David Farland

About David Farland

David Farland is an international New York Times bestselling science fiction and fantasy Author. He's one of the world’s most prominent and highly sought-after writing instructors and is also the lead judge for L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest. Over the course of the past 30 years he has trained hundreds of bestselling Authors including: Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time & The Way of Kings) James Dashner (The Maze Runner) Stephanie Meyer (Twilight) Brandon Mull (Fablehaven) He began his career writing under his name real name Dave Wolverton, when in 1986 he won L. Ron Hubbards Writers of the Future Contest. In the mid-1990s he began to follow his love for writing fantasy and Science Fiction under the pen name David Farland, where he became best known for his international best-selling Runelords series. Then In 1999 he set the Guinness Record for the World's Largest single-person, single book signing

David Farland’s Writing Tips: Resonance in Settings

When you write a story, any story, you write within the context of the whole of literature, of everything that has gone before.  The choice of words that you use will provide little clues to the story that your readers will often absorb almost instantly as they read.  The reader might not consciously recognize an allusion to another major work, but it will happen subconsciously.


For example, if I put an allusion to the bible into a tale and my reader hasn’t read the bible, he or she might not recognize that allusion.  But

Study with Integrity

Last week, a writer told me about how he had written a story several years ago that went on to win a Finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest. He then applied to a university to learn how to write, and his prose had gotten much richer and more powerful, but, increasingly, he no longer enjoyed writing, and couldn't stay motivated.

I’ve heard this story from dozens of writers, time and time again.

I had a similar problem with college writing courses. I had long been a fan of fantasy and science fiction, what

How to Start Off a Story

The first scene can be anything—a funny incident that introduces one of your protagonists, or perhaps an argument that leaves your reader shocked.  Maybe you'll write a scene that will leave your reader admiring your protagonist and cheering for her, or perhaps you'll introduce your tale with a gruesome murder that will leave the reader horrified but burning with intrigue. 

10 Tips for Bringing a Scene to Life (2020 update)

Years ago, I wrote an article on bringing a scene to life—and then I did an exercise based upon my own article. 

Here are the bare bones of that article. These are techniques and 10 "Tips for Bringing a Scene to Life"


1. Use "Resonators"

Especially at the beginning of a tale, use “resonators” to better tie into your audience's subconscious. 

A resonator is a word or image that gains power simply because your reader has seen it before. 


How to Start a Novel

When starting to write a novel, you should keep in mind: A good opening should promise the reader a powerful emotional impact if he or she reads on.

Learning to Write vs Becoming a Writer

So as I considered this problem, it struck me that as a writing instructor, I wanted to begin doing more than just teaching people how to write: I wanted to teach them how to be writers. We’ve been working at it with our Apex Writers Group for about ten months now, and I’m gratified with the success. One of our authors wrote just a couple of weeks ago: “After twelve years, I finally wrote ‘The End’ on my first novel manuscript, thanks to the Daily Sprints on Apex.” Another author finished his first book after 8 years. Others were only two or three.

David Farland’s Writing Tips: On Nurturing Writers

This week I celebrate a kind of anniversary. Thirteen years ago, in the first week of October, I started this blog. Originally it was going to be a daily blog, “David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants,” with the goal of helping to inspire and train writers. I kept it up daily for two years, but there were deadlines and sick days and I finally decided to cut it down to twice a week.

I started it because I’d taught a writing workshop, and afterward, one participant joked, “What I really need is for

Upcoming Online Master Workshops at Fyrecon


I am teaching a series of Master Workshops on launching your book.

Class 1 covers: Pre-Sales

  • Should you write a little novel or a biog series?
  • How do you turn your novel release into a major event?
  • Creating a bestseller-from designing a cover, choosing a font, to getting and selecting cover quotes.
  • How to write your bio and back copy
  • Selecting the right reviewers for your book.
  • Ramping up for the launch by creating your list.
  • Getting in front of the public-radios and television.
  • Choosing which bestseller lists to push for: Paperback, audiobook, e-book?

How to Write a Good Book

Before you start a novel, screenplay, or any tale at all, you should look at a number of things:

1) Do you like the basic concept?

If you aren’t excited about a novel, chances are excellent that you’ll lack the energy to finish it. Your subconscious will rebel at the idea, and you’ll just go through the motions, wishing that you were working on another project. So you have to find story ideas that thrill you. You have to write from the heart.

Free Advice to Improve Writing

The main things to remember when asking yourself "How can I improve my writing skills?" are: 1. Remember, free writing advice comes from the heart. 2. But watch out for ignorant advice. 3) Beware of teachers who hold back vital information. 4) Even the greatest writers can be poor teachers. 5) When seeking wisdom, search widely. Test the advice.

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