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Patricia Kay’s Scene Checklist

Posted March 28th, 2014 by in Writing Tips

 Patricia Kay’s Scene Checklist Questions to ask yourself about your scenes:  Is there a clear scene goal?  Does the point-of-view character want something or want to accomplish something during the scene?  Is the point of view clear?  Would the scene be more interesting and/or dramatic if another point-of-view character had been used instead?  If this […]


That all-important “C” word

Posted March 22nd, 2014 by in Blog, This Writing Life

In every class I teach, the subject of conflict is unavoidable. Truth is, no matter how knowledgeable or skillful the students, whenever there’s a problem with a scene, it’s almost always because there’s not enough conflict. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for even the best writers to plunge their characters into trouble and […]


How do you know when you’re old?

Posted March 9th, 2014 by in Blog, Pat Tales

I recently had a birthday.  I was born in 1937, so you can do the math. The day before my birthday I got a phone call from my oldest (not by age, by how long we’ve known each other) friend here in Houston — a woman who knows pretty much everything about me, and I, […]


The First Five Pages

Posted March 2nd, 2014 by in Writing Tips

A Fifteen Point Checklist Developed By Patricia Kay • Hook the reader with an intriguing opening. • Start your story just before the beginning on the day that is different. • Introduce your protagonist – if your book is a romance, either your hero or your heroine should be introduced in the first scene. • […]


Going for the Gold

Posted February 21st, 2014 by in Blog

I’m a skating junkie. I love watching figure skaters and ice dancers. To me, there’s no greater marriage of artistry, beauty, and athleticism. I get all caught up in the drama and intrigue surrounding the skating world and its stars. My husband didn’t feel the same way. In fact, he had gotten to the point […]


What signal are you sending?

Posted February 11th, 2014 by in Blog, Pat Tales

“Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.” ~ David Letterman Something that really ticks me off is drivers who ignore traffic signals and run red lights. They’re in such a hurry, consider themselves so important, that they can’t wait a couple of minutes for a green light. So they risk not just their […]


Home again . . .

Posted February 8th, 2014 by in Blog

This afternoon I leave sunny Ft. Myers and return to Houston where it hasn’t been very sunny the past couple of weeks. Today, though, some sunshine is predicted, although the high is only supposed to be about 59 degrees. That’s fine with me; I happen to enjoy cold weather. Houston summers are long and brutally […]


The movies of our lives

Posted February 6th, 2014 by in Blog

The other day, Facebook made movies of every subscriber’s life. They filtered through all the news and pictures we shared over our years of membership and set a smattering of it to music. Voila! A movie of our life. It’s a clever idea. I admit I enjoyed looking at mine and others. However, it’s hardly […]


Keeping the Action Onstage

Posted February 4th, 2014 by in Blog, This Writing Life

A common mistake many beginning writers make is telling the reader about something important that happened instead of showing it in a scene. Case in point: most of you know that I teach various writing classes online. Recently I read the opening of one of my most talented students, a woman who has already sold […]


Write what you know . . .

Posted February 1st, 2014 by in Blog, This Writing Life

How many times have you heard that piece of advice? A lot, right? It’s a simple statement, pretty easy to understand . . . after all, we wouldn’t want to write what we don’t know. But that oft-repeated advice almost stopped me from ever attempting to write a book. Why? Because I didn’t think I […]