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Story Themes: What’s Your Worldview?

Graphic of human looking up at space with text: Improve Story Themes with Our Core Beliefs

We often struggle with identifying a story’s theme, and when it comes to including themes in our own stories, we might be at a loss for how to do so. This past weekend, a writing workshop for preteens included lessons on how to write with themes. The processes the kids went through to discover how to incorporate themes in their stories might help us too.

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April 1, 2014

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What Makes a Romance Believable?

Wedding picture of couple holding hands with text: What Makes a Romance Believable?

Okay, so I’m a week-and-a-half late for Valentine’s Day and the topic of this post. I’ll “blame” the time I put into WANACon. *smile* We had a fantastic and successful WANACon though, with great sessions on many writing-related topics, so I’ll call it a worthwhile trade. I recently came across […]

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February 25, 2014

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How to Make Turning Points Drive Arcs and Themes

Road curving through trees with text: Turning Points Drive a Story

Last week, we looked at turning points from the perspective of beat sheets—how to identify them and ensure they’re changing the direction of the story enough to deserve their name. But turning points affect the story in other ways too. Turning points aren’t just about plot twists. (In fact, plot […]

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February 11, 2014

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Tell Me When: Real-Life Stalking Isn’t Sexy

Dark tunnel with figure at the end with text: Stalking: Real Life vs. Fiction

I’m going to tell you a story in today’s post, but I first want to provide some context, as the topic is out of the norm for me. This post is part of Stina Lindenblatt’s Tell Me When blog hop. Her debut releases January 20th from Carina Press, and as Stina mentions […]

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January 14, 2014

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What Does “Happily Ever After” Mean to You?

Sunset with text: Stories and Happy Endings

How were your holidays? Was Santa good to you? I’m still mostly offline, enjoying quality time with my family, so I’m rerunning this post from several years ago. My Christmas couldn’t have been any better, and I hope yours was everything you hoped for too. Of course, whether or not we’re […]

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December 26, 2013

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Fix 4 Common Writing Problems with “The Emotion Thesaurus”

Cover of the Emotion Thesaurus with text: Writing Tips with The Emotion Thesaurus

A couple of weeks ago, Becca Puglisi, one of the co-authors of the fantastic Thesaurus books, shared her tips for using the new The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus books. Her advice can help us develop our characters at all stages of planning, drafting, and editing. But the […]

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December 10, 2013

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Ask Jami: Writing Advice Podcast

Art Share.org logo and episode information

Yesterday, Brigid Ashwood interviewed me for her weekly Art Share podcast. On Art Share, Brigid speaks with authors and other creative artists about all aspects of the creative arts—from processes to business matters. She broadcasts live as a Google+ Hangouts On Air, which is then posted as a YouTube video so […]

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November 21, 2013

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Handling Readers: Expectations and Disappointments

Angry bear with text: When Readers Get Angry

Most of us suffer from self-doubt in some way. Those of us doing NaNoWriMo might have reached a point in our story where events aren’t playing out as cool as they seemed in our head. Or maybe NaNo’s going great, but we’re not sure we can keep up the quality. […]

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November 12, 2013

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How to Make Characters Vulnerable to Readers

A turtle in the middle of a road with text: Are Your Characters Vulnerable?

Most tips for creating sympathetic characters point out that our characters need flaws. And that’s very true. But it can be a real trick to show flaws for characters who bottle up their emotions in an attempt to hide their weaknesses. While very common, that defense mechanism can leave very […]

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November 7, 2013

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4 Tips to Solve 99% of Your Writing Problems — Guest: Janice Hardy

Underwater picture with text: Dive Deep to Solve Your Writing Problems

I’ve gushed many times about the awesomeness of Janice Hardy’s blog—for good reason. Her writing tips are clear and insightful. She discusses topics more thoroughly than most. And it’s a rare thing when I can’t find an answer to a writing question there. She’s also a super-fantastic person (I’ve met […]

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October 3, 2013

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