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So far Taya Okerlund has created 5 blog entries.

David Farland’s Writing Tips—3 Proving Questions for Big Ideas.

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 he was interested in writing about. The very idea gave him shivers. That’s important. You need to be excited enough to write the idea.

But it shouldn’t just give you shivers. You want ideas

David Farland’s Writing Tips: Who is this Story about, really?

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 like to read across gender, and 18% of women don’t. 

Similarly, studies have found that many children don’t like to read about “babies” who are younger than themselves.

In short, the reader is most

David Farland’s Writing Tips: Promises to Keep

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 the end!”

But the scene never did take place. At the time, I wasn’t familiar with the concept of stock art. I didn’t know that publishers sometimes bought high-quality artwork at a bargain

David Farland’s Writing Tips: Beware of False Suspense

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 that an audience feels when they engage in a story. Every story should engender some suspense, lest the audience wander away. What is suspense? It’s wondering if your hero will be tough enough

Writing Tip: Your Character’s Central Question

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, your protagonist often has people around him who define him.  Let’s take a romance story.  Perhaps your protagonist is young, from the “wrong side of the tracks.”  He’s poor white trash. His dad

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