David Farland's Writing Tips


Recent Writing Tips

How to write a novel

Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 5: Complexity

Once, I picked up a novel by a new writer and started to read. His scene construction looked fine at first glance: He had a character, in a setting, with a conflict, but the scene lacked luster. I asked him after I read it, “What was the purpose of that

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Man at computer

Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 4: Conflict

When writing strong scenes, conflict is key. If there is no conflict, the “scene” probably doesn’t contribute much to the story. Every story needs conflicts to drive it. You can write pieces that aren’t stories and that therefore have no conflict. We typically call these “slice of life” pieces or

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How to write a fiction book

How to Make Any Character Complex

In order to write a strong story, you almost always need complex characters. The three best ways to make any character complex are to create, consider, and explore their 1) seeming contradictions, 2) personal boundaries and value systems, and 3) layers of identity. Admittedly, not every character in a story

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fantasy landscape purple

Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 3: Setting

Though a scene can have a dozen different types of virtues, it must take place in some type of location, and truly unforgettable scenes don’t often come together when the setting is tepid or common. Use Imagery Now, a scene comes to life when the writer imbues it with enough

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stage people

Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 2: Beginning with Character

Historically, a “scene” was a set on a play. It consisted of the setting in which a dramatic exchange took place. It’s not a coincidence that “scene” and “seen” sound exactly alike. But as novelists, we don’t necessarily have the same kinds of “scenes” that occur in a play. A

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scene action

Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 1

How To Write Powerful Scenes A story is made up of both large components, such as try/fail cycles and denouements, and small components, such as scenes and sentences. In order for your story to be strong, you need to write strong scenes. I’m in the process of taking a screenplay

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How to write a fiction book

How to Write and Raise the Stakes More Effectively

Writers are repeatedly advised to “raise the stakes.” Stakes are often defined as what the character has to lose. But when you understand—more accurately—the relationship between plot and stakes, you can create them more easily. And when you understand—more accurately—how they actually work, you can raise them by using the

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how to write a book

Finding Your Talent

Every writer has his or her own talents and strengths. Don’t give up on your writing. Very often as a writer, I will find myself reading a tale by another author and saying, “My, I wish that I had her talent.” I’m sure that most of you feel the same

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Writing Tips for Fiction Writers

Writing Tips for Fiction Writers MyStoryDoctor.com is the first and last place you should visit for the best writing tips on the web. Writing a book can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. Google can help you to a point, but how do you

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writing the middle of your book

3 Tips that Strengthen Middles

While writing the middle of a story usually isn’t as tricky as the beginning, for many authors, the middle can start to sag if they aren’t careful. Previously we went over three problems that come up with middles. Today we are back to add three tips to keep your middle

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Eyes viewpoint

Dos and Don’ts for Writing Viewpoint Voice

Many readers and editors state that a strong voice immediately draws them into a story, and one of the most important voices will come from your viewpoint character. But even when you’ve developed their personality and voice, it can still be tricky to actually get them on the page. Here

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how to overcome writers block

3 Problems that Come Up with Middles

For many people, the middle of the novel is the biggest challenge. Writers usually know when they’ve got a good start, and they have months to think about how to create a great climax. But what do you do with all of that stuff in between? Thankfully, by the time

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woman voice talk sing stage

Understand and Implement Voice

In writing, voice happens at three levels: the author, the narrator, and the characters each have their own voices. While many editors and readers openly state they are hooked and reeled into a story by a strong voice, many writers struggle to understand let alone implement voice. Despite voice often

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Fantasy Modern World

Fantasy and Our Modern World

Fantasy and Our Modern World: A Few Observations The first truly modern fantasy work was The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. That’s not a statement that very many critical theorists can dispute. But what is fantasy, and how did Tolkien make it “modern” and what does it mean

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