Author Website: Getting Started

CPanel Login: Author Website

One of the more popular series I’ve written is 30 Days to a Stronger Author Website. It breaks the process of creating an author website and blog into a series of daily tasks. Theory covers the WHY, WHEN, and HOW. Technical aspects are covered in depth. More important, it gives solid reasons for WHAT, or […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

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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 […]

Continuity Goofs: Avengers, Hunger Games and Your Novel

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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 […]

Audiofile Reviews Kell, the Alien Audiobook

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Totally exciting! Audiofile Magazine has reviewed Kell, the Alien, the first book in The Aliens, Inc. Series! Doing alien voices gives narrator Josiah John Bildner a fun challenge. When the Smith family’s spaceship crashes to Earth, they’re forced to live and talk like Earthlings. Bildner skillfully renders the conversations between Kell, now a third-grader, and […]

Ban Cliches: How to Stand Out in Today’s Crowded Market

2009 World Beard and Mustache Competition. Does that beard spell out B-E-A-R-D?

The number one rejection I hear is this: “The story doesn’t stand out in today’s crowded market.” The SCBWI is creating an opportunity for illustrators to test their art and how it holds up in today’s market. Each month, the “Draw This” monthly art prompt will provide a word for members to illustrate. For years […]

Top 20 YA Agents: 142 Sales in the Last 12 Months

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What agents are selling young adult (YA) novels? Publishersmarketplace.com does a great job of monitoring the business of selling manuscripts to publishers. If you’re looking for an agent, you’ll want to spend a lot of time there doing research on agents to find the perfect match for you and your stories. Here’s just one way […]

Top 20 Middle Grade Agents: 129 Sales in the Last 12 Months

What agents are selling middle grade novels? Publishersmarketplace.com does a great job of monitoring the business of selling manuscripts to publishers. If you’re looking for an agent, you’ll want to spend a lot of time there doing research on agents to find the perfect match for you and your stories. Here’s just one way to […]

Top 20 Picture Book Agents: 234 Sales in the Last 12 Months

Top Middle Grade Agents for 2015 | Fiction Notes by Darcy Pattison

What agents are selling picture books? Publishersmarketplace.com does a great job of monitoring the business of selling manuscripts to publishers. If you’re looking for an agent, you’ll want to spend a lot of time there doing research on agents to find the perfect match for you and your stories. Here’s just one way to look […]

Fight, Chase, Shoot, Battle! Action Scene Checklist

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Darcy’s Note: In my quest to understand action scenes better, I came across Ian’s book and was blown away by how practical it is. To make it even more practical I created an Action Scenes Checklist. To understand it and fully exploit it, you should buy his book and read it cover to cover. Yes, […]