Fight, Chase, Shoot, Battle! Action Scene Checklist

castles-healy

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, […]

3 Reasons I Failed NaNoWriMo – and Why It’s OK

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I am a failure. I signed up for NaNoWriMo–again. And again–I failed to make 50,000 words. But I have good reasons. World Building. I did massive work this month on world building. Since I’m writing a science fiction novel, I needed to invent technology, figure out where to locate installations, design the installations to meet […]

10 Writer Quotes to Keep you Working on Your Novel

30 Days to a Stronger Novel Online Video course Writing teacher Darcy Pattison teachers an online video course, 30 Days to a Stronger Novel. Each day includes an inspirational quote, and tips and techniques for revising your novel. Here are the 10 of the inspirational quotes. Sign up now for the online video course. The […]

3 Ways to Know If Your YA Fiction Is Really New Adult Fiction

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In the immortal words of Charlotte in E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” I was privileged to have Deborah Halverson edit my Harcourt picture book, Searching for Oliver K. Woodman. When we met at a retreat, it was instant friendship, […]

How to Write a Book Series: 3 Crucial Decisions

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To write a series of books, my biggest tip is to plan ahead. You may get by with writing one book on the fly—plenty of people do that. But for a series to hang together, to have cohesion and coherence, planning is essential. Here are three decisions you should make early in the planning process. […]

39 Villain Motivations

Villain(ess) - 39 Motivations. From darcypattison.com

I’m working on motivating my villain(ess) and have found 39 possible motivations. I’m sure there are more, but these should jump start your imagination. They are presented here with a statement from the villain(ess)’s point of view. Romance: I want to marry the princess. Revenge – ruin a hero: I want to ruin the King. […]

NOVEL REVISION CHARTS: 2 Tools for Smart Re-Thinking of Your Story

Finseth's Novel Revision Chart

An aid to smart revising based on Darcy Pattison’s techniques Guest Post by Claudia Finseth I recently took Darcy’s Whole Novel Workshop and read her book, Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise. Between the two, there was a great deal of valuable new information to process. I’m very visual, so one way I worked through […]

Scene: Fast or Fast-Paced?

Fast-paced scenes aren't necessarily fast scenes.

Is your scene fast or fast-paced? There’s a difference, an important difference. A fast paced scene has lots of small changes happening, which keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat. Think of it as the last few minutes of a basketball game where the ball changes hands often, and the score bounces back […]

How to Ruin Your Novel’s Opening with a Few Wrong Words

Choosing the right set of words–the diction of your novel–is crucial, especially in the opening pages of your novel. Novels are a context for making choices, and within that context, some words make sense and some don’t. A novel sets up a certain setting, time period, tone, mood and sensibilities and you must not violate […]

NonFiction Picture Books: Research Required

March 2014 picture book,

How much research do you need to do for a children’s nonfiction picture book? Tons! Nonfiction means that you have the facts straight, ma’am. 3 sources agree. Traditionally, writers look fora at least three sources to back up each piece of information. This means the content isn’t just a personal opinion or a poorly researched […]

Frosty the Snowman’s Top 5 Writing Tips

Frosty's Top 6 Writing Tips

Happy Holidays Just got an e-newsletter from the North Pole and Santa passed along these writing tips from the Frosty the Snowman, posted for the young-at-heart who are writing novels this year. Back by popular demand is my series on writing tips from popular Christmas figures. First published in 2007, they are updated here for […]

Get Your Tone Right

Darcy at the Alamo

“Young man, don’t speak to me in that tone of voice!” When you see that bit of dialogue, you know that a boy is talking sarcastically or disrespectfully. We understand that it’s not just the words said, but it’s how the words are used that conveys an attitude. Humor, irony, satire, pleasantness, excitement, righteous indignation–the […]

The 13-Year Picture Book: Anne Broyles

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guest post by Anne Broyles Anne attended a novel revision retreat a couple years ago. Switching from novels to picture books, she applied all the principles of great writing and the result is an amazing story. Here, she talks about her revision process. –Darcy Arturo and the Navidad Birds With the publication of my third […]