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story structure

Are Beat Sheets Intimidating? Cut through the Clutter

Beat Sheets: Back to the Basics

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of story structure. I’ve created several beat sheets and have oodles of posts about the topic. But I’m also not a math person, so the idea of working in Excel for all those worksheets gave me the heebie-jeebies at first. I’m probably not […]

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September 19, 2013

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WANACon: A Conference for All Writers

WANACon 2.0 logo

Forgive me for not having a post packed with writing advice today. Instead, I’m sharing writing-related information of a different sort. Last February, I posted about the fantastic experience I had with WANACon, an interactive online writing conference. So you better believe I’m excited to announce that WANACon is happening […]

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September 10, 2013

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Book Series: Should We Include a Teaser Excerpt?

Child sticking out his tongue with text: Teasing Is Good When...

Yesterday, Kristen Lamb ran an encore of one of my posts from last year on her blog. We both liked that post because it discusses the importance of leaving the reader room to use their imagination. In the post, I made an aside about the danger of including a teaser excerpt […]

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August 1, 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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Blogiversary Winners & an Announcement

Magic wand with text: Writing Worksheets: What's Your Wish?

Ta da! I made it to the three year mark for blogging. Appropriately, we had enough comments on the Blogiversary Contest post to earn three winners! Yay! Or boo… Depending on if you’re one of the winners or not. *sad face* I wish everyone could be a winner. Seriously. But random.org […]

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July 11, 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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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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Ask Jami: Can This Story Be Saved?

Puzzle missing a piece with text: Can a Broken Story Be Saved?

I do a lot of beta reading for friends, and sometimes they come to me with a question along the lines of: “I’ve really struggled with x aspect of this story, and I’m wondering if I should just abandon it. Can you take a look and see if this story can […]

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June 4, 2013

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Four Tips for Beta Reading in Other Genres

Close up of knothole in a fence with text: Beta Reading Outside Your Genre? 4 Tips to Breach the Genre Borders

Recently, a good friend of mine asked for my help in identifying the issues with her story. She’d struggled with it on and off for years and was wondering if she should just chuck the whole thing. I offered to take a look at it, even though her story’s genre […]

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May 21, 2013

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