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Latest Writing Tips

Writing Long

I was talking to a movie producer yesterday who has about eighty films to his credit, and he was telling me some war stories about

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Single-draft Shakespeare

Some authors advocate writing only a single draft of a work, and then moving on. With concentration and training, some writers do learn to do that beautifully, but most never become first-rank authors. The most blatant exception of course was William Shakespeare.

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Getting Great “Word of Mouth” Advertising

as authors, all of us want to get great word of mouth advertising. It is easily the least expensive form of advertising—since it costs you nothing—and the most productive form of advertising, since it comes in the form of testimonials from people that you know, and trust, and who are more or less a lot like you.

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To Grow or Not to Grow

In literary fiction, it is often said that the characters should merely “change,” not grow. But it is not nearly so enjoyable watching the demise of a protagonist as it is to watch one succeed. Change may intrigue, but growth inspires. Indeed, here’s a key not only to understanding characters, but to understanding people: look at anyone who is feeling anger, depression, or sadness.

Read More »

What’s the (plot) point?

When we write a story, we are interested in the things that change in a person’s life. So any time that something significant changes, then we have a new “plot point” that we need to put on our plotting chart.

Read More »

Audio Fatigue

Many times, you’ll find that you must use the same words over and over. For example, if two men are trying to fix a radiator on a truck, you will probably need to say “radiator” several times. 

Read More »
How to write emotion

Exploding the 10,000-hour Myth

It has always seemed to me that route practice of a craft isn’t enough. You can’t just show up at college and become a brain surgeon. You have to bring a certain amount of passion and discipline with you. You have to analyze your work, make adjustments, and push forward. You can’t be content just to learn from others, you have to try to make your own discoveries.

Read More »

Turning Inspiration into Habit

Each year several hundred thousand people sit down to write with the goal of composing 50,000 words on a novel. That’s a challenge for a new writer.

Read More »
Write a book series

Writing Your Series, Part 6

Sometimes, readers fall in love with a writer’s characters. It’s hard to say who the reader falls in love with, actually. Sometimes a character becomes imbued with bits and pieces of an author—the author’s quick sense of humor, his or her sense of honor, or the author’s eloquence.

Read More »
Write a book series

Writing Your Series, Part 5

As authors we have to figure out ways to keep the reader interested, keep them eager to come back to our world and visit our characters once again.

Read More »
Write a book series

Writing Your Series, Part 4

When you begin to write a series, there are a number of strategies that you can adopt. Each has some advantages, and each has some pitfalls. It reminds me of the story of a traveler years ago who was getting ready to take a long dirt road that was filled with ruts. A sign at the beginning of the dirt road said, “Choose your rut wisely. You’ll be in it for the next 22 miles.”

Read More »
Write a book series

Writing Your Series, Part 3

When you put out the first novel in your series, you’re trying to get two things—a large number of sales, and a high velocity. In other words, the booksellers are always looking for something that’s “hot.”

Read More »
Write a book series

Writing Your Series, Part 2

When you write a series, under ideal conditions you can get some traction with your books and build toward hitting the New York Times Bestseller’s list. In order to hit #1 on the list, you need to do a few things:

Read More »
Creative Writing
David Farland

Writing Long

I was talking to a movie producer yesterday who has about eighty films to his credit, and he was telling me some war stories about

Read More »
Creative Writing
David Farland

Writing for Lonely Readers

More than twenty years ago as I was finishing up some of my writing classes, I asked an aging poet named Leslie Norris, “How have

Read More »
Creative Writing
David Farland

Single-draft Shakespeare

Some authors advocate writing only a single draft of a work, and then moving on. With concentration and training, some writers do learn to do that beautifully, but most never become first-rank authors. The most blatant exception of course was William Shakespeare.

Read More »
Creative Writing
David Farland

Getting Great “Word of Mouth” Advertising

as authors, all of us want to get great word of mouth advertising. It is easily the least expensive form of advertising—since it costs you nothing—and the most productive form of advertising, since it comes in the form of testimonials from people that you know, and trust, and who are more or less a lot like you.

Read More »
Creative Writing
David Farland

To Grow or Not to Grow

In literary fiction, it is often said that the characters should merely “change,” not grow. But it is not nearly so enjoyable watching the demise of a protagonist as it is to watch one succeed. Change may intrigue, but growth inspires. Indeed, here’s a key not only to understanding characters, but to understanding people: look at anyone who is feeling anger, depression, or sadness.

Read More »
Creative Writing
David Farland

What’s the (plot) point?

When we write a story, we are interested in the things that change in a person’s life. So any time that something significant changes, then we have a new “plot point” that we need to put on our plotting chart.

Read More »
Creative Writing
David Farland

Audio Fatigue

Many times, you’ll find that you must use the same words over and over. For example, if two men are trying to fix a radiator on a truck, you will probably need to say “radiator” several times. 

Read More »
How to write emotion
Creative Writing
David Farland

Exploding the 10,000-hour Myth

It has always seemed to me that route practice of a craft isn’t enough. You can’t just show up at college and become a brain surgeon. You have to bring a certain amount of passion and discipline with you. You have to analyze your work, make adjustments, and push forward. You can’t be content just to learn from others, you have to try to make your own discoveries.

Read More »
Creative Writing
David Farland

Turning Inspiration into Habit

Each year several hundred thousand people sit down to write with the goal of composing 50,000 words on a novel. That’s a challenge for a new writer.

Read More »
Write a book series
Creative Writing
David Farland

Writing Your Series, Part 6

Sometimes, readers fall in love with a writer’s characters. It’s hard to say who the reader falls in love with, actually. Sometimes a character becomes imbued with bits and pieces of an author—the author’s quick sense of humor, his or her sense of honor, or the author’s eloquence.

Read More »
Write a book series
Creative Writing
David Farland

Writing Your Series, Part 5

As authors we have to figure out ways to keep the reader interested, keep them eager to come back to our world and visit our characters once again.

Read More »
Write a book series
Creative Writing
David Farland

Writing Your Series, Part 4

When you begin to write a series, there are a number of strategies that you can adopt. Each has some advantages, and each has some pitfalls. It reminds me of the story of a traveler years ago who was getting ready to take a long dirt road that was filled with ruts. A sign at the beginning of the dirt road said, “Choose your rut wisely. You’ll be in it for the next 22 miles.”

Read More »
Write a book series
Creative Writing
David Farland

Writing Your Series, Part 3

When you put out the first novel in your series, you’re trying to get two things—a large number of sales, and a high velocity. In other words, the booksellers are always looking for something that’s “hot.”

Read More »
Write a book series
Creative Writing
David Farland

Writing Your Series, Part 2

When you write a series, under ideal conditions you can get some traction with your books and build toward hitting the New York Times Bestseller’s list. In order to hit #1 on the list, you need to do a few things:

Read More »
Write a book series
Creative Writing
David Farland

Writing Your Series Part 1

Every week or two, someone asks me whether their first novel should be a standalone or if they should begin a series. The answer to

Read More »