Worthy of Success

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had several of my writing students report some great success in attracting agents and winning contests, but I’ve heard from several other fine writers who seem . . . as if their resolve is flagging. They’re sending out manuscripts but not getting the quick success that they crave.

So I’ve had to remind some of them, “Just because you aren’t succeeding, it doesn’t mean that you’re not worthy of success.”

Very often, even when a publisher has a winner, they don’t recognize it, and so don’t properly promote it. I was reminded of this last week when talking to a movie producer, Ed Elbert. When he was young, the very first film that he worked on was this little thing called Star Wars.

He was told to put the trailer up on screens at 500 movie theaters in the US, but after seeing the trailer, he felt convinced that it should be promoted more heavily. In those days, putting it up on 2,600 screens would have been considered a “wide release,” if I recall the numbers correctly, but he went ahead and put it up on screens in 3,000 theaters across the US.

When the studio learned what he had done, they told him to pull the ads. One of their consultants told them that the ads were “driving viewers away,” and he was probably right. Older viewers wouldn’t have liked it. But the teens loved it.

So Ed talked to his boss and told him that he was going to leave the ads up. His boss smiled and said, “Well, if this works, you know I’ll probably get all of the credit. But if it fails, you’ll get fired.”

Ed said, “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

He left the ads up, and within a couple of weeks the studio execs were getting such a good response to the ads, they called and desperately demanded that he “put those ads back up!”

I think that Ed had the right idea. When you think you’ve got a winner, go ahead and push it. Send it to editors, and send it to agents. Be willing to invest your time and efforts into finding the right agent, editor, or movie producer. Success doesn’t come instantly. In fact all too often it comes well after we’ve exhausted ourselves.

But success is most likely to find you when you’re hard at work.


Fyrecon Master Class

Explore the writing process step-by-step over three days (four hours each day) and see exactly how it is done. Each hour we’ll cover a new step toward completion and beyond.

Hour 1–Brainstorming, “1001 Ideas in an Hour”
Hour 2–Brainstorming Settings
Hour 3–Create Your Characters
Hour 4–Weaving the Plot

Hour 5–Focus on Writing (Cleaning your palette, creating a writing space, focus)
Hour 6–Drafting Your Opening/Hooking Your Reader
Hour 7–Enchanting Your Reader Image by Image
Hour 8–Adding Complications

Hour 9–Powerful Endings
Hour 10–Editing to Greatness/Working with Editors
Hour 11–Sending it Out, Dealing With Editors and Agents
Hour 12–How to Make a Living as a Writer

12 Hour Master class $239
(includes general admission)
Sale $209
Class is limited to 30 students
Thursday, June 21th, 9am – 1pm
Friday, June 22th, 9am – 1pm
Saturday, June 21th, 9am – 1pm

Register or learn more here.

Quick Start Your Career

Please join David for his new workshop, Quick Start Your Writing Career, held on June 30, 2018 at the the Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at 101 W. 100 North, Provo, Utah 84601 USA. Ph. +1 801-377-4700.

The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour break for lunch. There are numerous restaurants near the hotel.

The workshop costs $99 for the day and lunch is not included. There is space for 80 attendees.

Dave will speak about the following subjects:

  1. Breaking onto the Bestseller Lists
  2. How to Get Discovered
  3. Defining Yourself As an Author
  4. Plotting Your Career
  5. Going Indie vs. Traditional Publishing
  6. Multimedia–Your Most Indispensable Asset
  7. How to Reach a Vast Audience
  8. Dealing with Agents, Editors, and Movie Producers.

Register here.

Fantasy Writing Workshop: Oxford 2018 (One Spot Left!) & Dublin 2019

YHA Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
August 22-August 28, 2018
Number of Students: Strictly Limited to 12
Number of Days: 7

Cost: $1,099 for the workshop. Lodging, food, and travel are all the student’s responsibility

TBD, Dublin, Ireland
August 7-August 13, 2019
Number of Students: Strictly Limited to 12
Number of Days: 7

Cost: $1,099 for the workshop. Lodging, food, and travel are all the student’s responsibility

Description: Join us for our most magical workshop ever! In this workshop, David Farland will be focusing on writing fantasy—building powerful magic systems, cultures, and worlds, creating fantasy characters, plotting fantasy, and writing powerful prose.

Students will need to bring a laptop, an unfettered imagination, and a strong work ethic. Being half-mad would also be a help.

This workshop will last three days longer than most of Dave’s workshops so that you will be able to focus on writing each day but still have some afternoons free to do some sightseeing.

Oxford: We will spend time visiting nearby sites like Stonehenge, The Eagle and Child Pub (where Tolkien and Lewis met with the Inklings writing group), Warwick Castle, Shakespeare’s home, and we will be within easy striking distance of London.

Dublin: We will spend time visiting nearby sights like The Book of Kells, Dublin Castle, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Register here.

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