I am currently in Denver but thought I would share checklists over the next few weeks that I use to go over each and every one of my stories to make sure that all of my stories are "up to snuff," so to speak. I think that setting up your setting is something you need to do early on. Yes,
About David FarlandDavid 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
When you look at novels carefully, you will notice that the bestselling books of all time are usually big “doorstoppers.” In each genre, we see this pattern.
When the novel Dune was published, it was rejected by every publisher in the business until a company that sold engine books illustrating engine parts (so that you could easily order parts
In high school, I was fairly good in math—good enough to win a National Math Award and complete several years of college math in one year.
As a writer, you would think that we don’t need to use math very much, but we do it every day.
For example, yesterday I wrote 2200 words on a story. I then revised another
Over the years, I’ve seen a number of authors struggle with ideas for novels. Very often, those ideas mature into books, and sometimes they even become huge bestsellers. But how do you know if you’ve got an idea for a big book?
Last week, a young man presented an idea that would work just fine. He had a historical character that
When you create a story, perhaps the most monumental decision that you will make is the one regarding your protagonist. How many are there? What ages? Genders? Ethnicities? and so on.
The reason that this is important is that by choosing protagonists, you may be limiting your audience. A few years ago, a survey found that about 32% of men don’t
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,
As a teen, I once read a fantasy novel that had a picture on the cover that showed a wizard fighting with some lizard men. I read the novel, and liked it pretty well, except for one thing: the mage on the cover was too old, and there weren’t any lizard men. I kept thinking, “It must come at
I have a saying, “There are ten thousand right ways to write any story, but there are a million wrong ways to do it.” I use this to point out that lots of things work, but new writers often don’t recognize that some things never work. So let’s talk about one.
“Suspense.” Suspense is a pleasurable state of excitement or anticipation
The script doctor Michael Hague has pointed out that for every successful motion picture, there is a central question that revolves around the protagonist: “Who are you?” After studying this insight for twenty years, I’m convinced that Michael is right. You usually (because there are always exceptions) can’t write a powerful story of character without addressing this issue.
In other words,
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