Six impossible things



Art is the first leg of the three-legged stool that is writing, and possibly the most difficult to talk about because it is abstract. All of the definitions I could find talk about expression, creativity, beauty, emotion, and imagination – all of which are ideas rather than […]

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Three-legged stool

Writing fiction professionally is a three-legged stool. It’s an art. It’s a craft. It’s a business. Like all three-legged stools, it is most stable and comfortable when all three of the legs are the same length; that is, when each area receives an appropriate amount of attention. […]

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Doing one thing at a time

Points of Departure is now for sale! As you can see, we have made the leap to a new host for the web site. There are still a few problems shaking out, so new posts may suffer from odd timing for a few weeks, but I am […]

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Technical note

Because this website is changing servers, there’s a possibility that this week’s blog post, scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, may be slightly delayed. Sincerely, The Management

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Doing it all at once

Before I begin, let me just mention that Points of Departure, the anthology of Liavek stories Pamela Dean and I did, is going live on May 12, and we just got a very nice starred review at the Publisher’s Weekly website. This is a very big […]

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Organizing the process

A couple of years ago, I was at a seminar on getting organized (I am a sucker for that kind of thing), and the presenter asked for examples of our current projects-in-process. Naturally, the example I came up with was the book I was working on at […]

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Last plot post for a while, I promise

A few more words about plot before I move on to something else for a while: First off, dozens of people besides Heinlein have come up with different sets of basic plots; he’s not the last word on the subject. Most of them have a lot more […]

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When it IS a plot

The reason I started the last post with a bunch of examples of what plot is not was twofold: first, as I said, lots of people’s plot-problems seem to happen because they are starting from something that sort of looks like a plot, but actually isn’t one, […]

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Andromeda Redux: Starting points

One of the things that seems to confuse a lot of people about plot, especially at the start of a story, is that they’re misidentifying what they have to hand, what they want to do, and how to get from one to another. What they have is […]

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Here we go again!

The elbow is not completely healed, but it is much better. I’m still not allowed to lift anything heavier than a coffee cup, but typing isn’t about lifting, so that’s all right. However, I’m planning to ease back into things – I’m going to be posting once […]

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  • Minicon 52
    Pat plans to attend Minicon 52, April 14 – 16, 2017, in Minneapolis, MN....