Six impossible things

Posts Tagged process


Listening to NPR the day after Thanksgiving, I heard a story about an archive of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s manuscripts. “They are covered with handwritten corrections!” the archivist enthused, to which the interviewer responded, “The idea that he corrected himself just blows me away.” Which response rather blew […]

Read more

Scrivener and process

Scrivener is currently one of the best-known pieces of writing software out there. People who use it tend to love it and go all evangelical about it (as a number of commenters noted two posts ago). It occurred to me while reading all those comments that talking […]

Read more

The Right Tools

Writers have promoted their favorite writing tools – each of which is different – for as long as I’ve been in the business, and probably all the way back to when the writers working on clay tablets sneered at that new-fangled papyrus stuff imported from Egypt. To […]

Read more


Ever since the invention of the assembly line, one of the fundamental assumptions of our culture has been that the most effective way of getting something done is to break the job down into small pieces or steps that get you from where you are to where […]

Read more

Into the Unknown

There are a lot of jobs in the world, but for the majority of them, you know what you’re in for. You’re making something, or moving it around, or keeping track of it, or trading it. Even upper-level managers have a pretty fair idea what their job […]

Read more

Designing Magic, part 2 – What I Do

When it comes to magic, what I do depends on the story that I’m telling and what I already know (and what I know I still need to find out) regarding whatever that type of magic requires. Those things have all evolved over the years as I […]

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

Fixing Chapter One, part one

I recently read a writing-advice column that argued that first chapters were always and necessarily boring. The column-writer never did explain why, if that were true, anyone would ever read the first chapter, or stick with a book long enough for it to get interesting, but he […]

Read more

Yet more plans…

OK, since there seems to be yet more interest in plot planning and prewriting and how to do it, you get still more posts on the subject. This one is on alternate ways of doing plot-related planning; next one will be on the kind of outline you […]

Read more

If you do want to plan

So if you are going to do some pre-planning before you start writing your book, where do you begin and how do you do it? As usual, it depends on the writer and the story, but here are a few things to consider: First, why are you […]

Read more
Page 5 of 12« First...34567...10...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,