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David Farland's Writing Tips

Powerful Openings

Is your opening powerful? If not, why not? I’ve been judging a huge writing contest this week, and had literally a couple hundred stories that came close to placing as finalists. These stories were good, the writing beautiful, but the story itself was often flawed—and usually in the opening. You see, in a short story, every scene must be needed.

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Be Patient

Every author is impatient for good news. We’re all working toward something. You might be working toward your first sale, or maybe it’s your next novel contract. You might be trying to get a movie deal, or perhaps land on the New York Times bestseller list. That’s the way that it should be. You should have goals and dreams and

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How to Reach Number one on WattPad

How I Hit Number One on Wattpad

How to Succeed on Wattpad
Have a professional looking cover. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is! That is how most readers on Wattpad will discover your writing, and the cover has to convince them it’s worth checking out.
Post as clean a copy as possible. Readers will forgive the occasional typo, but if the story is riddled with errors, it’s unlikely that your story will take off. With over 100 million uploads, the readers have plenty of other options.

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Types of Transport

When the movie Avatar came out, I went to see it and wrote a little review on it. I said then that it transported its viewer to another world better than any previous science fiction film—and that because of that, it would be considered by many youngsters to be the “best science fiction film of all time.” Mind you, the

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The Irresistible Novel

Two or three times a week I get asked, “Where can I find a great book on editing?” I’m always flummoxed by that question. You see, I’ve read dozens of excellent books on editing, and I always have to stop and say, “First, you can’t read just one book on editing. If you really want to understand the controversies in

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Never Have Writer’s Block Again

The best advice I’ve ever heard Ernest Hemingway give is the advice I personally swear by. He said, “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck.” If you’ve scheduled your writing

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The Importance of Finding Your Tribe

This spring I attended a writers’ conference in Utah. When I walked into the conference center, I noticed their sign said “Welcome to the Tribe.”Now, I know what a tribe is, but the word used to be limited to aboriginal groups in far-flung eras or countries. I know it’s become a buzz-word in social media though, and seeing it on

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Writing Contests!

Writing contests are an excellent way to hone your skills and get noticed. The United Authors Association is a new non-profit writer’s organization with the principal goal of improving literacy. Bob Muench says, “We are working with the state prison in Draper to start helping their residents improve their reading and writing skills. We have set up a writing contest

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The Heart of Your Story

I was asked to read a screenplay over the weekend. It opened with two minutes during which it explained what a common household device was, showing how it was made in a factory. Then for three more minutes it had characters eating breakfast talking about their cultural heritage. I began to wonder when the story would begin. For the next

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Write What You Know or What You Can Imagine?

Many years ago, the most common bit of writing advice doled out to aspiring authors was “write what you know”. We all became so familiar with that advice, even third-grade children considered it when choosing topics for their creative writing assignments. However, Frank Herbert certainly never visited the barren and dangerous world of Dune prior to writing about it so

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Quotable Quotes

Sometimes when I read a story, I find that it’s just “bleh.” It may be easy to understand, easy to follow, but I have a hard time identifying any real virtues. For example, when you write a story, look at your dialog. Are there any quotable lines in it? If you go to IMDB.com (the internet movie database) and look

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Developing Charisma as an Author

Over the past three decades, I’ve helped a number of writers reach the point where they’ve become international bestsellers, and I’ve spotted a trend. Most bestsellers attract an audience in part because they are charismatic. But what does charismatic mean? Some people think that in order to be charismatic you need to be physically beautiful and that certainly won’t hurt.

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A Proofreader in Your Pocket

A Proofreader in Your Pocket A Guest Post by Nikolas Baron from Grammarly Do you enjoy editing and proofreading your own work? If you’re like most writers, self-editing is a slog—but it doesn’t have to be. You can use an automated proofreading tool, such as the popular program Grammarly, to supplement your self-editing process. There are several reasons why using

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When to Focus on Your World

An ad for a popular screenwriting class recently stated, “A great screenplay starts with character,” so their latest offering was on creating great characters. But that’s not how many writers start.You see, a great character has to come from someplace, has to interact with his environment, his world. If you’re writing contemporary mainstream stories, you might well pick a character

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The Price of Magic

Everything in life has a cost. It’s a law so universally understood that we feel it in our bones. Yet when we deal with fiction, some writers forget to consider the high price of magic. The renowned author Nancy Kress noted that a defining moment in her career came when a fellow writer pointed out to her that she needed

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