The Importance of Setting

Why is it important? Mary Buckham, USA Today Bestselling author recently presented WRITING ACTIVE SETTING for David Farland’s mentoring group, Apex-Writers. It is an important element of story and one that oftentimes is employed too little and sometimes too much. But why is it important? How does one give just enough? There is a mindset […]

5 Lessons I Learned Working with David Farland

I’m sitting in a home office, at a desk, with my laptop open—but it’s not my home office, and it’s not my desk. There is a big bookcase full of fantasy books and keepsakes. But they are not my books or my keepsakes. The door is closed to keep out the cat—I’m allergic. I’m pounding […]

David Farland’s Hourglass of Evil

Unveiling the Hourglass of Evil: A Powerful Writing Tool for Captivating Storytelling Very often, when you’re preparing to plot a novel and feel bereft of ideas, you can look at other books and find interesting approaches and techniques for storytelling that might be of help.  I call these “Storytelling Tools.”  Here is one that I […]

Our Brains on Story

Brain on Story

Humans have been telling stories since we’ve had language — in fact, interesting things happen to the brain on story. Since our birth we have been inundated myths, legends, fairy tales, captivating novels and on a historical basis oral storytelling has expanded to print, plays, television shows, movies, video games…. It seems like what changes […]

Six Benefits of Belonging to a Writers Group

Benefits to Belonging to a Writers Group

What are the benefits to belonging in a good writing group? You may be considering joining one, if you haven’t already. Or, you may be re-evaluating if the one you belong to isn’t providing you with the core things that you need. After all, you have been using your creativity, creating new worlds, people, and […]

The Real Costs of Writing a Book

What are the real costs of writing a book? If you’ve been “bitten by the writing bug” then you are exceedingly aware of the pull to write — even if it isn’t an everyday activity yet. You may be working on a particular story, something that’s been yanking on your imagination for years. Or feeling […]

Reeling in Your Reader: The Power of Hooks

Captivating your reader’s attention and submerging them deep inside the story world is one of the universal goals for writers. We want our readers to experience the heart hammering, gasping for breath, sitting at their seat’s edge wondering how in the midnight sky their beloved character is going to escape an impossible conundrum. And to […]

Considering Crucibles in Writing

Crucibles in writing force characters together, which can strengthen your story’s conflicts. In everyday life, a crucible is a container used to hold metal or liquid as it boils.  For example, to melt gold, one takes a heavy bowl made from steel and sets it in a fire.  The steel, which can withstand higher temperatures […]

Context is Key: The Three ‘Must-Have’ Elements in Every Scene

Hey there! Savannah here. Did you know that a lack of context is one of the most common reasons readers disengage from a story? It makes sense because people read to be totally immersed in another time and place–to be in the skin of another person, experiencing the story as they do. So, when you […]

What Does Your Story Accomplish?

As a judge, I’ve just finished my second pass through the Writers of the Future contest stories for the first quarter, and several times I have been reminded of something: Your story needs to accomplish a lot. Let me explain.  Very often I get good stories that are told pretty well. With beginning authors, even […]