“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
That is a fantastic example of pattern from The Tale of Two Cities. Readers love pattern. It makes a story memorable as well as fun to read.
The novel I’m working on currently basically revolves around a certain pattern that, without it, the plot wouldn’t even work. Sometimes pattern is a bit more difficult to figure out than the other things we look at, but it’s just as important.
When I took my creative writing class last semester, one of the things we did to practice pattern was to write poems. I am NOT a poet, but it did help with my ability to recognize and learn pattern better. My last project in that class was a short story (that will actually end up being the first chapter of a book), and the pattern in it made the story very powerful. I was almost amazed that it had come out of me!
So do some exercises, look at your work and see where you can add more pattern and let me know what you find out.