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How to Start Off a Story

The first scene can be anything—a funny incident that introduces one of your protagonists, or perhaps an argument that leaves your reader shocked.  Maybe you’ll write a scene that will leave your reader admiring your protagonist and cheering for her, or perhaps you’ll introduce your tale with a gruesome murder that will leave the reader horrified but burning with intrigue. 

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How to Start a Novel

When starting to write a novel, you should keep in mind:
A good opening should promise the reader a powerful emotional impact if he or she reads on.

Read More »

Learning to Write vs Becoming a Writer

So as I considered this problem, it struck me that as a writing instructor, I wanted to begin doing more than just teaching people how to write: I wanted to teach them how to be writers. We’ve been working at it with our Apex Writers Group for about ten months now, and I’m gratified with the success. One of our authors wrote just a couple of weeks ago: “After twelve years, I finally wrote ‘The End’ on my first novel manuscript, thanks to the Daily Sprints on Apex.” Another author finished his first book after 8 years. Others were only two or three.

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How to Write a Good Book

Before you start a novel, screenplay, or any tale at all, you should look at a number of things: 1) Do you like the basic

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Free Advice to Improve Writing

The main things to remember when asking yourself “How can I improve my writing skills?” are:
1. Remember, free writing advice comes from the heart.
2. But watch out for ignorant advice.
3) Beware of teachers who hold back vital information.
4) Even the greatest writers can be poor teachers.
5) When seeking wisdom, search widely. Test the advice.

Read More »

What is the Tagline of a Book?

When you’re writing a screenplay or a book, one of the first things that a writer may do is create a tagline. This is a single line that describes the work, defining it in some way, and is usually used in advertising a film.

Read More »

David Farland’s Writing Tips: Surprise and Revelations

An even richer source for surprise than setting is your cast. You can of course use the same techniques for creating surprises in characters as you do for settings. You can for example make a character a bit strange or grotesque. In The Godfather, we are fascinated by Don Corleone because of his strange nature—he’s powerful, seemingly warm-hearted one moment and unbelievably vicious the next.

Read More »

When Stories Break  

You started a story a while back that felt important and vital to you then, but you’ve matured, and it just doesn’t move you.

When that happens, write something else. Your head and your heart need to be in agreement. Many prolific writers suggest that when you feel thrilled by a story, you should apply your butt to a chair and hammer it out in the heat of passion.

Read More »

David Farland’s Writing Tips: Stealth Advertising

There are a lot of ways to publicize books. Your publisher might pay bookstores to create special displays or to place your books with the cover facing outward instead of having the spine out. This is called point-of-sale advertising. They might pay “comp” advertising fees to make sure that your book is displayed in five or six key locations in the bookstore, so that the customer has a better chance of stumbling across it.

Read More »

David Farland’s Writing Tip: Costs Versus Rewards

When you create a novel, there is a certain amount of time and money you will need to invest. Some of the time of composing the book is easy to gauge, but other allocations are harder to see.

Brainstorming and outlining your story. This is something that normally takes a few days, at least. You may want to write out your ideas, talk with your writing group, and run it past an editor or agent. I often have authors who have me “greenlight” their outlines as they look for ways to tell a story better or adapt it to a larger audience (email mystorydoctor@gmail.com to set up appointments to do that). So outlining might take a few days, but I’ve seen authors spend weeks honing a good outline to perfection.

Read More »

David Farland’s Writing Tip: How to Start a Story

“And what genre should I write in?” My answer is similar. “What genre do you most love to read? That’s the kind of story to keep you up at night working, and to give you the most rewarding writing experience. You’ll write it better because you’ll know the genre well enough to understand whether your ideas are cliché or fresh, and you’ll know what your readers expect.”

Read More »

Why are you writing that Novel?

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Read More »

How to Start Off a Story

The first scene can be anything—a funny incident that introduces one of your protagonists, or perhaps an argument that leaves your reader shocked.  Maybe you’ll write a scene that will leave your reader admiring your protagonist and cheering for her, or perhaps you’ll introduce your tale with a gruesome murder that will leave the reader horrified but burning with intrigue. 

Read More »

How to Start a Novel

When starting to write a novel, you should keep in mind:
A good opening should promise the reader a powerful emotional impact if he or she reads on.

Read More »

Learning to Write vs Becoming a Writer

So as I considered this problem, it struck me that as a writing instructor, I wanted to begin doing more than just teaching people how to write: I wanted to teach them how to be writers. We’ve been working at it with our Apex Writers Group for about ten months now, and I’m gratified with the success. One of our authors wrote just a couple of weeks ago: “After twelve years, I finally wrote ‘The End’ on my first novel manuscript, thanks to the Daily Sprints on Apex.” Another author finished his first book after 8 years. Others were only two or three.

Read More »

Free Advice to Improve Writing

The main things to remember when asking yourself “How can I improve my writing skills?” are:
1. Remember, free writing advice comes from the heart.
2. But watch out for ignorant advice.
3) Beware of teachers who hold back vital information.
4) Even the greatest writers can be poor teachers.
5) When seeking wisdom, search widely. Test the advice.

Read More »

What is the Tagline of a Book?

When you’re writing a screenplay or a book, one of the first things that a writer may do is create a tagline. This is a single line that describes the work, defining it in some way, and is usually used in advertising a film.

Read More »

David Farland’s Writing Tips: Surprise and Revelations

An even richer source for surprise than setting is your cast. You can of course use the same techniques for creating surprises in characters as you do for settings. You can for example make a character a bit strange or grotesque. In The Godfather, we are fascinated by Don Corleone because of his strange nature—he’s powerful, seemingly warm-hearted one moment and unbelievably vicious the next.

Read More »

When Stories Break  

You started a story a while back that felt important and vital to you then, but you’ve matured, and it just doesn’t move you.

When that happens, write something else. Your head and your heart need to be in agreement. Many prolific writers suggest that when you feel thrilled by a story, you should apply your butt to a chair and hammer it out in the heat of passion.

Read More »

David Farland’s Writing Tips: Stealth Advertising

There are a lot of ways to publicize books. Your publisher might pay bookstores to create special displays or to place your books with the cover facing outward instead of having the spine out. This is called point-of-sale advertising. They might pay “comp” advertising fees to make sure that your book is displayed in five or six key locations in the bookstore, so that the customer has a better chance of stumbling across it.

Read More »

David Farland’s Writing Tip: Costs Versus Rewards

When you create a novel, there is a certain amount of time and money you will need to invest. Some of the time of composing the book is easy to gauge, but other allocations are harder to see.

Brainstorming and outlining your story. This is something that normally takes a few days, at least. You may want to write out your ideas, talk with your writing group, and run it past an editor or agent. I often have authors who have me “greenlight” their outlines as they look for ways to tell a story better or adapt it to a larger audience (email mystorydoctor@gmail.com to set up appointments to do that). So outlining might take a few days, but I’ve seen authors spend weeks honing a good outline to perfection.

Read More »

David Farland’s Writing Tip: How to Start a Story

“And what genre should I write in?” My answer is similar. “What genre do you most love to read? That’s the kind of story to keep you up at night working, and to give you the most rewarding writing experience. You’ll write it better because you’ll know the genre well enough to understand whether your ideas are cliché or fresh, and you’ll know what your readers expect.”

Read More »

Why are you writing that Novel?

[fusion_builder_container type=”flex” hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” align_content=”stretch” flex_align_items=”flex-start” flex_justify_content=”flex-start” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” container_tag=”div” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” status=”published” border_style=”solid” box_shadow=”no” box_shadow_blur=”0″ box_shadow_spread=”0″ gradient_start_position=”0″ gradient_end_position=”100″ gradient_type=”linear” radial_direction=”center center” linear_angle=”180″ background_position=”center center”

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Most Recent Free Writing Tip!
Time to Get Serious
Free Writing Tips

Time to Get Serious

A lot of people “play” at writing. We tend to think of it as a hobby or a pastime. But I sometimes wonder how much

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