Darcy Pattison: Author, Blogger, Teacher

Author, blogger and writing teacher Darcy Pattison is published in eight languages. Her books includes children's picture books, how-to-write books, teacher resource books, and middle grade novels.

The Editorial Dance: Finding the Right Editor

2 discussions that help you decide if this is the right editor for your story. | Fiction Notes by Darcy Pattison

I talked with an editor earlier this week about my new novel, The Blue Marbles, a sff YA and found that editorial input comes in two forms–and these are so important to finding the right editor for your story. Positioning in the Market Place The first thing we talked about was our visions for the […]

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Don’t Write a Damsel-in-Distress OR a Modern Super-Woman: Be Original

Sick Character? Give them Bigger-than-Life personality. Here's how. | Fiction Notes by Darcy Pattison

I have a problem in my WIP novel, which is just in the outline stage. There’s a specific illness going around and to SHOW, DON’T TELL that the illness is really bad, an important character must become sick. But then, I have this sick character, Em. And she’s, well, sick. She’s become a Damsel-in-Distress, who […]

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Indie Kids Books Listserv

As you know, I’m a hybrid author, with some traditionally published books and some published. I’ve written about the process here on Fiction Notes, and on Jane Friedman’s blog here and here. Indie publishing, especially of children’s books, is hard. I listen to everything that those who write for adults talk about and try to […]

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Copyediting: Style Manual for Your Story

Copyedit: Correct punctuation depends on the style guide you choose. And you have options. | DarcyPattison.com

Here’s a question about punctuation, with an answer about style. Which of these is correctly punctuated? I like oranges, apples, and bananas. I like oranges, apples and bananas. The answer is it depends on the style manual that you use. In school, you were probably taught certain rules about punctuation, and your teachers told you […]

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Is Your Manuscript Ready to Submit? The Agony of Deciding

Submission: How do you know if you story is ready go submit. Short answer: you don't. But here are things to consider. | DarcyPattison.com

A fellow writer recently posed this question to me: Is my mss ready to submit? THE AGONY OF DECIDING The short answer is, you don’t know. You can only send it out and see what response you get. That’s agony. You want to be accepted and published, but no one can guarantee that. The simple […]

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An Incredible Signature: Thanks, Marcia and Sergio!

Brazilian/Portuguese version of Abayomi. Released in Brazil Summer 2015. | Fiction Notes by Darcy Pattison

As writers, we put our books out into the world, and they take on a life of their own, apart from us. But sometimes, we get an echo back about what the book is doing, who is reading it and how they are affected. This week, I had one of those incredible, amazing and powerful […]

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10% of My Referral Traffic Comes From Pinterest: Expand Your Author Platform

A complete preview of children's book on Pinterest. | I WANT A DOG by Darcy Pattison

Note: On Jane Friedman’s blog, you can read my guest post about a unique Pinterest project. I’ve pinned the entire picture book, I WANT A DOG, to Pinterest as a preview of the book. Read the reasons and how-to’s here. Social media–what a controversial topic among writers! You have the social media mavens, who are […]

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8 Most Popular Writing Books with Our Readers

20 Master Plots

From time to time, we recommend writing books, and we find that some are popular with our readers. Following are the most popular how-to-write books purchased by our readers in the last six months on Amazon, the first half of 2015*. Action! Writing Better Action with Cinematic Techniques Certainly one of my favorite new writing […]

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4 Revision Goals: Conflict, Emotion, Surprise, Enrich

4 Revision Goals: from Darcy Pattison's Fiction Notes blog at darcypattison.com

For the next month, my writing goals for my work-in-progress novel trilogy are clear: conflict, emotion, surprise, enrich. The trilogy is tentatively called, The Blue Planets, and is an early-teen or YA science fiction. Book 1, The Blue Marble, has a complete draft; for Books 2 and 3, I have complete outlines. I’m happy with […]

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Find Your Novel Opening: Quickly, Efficiently–and with MORE Creativity

Great writing exercise to find openings that set up your novel's opening.

I’ve been fiddling with the opening of the second book of a trilogy, Blue Planets, for several weeks, trying to plot, trying to think of new and exciting ways to tell the story. I KNOW the story. It’s bringing it down to specifics that’s hard. Part of my problem is that Book 1 in this […]

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Beta Readers: Facts, Grammar, Plot, Character and More


Thanks to the computer industry, we no longer have first readers, we have beta readers. Early versions of software that engineers expect to be riddled with problems were called beta versions. Beta is the second letter in the Greek alphabet, so presumably, the alpha versions were kept all in-house. Betas were the first public versions […]

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Continuity Goofs: Avengers, Hunger Games and Your Novel


When my picturebook, The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman was first published, I lied to my mother-in-law. When she saw this image of Tameka writing a letter to her Uncle Ray, my MIL noticed that Tameka was left-handed. I told her that I asked the illustrator, Joe Cepeda especially to make her left handed like […]

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