction make that latter point abundantly clear. But I haven’t discussed before why story structure is so important. Recently, a […]

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January 2, 2014

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Ask Jami: Can We Use Beat Sheets with Scrivener?

Scrivener logo and Basic Beat Sheet title with text: Using Beat Sheets with Scrivener

Do you use the Scrivener program for your writing? Many writers do, especially as Scrivener sponsors NaNoWriMo and offers a discount to participants. I started using Scrivener for my NaNo drafting last year and was able to buy the program at half-off because of my NaNo win. Woo hoo! Many writers […]

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December 17, 2013

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The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers

Snowman holding gift with text: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers

Did everyone survive the big shopping days of Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday? Me? I’m a lazy bum and did most of my shopping online. No crowds for me. Obviously, I’m not a shopaholic, so I usually need help knowing what gifts to buy for people. That means it’s time […]

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December 5, 2013

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NaNo Wrap-Up: Beat Sheets 101

Green chalkboard with text: Beat Sheets 101

Now is the time of year when thousands of writers look at their NaNoWriMo story and think: Yay! Okay, now what? (Or if you’re like me, you’re still drafting the denouement for the final scene, but I’m close to finishing. *smile*) Whether we wrote by the seat of our pants or […]

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December 3, 2013

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NaNo Prep: 4 Tips for Starting Our Story

"Trail Starts Here" sign with text: 4 Tips for Starting Our Story

Tomorrow, thousands of writers will start their novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’m not in a good spot in my writing project schedule to participate this year (*pout*), but I’m cheering from the sidelines. (I’m Jami Gold if anyone wants to buddy me.) On this occasion, I wanted […]

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October 31, 2013

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How to Avoid a Sagging Middle in Our Stories

Sagging power pole with text: Have a Sagging Middle?

The middle act of our story isn’t about adding page count to drag out the tension and make the story novel-length. And the middle isn’t a delaying tactic before we get to the “good stuff.” Instead, the middle of our story should be the “meat” of the story. Without setting up the obstacles here, any solution in the final act will seem too easy and won’t be as satisfying.

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October 29, 2013

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NaNo Prep: Do You Know What to Plan in Advance?

Leftover scraps of many posters with text: Don't End Up with a "Hot Mess" after NaNo

Do you smell it? The crisp air, the fallen leaves? (Unless you’re Down Under.) It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo, when thousands of writers will try to cram 50,000 words into a 30-day deadline. Unfortunately, I won’t be doing NaNo this year, as I’m not in the right spot with any […]

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October 10, 2013

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Do Beat Sheets Lead to Formulaic Writing?

Page of math formulas with text: Are Beat Sheets Too Formulaic?

Last week, Slate.com ran an article about how Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat book is ruining movies. According to that post’s author, “Snyder’s beat sheet has taken over Hollywood screenwriting. … Intentionally or not, it’s become a formula—a formula that threatens the world of original screenwriting as we know it.” I’ve […]

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July 23, 2013

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Are You Sharing Your Gifts?

Gift box with text: Are You Sharing Your Gifts? To: Writers

I’ve been thinking lately about what it means to have gifts. We all have some sort of gift, some talent or skill we’re better at than most. More importantly, I’ve also been thinking about what we should do with our gifts. In most schools, kids at the top of the class […]

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July 16, 2013

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Writers: What Would the Government Uncover?

Woman looking through a magnifying glass with text: Would the Government Find You Interesting?

Writers have a long history of joking about what government agencies would find if they investigated us. We’re known for researching the bizarre and the suspicious in the pursuit of accuracy for our books. Recent news about the PRISM program and others like it across the globe have made this long-running […]

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June 20, 2013

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