I've had a lot of trouble with patter. I'll admit, I used to (and still do sometimes) imitate Oz because he was the only person I would see do a trick. This was OK at first, but later whenever I performed I would feel like my spectators were deprived of a good performance. I could never figure out why. But today I finally realized that it was because I wasnt performing for them, Oz was.
I've been working on new patter for tricks, and find that when I perform, my audience and I enjoy the tricks A LOT more. But creating new patter isnt easy. I'm still not very good at it, but maybe what I've realized can help.
There are two basic concepts I use when creating my own patter. The first is that it has to pertain to the trick. Now, this sounds pretty obvious, but I probably mean it in a slightly different way than you think. Take Triumph, for example. What happens in Triumph? Well, cards get mixed face up into face down and flip over all except a selected card. So the patter needs to pertain to that.
Now, you could narrate whats happening: "And we shuffle face up into face down... and now they flip over." But that sucks. Nobody listens to that. Its boring. So lets look for exciting things in that happen in the trick by finding words that sound exciting. Sounds weird, but it works. "Mixed" and "flip" are the ones that stand out to me. Mix doesnt really have much options, so lets discard that one. We have "flip". Whats so exciting about the word "flip", you ask? Well, it LOOKS exciting when the DECK ACTUALLY FLIPS. Thats what I do, usually while saying some wierd description like "180 triple barrel-roll mctwist" to make the trick more exciting and more plausible.
The second concept is that the patter must pertain to your style. If your style is that of a business man, dont say "rad signature on that card, dude!". I think you get the idea. There are also many posts about attitude and style on the forums if you need help with those.
Heres some tips that might help you that I use:
Exciting words are usually verbs that you might hear while at a skate park, or just verbs
Tempo is important, for example I say "180 triple barrel-roll mctwist" very fast as I throw up the deck so it spins, but talk slow at the first climax of my ACR
The words "I dont want to touch it" and "You turn it over" are powerful words in card magic patter
Humor is important. If you're the serious type, then don't put in any jokes at all. If you're the clown-ish type, then the patter should be 90% jokes. Also, the jokes should make sense, otherwise they're not funny.
Your patter should make either total sense or no sense at all to the audience
"I've been known to mess up right here...... but not this time!" is a good way to increase the livelyness of the trick
"One-handed" is usually an impressive thing to say, espicially in cards, but dont overuse it because it wont be special anymore. "Behind the back" is good when they can see what youre doing, otherwise it ruins it.
Not looking while doing something is good, but its like "anti-misdirection". Dont say "I'm not gonna look" and then do a pass. Doing a flourish, like a hot shot cut, coin roll, sybil cut, etc. usually work for this.
Thats my second essay; I hope it helps. Sorry about the references to card magic instead of other types, but I'm a card magician. PM me if you need help with patter because I wont watch any replies on this post.