Six impossible things

Posts Tagged ideas

From setting to story

First, some housekeeping. December 23 is the last day to register for my online worldbuilding workshop at Odyssey, if you are interested. I will be taking next week off for the holidays, so no more blog posts until the new year. Now the question: I’m having a […]

Read more

Ideas, and…

Science fiction is often described as “the literature of ideas,” as if no other kind of writing includes any, this in spite of the fact that the first question every professional writer, regardless of genre, gets thoroughly sick of is “Where do you get your ideas?” The […]

Read more

Basics: Process

The last two posts have talked about the basic parts of a plot. How you get to it – the process of building or fixing a plot – is pretty basic, too. The specifics tend to vary from writer to writer, and often from book to book, […]

Read more

Making it up in general

Writing fiction comes in two parts: making it up, and writing it down. For some writers – the seat-of-the-pants sort who just sit down and wing it – the two things happen simultaneously, or at least so close together that it is practically impossible for anything working […]

Read more

What if…

One of the really common recommendations for generating plot ideas is “Ask yourself What if… about something.” It’s the foundation of Alternate History stories, from changes that everyone recognizes – What if the South had won the Civil War? What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo? What […]

Read more

Meeting the Muse

“Where do you get your ideas?” Every writer I know is sick of being asked this question. Many writers have developed snappy non-answers: from a post office box in Schenectady, from a secret subscription service, from an idea-fairy who leaves them on the desk whenever I leave […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

Ideas and plot-noodling

Deep Lurker wanted to know what my ideas look like when I come up with them, specifically whether they’re just concepts or whether they have skeletal plots attached. Unsurprisingly, the answer is “It varies.” The slightly longer answer is “It varies A LOT.” To give you a […]

Read more

Terror and dreams

Still with the process questions, starting with “What in the writing process TERRIFIES you (gives you bouts of anxiety)…and how do you push through it? For example, a blank page is both terrifying and exciting at the same time…” I think I spent ten minutes staring at […]

Read more

Before the Start

“I only need one gun, but it has to be the right gun.” – Lois Bujold Very few ideas are perfect on arrival. Few non-writers recognize this, and almost none of them realize that the process of correcting them often begins before a word of a story […]

Read more
Page 1 of 3123
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

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