Six impossible things

Blog

Designing magic, part 1

A couple of years back, I was on a panel about magic systems and how one handles magic in fiction. Near the end of the session, someone asked a question about “magical maturity” stories – the sort where children go through a sort of magical puberty during […]

Read more

What I’m Up to

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a conference call with my editor and agent. One thing led to another, and I now find myself mostly-committed (i.e., I don’t actually have a contract, but the backbrain is moving ahead full steam anyway) to a totally new […]

Read more

What They (Don’t) Want

When I was in high school, one of the rituals that came along during senior year was called something like Career Inventory Day, when you spent the morning taking a battery of tests that was supposed to tell you what career you were most likely to be […]

Read more

Surprises and Themes

A while back, I was talking to an Earnest Young Writer, who informed me with great intensity that the story she was writing had a Theme, and that she couldn’t do anything about certain objections she was getting from her beta readers because that would destroy what […]

Read more

Short-short queries

It’s been over a year since my last post on query letters, and frankly, after writing four different posts on the topic, I didn’t think I had anything else to say. After all, the basics of query letter writing don’t change much, mainly because its purpose hasn’t […]

Read more

Turning points

“Turning point: The point at which a decisive change takes place.” – Oxford American Dictionary Some while ago, I got about a half-page of questions on turning points from someone who was writing an article on the subject. They were an odd mix of the sort of […]

Read more

Moving on

Having spent the weekend being very thoroughly distracted by my 40th college reunion (at which they gave me a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, much to my astonishment [and thank you to everyone who worked on that]), I didn’t have a lot prepared for today’s blog. So I […]

Read more

Fixing Chapter One: Putting it all together

Whether you end up revising Chapter One every few scenes or wait until you have a complete draft to revise it (or even to write it), it usually helps to think a little about the things that you want the chapter to do. First and foremost, of […]

Read more

Fixing Chapter One: Background, setting, backstory

The third problem that article-writer had with Chapter Ones was “too much background and too much telling.” His answer was to cut out all the description. Unfortunately, this “simple and obvious” solution isn’t a universal one – in the first place, it doesn’t allow for differences in […]

Read more

Fixing Chapter One: Plot

The second deadly Chapter One problem that was mentioned in the article that started me off on this series was “The action is weak or meaningless.” This is obviously a problem, but simply saying “Make it strong and meaningful instead” doesn’t tell you much about how to […]

Read more
Page 20 of 73« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »
Questions regarding foreign rights, film/tv subrights, and other business matters should be directed to Pat’s agent Ginger Clark, Curtis-Brown, Ltd., 10 Astor Place, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003, gc@cbltd.com

Books

Appearances