Online Video Course: 30 DAYS TO A STRONGER NOVEL

The course is now live on Udemy.com! Each day includes: A quote that inspires Short, practical instruction from Darcy on a specific topic A simple “Walk the Talk” action to take Over the course of the month, you’ll receive the entire text of Darcy’s book, 30 Days to a Stronger Novel (November, 2014 release). We […]

Tea Party or Fist Fights? Why Action Scenes are Hard to Write!

ActionViolence

In my current WIP, I want to up the action and make this a physically exciting story. So, I bought a great ebook, Action! Writing Better Action Using Cinematic Techniques by Ian Thomas Healy. It’s great, as I said, and breaks down the actions into easy components that can be easily mastered. Even for me, […]

Complicated Dialogue: Keeping 5 Characters in Line

Fiction Notes at darcypattison.com

Today, I’d like to answer a question from a reader. Shena asks, “I’m writing a story and I have five people who are carrying on a conversation with each other. How do I go about stating each person’s line without constantly using, he said, he replied or using the person’s name to say this person […]

False Teeth and Blue Eyes: Keeping Track of Characters

Keep track of your character's false teeth and blue eyes with these tech toys.

Traditionally, novelists have been told to keep track of their characters with a Character Bible. Especially for a series that features the same characters, it’s important that a blue-eye beauty in Book 1 is still a blue-eyed beauty in Book 3. To maintain consistency, authors often need to keep detailed lists of characters and his/her […]

3 Simple Ways to Use Photos to Establish Characters

boy1

I need my characters to come to life quickly for me and this time, I’m trying a shortcut. Photos. It’s easy to go to google.com/images or flickr.com and search for images that might fit your characters. Start with a gender (male/female) and age (child, teen, adult, senior, 30s, 40s, etc). Ethnic background. For my story, […]

Point of View: Inside a Character’s Head

Ivan

How does an author take a reader deeply into a character’s POV? By using direct interior monologue and a stream of consciousness techniques. This is part 3 of a 3-part series on Point of View: Techniques for Getting Inside a Character’s Head. Read the whole series. Outside Outside/Inside Inside Going Inside a Character’s Head, Heart […]

Point of View: Outside/Inside a Character’s Head

Partially Inside a Character’s Head: OUTSIDE AND INSIDE POV How deeply does a story take the reader into the head of a character. Many discussions of point of view skim over the idea that POV can related to how close a reader is to a reader. But David Jauss says there are two points of […]

Point of View: Techniques for Getting Inside a Character’s Head

Ivan

A story’s point-of-view is crucial to the success of a story or novel. But POV is one of the most complicated and difficult of creative writing skills to master. Part of the problem is that POV can refer to four different things, says David Jauss, professor at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, in his book, […]

Cloak, Cape or Hood: Writing Consistent Fiction

baseballbat

In this January 6, 2013 NPR interview, John Sandys talks about inconsistencies in movies that were released in 2012: Well, I think ’cause “Men in Black 3″ travels back and forth in time, it means you’ve got a whole host of factual mistakes as well, which it opens itself up to. One which jumped at […]

Telling the Other Side of the Story: Switching Point of View

POV

Question: How do you tell a story and make sure that both sides get heard? Answer: This is a time when switching point-of-view might be helpful. The default for telling a story is 3rd-person point-of-view. You tell it like you are recording from a camera that sits right above the point-of-view (POV) character’s head. Usually […]

63 Character Emotions to Explore

How would you describe this girl's emotions?

Readers want to get emotional when they read a piece of fiction, whether it is a novel or a picture book. We concentrate usually on character and plot, but often forget the emotional thread of a story. Emotions are one place where the author should “show, don’t tell,” or “show, then tell.” Show, Don’t Tell, […]

5 Quotes to Plot Your Novel By

IMG_6585

I am currently slogging through plot development of a new series of novels. Here are some helpful quotes. “A plot is just one thing after another, a what and a what and a what.” Margaret Atwood. It is hard to narrow down the possibilities of a story to a particular “WHAT happened next?”. It is […]