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David Farland

About David Farland

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So far David Farland has created 158 blog entries.

Trading Up on Your Problems

A lot of people who want to become professional writers think that once you become a writer, you don’t have any problems. But any writer knows that we really do have our own set of problems. Becoming a full-time writer doesn’t solve all of your problems, you just trade up for new ones.

Who knew that those whining customers you took

You and Your Dumb Ideas

A writer contacted me a couple of days ago to ask if I would read and critique a screenplay. In looking at his query letter, it was obvious to me for a host of reasons that making this particular movie would be a bad idea. No studio in Hollywood would touch it. The audience for the movie wasn’t large enough

Waiting to be Discovered

Are you waiting to be discovered?

All of us writers are.

Maybe you’re a new writer hoping for praise from a writing group. If so, you’re waiting to be discovered. Or maybe you’re a first-time novelist waiting to hear back from an agent, or an old pro like me hoping to make a big movie deal.

No matter what stage you’re at in

Showing, Telling, Making

New writers are often told, “Show, don’t tell.” Normally this piece of advice is given when a writer gives a vague description. He might say, “Rhonda looked tired.” A good reader will wonder about that. There are varying degrees of tiredness. Does the writer mean that the character had a blank expression on her face, or does he mean that

Cross the Finish Line

You may not know it, but you’re a racehorse. If you look at writers from a publisher’s point of view, that’s exactly what you are. You’re someone who writes glorious novels, and if you want to make a name for yourself, you’ll do it frequently—once a year or more.

If you want to have publishers bet money on you—pay you large

When to Stop Polishing a Manuscript

Many new writers don’t know when to stop polishing a manuscript and move on to the next. Part of the reason for that might have to do with Ernest Hemingway.

Many years ago, a writer asked Hemingway, “How many times should I rewrite a manuscript?” Now, Hemingway hated dumb questions, so he answered “Oh, at least 60.”

He loved doing that to

Be Excited

The most productive writers, I’ve noticed, aren’t necessarily the ones with the most talent or the greatest skills. They may not be the most physically fit or even the most motivated. The most productive writers are the ones who get excited by their work.

What do I mean by “getting excited”? Quite simply this. To some degree, we are responsible for

Dream Big

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” -- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

You may not realize it, but as writers we are all on the same journey. We all start as “wannabes,” hoping to amaze audiences with our eloquence and powerful tales, and so we set out on a quest to become “writers.” Some of us take only a

What Makes a Story Great?

Recently I’ve had a number of my students ask, “What makes a story great?” For example, what sets apart a story that wins major awards from one that doesn’t? What makes one story monumental, a landmark in its field, while another story fades from memory?

The answers are pretty simple if you think about it. I don’t think that there is

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