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A Checklist for Writing Your Story

A Checklist for Writing Your Story

Use this checklist for writing your story, and you will write even stronger stories. David Farland was a best-selling author and contest judge for the world’s largest short story competition. When I used to write for competitions, I would make lists of ways that judges might look at my work in order to grade it. […]

Writing the Profound

Writing The Profound

For some authors, it is enough to try to make big bucks, but most of us would like to deliver a powerful message at times, too—something that carries extra meaning in our lives, something profound. Doctors studying the neuro-science of storytelling go so far as to suggest that a story doesn’t really work unless it […]

Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 7: Say Something!

jello

Strong stories are built through meaningful scenes. Write stories that have meaning by tapping into subtext or theme, or by adding your own insight. Very often as a reader, I’ll come across a story that is well written in many regards: The characters have strong voices. The setting is energetically created. The action progresses in […]

The Secret Ingredients for Writing Theme

How to write a novel

Many people in the writing community caution against writing with a theme in mind. They argue that if you do, your story will feel contrived, or worse, preachy. But this is only true if you don’t know what you are doing. And for many writers, unfortunately, that is exactly the case. Setting, characters, and plot […]

A Guide to Critiquing a Story

writing group critique

How should we critique someone’s writing? Frequently authors ask if I have a form that I use to help me critique a story.  Given the large number of things that I look at in a story, any form that I might use would simply be too long to be workable.  Yet it makes sense to […]

Finding Your Theme

In brainstorming a work, you will often find that you want your characters to behave in certain ways.  And as they grow and develop, you may even find that you need to justify why they do what they do.  If you get deep enough into their thought processes, you can almost imagine them arguing with […]

Finding Your Theme

In brainstorming a work, you will often find that you want your characters to behave in certain ways.  And as they grow and develop, you may even find that you need to justify why they do what they do.  If you get deep enough into their thought processes, you can almost imagine them arguing with […]

Writing the Perfect Story, Part 2

Earlier, I talked about one attribute that the perfect story will display—honesty.  You can’t layer a tale with a thin veneer of factoids and give it the verisimilitude that it needs to be a “perfect” story.  Nor can you skimp on your plotting and characterization and hope to arouse a stunning emotional response. Today I […]

What’s the Rush?

I see a lot of trends in today’s literature. Perhaps the biggest one is that every writer seems to be in a rush. Many new writers try to keep the pacing blazing hot. They’ve heard that in today’s world, kids are trained to think in “sound bites,” and anything longer than a television commercial bores […]

Aim for Profundity

So how do you write a story that is profound?  Here are a few things to think about.

1. Does the story present a theme? In other words, does it touch on topics that people deal with on a regular basis and argue about?
2. Does the story present a viewpoint that the reader hasn’t considered before?
3. Does the tale present an actual argument, thoughtfully taking into account opposite points of view?
4. Does the tale offer an ingenious solution?

Wait, before you go…

Be sure to get free access to David Farland’s course on how to brainstorm, pre-write and outline a bestselling novel!

Advanced Story Puzzle Course