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David Farland

As a college student studying pre-medical microbiology, David Farland was torn: He also wanted to be a writer. So he decided to be a doctor who writes on the side.

Fortunately he soon found out that the desire to write was overwhelming. At the same time, his interest in medicine waned. “I found my biochemistry classes to be so boring, I could hardly stay awake in them,” he says.

As David considered writing more seriously, he heard that the average writer spends seven years learning how to write well enough to get published. He wondered, was it possible to learn to write that well in less than seven years? Could it be done in one year?

Taking cues from his scientific studies, David decided he would apply the same logical approach to the study of publishing. He developed many theories that have informed his approach to writing, including the Stress Induction/Reduction Theory of Storytelling that suggests that stories serve a physiological need in readers.

Armed with his theories, David determined to win first place in a writing contest within one year. He prepared several manuscripts and submitted them to various contests—and won them all.

Publishing contracts and illustrious awards followed and set the tone for his career. He went on to publish some fifty novel-length works and dozens of short stories, both under his given name (Dave Wolverton) and under his pseudonym, David Farland.

In the early 1990s, Dave accepted a position as lead judge for one of the world’s largest writing contests and began to mentor students. A few years later, he was also invited to teach creative writing at Brigham Young University.

As a writing instructor, he has mentored dozens of New York Times bestselling authors, including Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), James Dashner (The Maze Runner), and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).

Seeing his students take their own stories to greatness has become one of David’s greatest joys in life. Not only does he love sharing the lessons he’s learned from a lifetime of empirical study, he excels at diagnosing story problems and prescribing the right course of treatment for ultimate success.

Today Dave shares his knowledge and expertise with writers around the world through his #WritingTip articles, books on writing and various online and live lectures and workshops.

About his life, David says, “I seem to have become a writer who now works as a doctor on the side—a story doctor.”

 

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