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writing-tips-picWelcome to my Writing Tips page . . .

Here you’ll find lots of different information pertaining to writing: articles about writing, hints to keep you organized, quotations to inspire you, advice from different writers, and answers to frequently asked questions.  These various tips (for wont of a better name) will be archived under subject matter as the number grows.  Until then, enjoy these first two articles.

If you have a writing tip you’d like to share, send it to me at  If I can use it, I will, and I’ll give you credit.


Let’s Talk About Your Opening . . .

Posted March 2nd, 2015 by in Writing Tips

Not long ago a student asked me if I would mind providing more definition about the inciting incident and core conflict. He said they sounded the same to him. Also, he was confused about what I meant when I said the best openings begin slightly before the beginning. I had been explaining how it was […]


One Dozen Rules for Writing Effective Love Scenes

Posted November 21st, 2014 by in Writing Tips

• Love scenes should have a slow buildup of sexual tension. Anticipation, a slow seduction of the reader, is what to strive for. • The key ingredient to a good love scene is emotion. The scene must involve the reader emotionally. The reader should care what happens to these people. • Love scenes should not […]


Deliver on Your Promises

Posted June 3rd, 2014 by in Writing Tips

“The reader has certain rights. He bought your story. Think of this as an implicit contract. He’s entitled to be entertained, instructed, amused; maybe all three. If he quits in the middle, or puts the book down feeling his time has been wasted, you’re in violation.” ~ Larry Niven If you’re writing a mystery, you […]

  • “If you're seeing flashes of light, it may be because light bulbs are going on all over the place as a result of your excellent lessons and coaching. I'd heard of sequels before but never understood how they related to scene structure or what exactly they were or how exactly they function in the process of putting fiction together. This class is blowing my mind, and I can feel my writing starting to come together in important ways that I never understood how to do before. And it makes an amazing difference. Just saying thank you isn't enough, but it's a start. Thank you so much for all the ways you're helping us become better writers. I may be a slow learner, but feel I'm actually starting to get some of this stuff, and it's amazing.”

    — Dolores Kester, (Sisters in Crime Dramatic Techniques Master Class)

  • “Thank you, Pat! This class has been wonderful. The information you've provided has been so well organized and concise, and your responses to our efforts quick, clear and kind. I feel I've acquired a set of excellent tools for improving my work. The class has been a joy -- I can't believe it's over so soon!”

    — Susan Schreyer (Sisters in Crime Dramatic Techniques Master Class)

  • “Pat's class has helped be break through a long period of writer's block. She has given me tools that have helped me learn about my characters and devise scenes I never would have thought of on my own. Pat is so knowledgeable about writing, and she gives suggestions with a smile. Her attitude toward her students is always helpful. She's a fantastic teacher.”

    — Vicky Yelton

  • “Thanks, Pat, for the fabulous class. I learned tons and gained a lot of confidence in the process. I'm going to have to buy all the books as well. Great, great resources. I appreciate all your help with my project as well. It's wonderful to get personalized feedback. As a teacher, I know how much time and energy it takes to make comments on someone's writing. Much appreciated.”

    — Joanna Brown

  • “I've never had such personalized help before. Your lectures, the resources, the book suggestions. I couldn't have asked for more. I'll definitely be recommending this class to others.”

    — Leslie Marshman