Six impossible things


Writing about Writing

Every so often, I get a request from someone to do a guest blog post or answer some questions for a survey article someone is writing. I almost always turn them down; it is hard enough keeping up with twice-weekly posting on my own blog without adding […]

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The more things change…

I have officially been in the book business since the late 70s, when I started work in the finance department at B. Daltons; I’ve been selling my writing since 1980, when Ace books bought my first novel, Shadow Magic. So that’s a bit more than thirty-three years, […]

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Secondary characters

Once you know enough about your main characters to go on with, you have a whole raft of additional characters who also need to be dealt with. Six realistic, deeply realized, well-rounded, fully developed characters surrounded by five or fifteen or thirty cardboard cutouts do not make […]

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Booting up the Characters

There are a couple of truisms in fiction, and one of them is “stories are about people.” I’d say “Most stories…” but unless you’re really setting out to write something like Islandia or Utopia or Voyage to Arcturus, you can pretty much go with the truism. This […]

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Writing YA fiction

I’ve had a couple of emails in the past week about writing YA or teen fiction, with emphasis on what the writer has to do differently in terms of plot, worldbuilding, characterization, description, dialog, etc. when writing for that audience. So I thought I’d talk a bit […]

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Getting ready to get ready

When I was in college, I had a friend who wanted to be a fantasy writer. He had his career all planned out, and the first thing on his list was to acquire the skills and information he needed to write good fantasy. He had chosen his major and […]

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A return to form

This is a technical note from the webmaster. Pat’s blog is going back to the previous design while I work on the RSS feed and other issues. Thanks for your patience.

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Updating problems

OK, the RSS feed is not working; I’m also having trouble importing paragraph breaks on the new site, which basicall makes the new post unreadable. So the old web site has been updated for Sunday’s post, and with luck we will get the glitches straightened out when […]

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Behaving professionally, Part II – Conventions

OK, the RSS feed is not working; I am also having trouble importing paragraph breaks in the new blog. So this is going on the old blog and we’ll work on fixing the new one when my webmaster gets back next week. One of the things most […]

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We are updating!

The new blog and website integrated format has gone live as of 8/22/13. We are leaving the old version here for a while so people can still find it, but everything new will be going on the new page, which can be accessed through the main web […]

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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,