Writing the Impossible

When I fell in love with the idea of writing, it was after reading my favorite novel of all time. I thought, I want to write stories like that, not realizing how big my dream really was.

You see, when I meet new authors, I almost always find that they hope to write great works, monumental novels. When you think about the books that you love, you’ll probably realize that they’re considered the very best of their kind. No one wants to write a novel that anyone could write.

So as authors, we often face challenges. For example, one time a writer asked, “I have a story that I’m working on. I’m writing it in third-person, with a very tight focus on the character’s point of view, and I want to know, is it possible to hide information from the reader and reveal it in the end? For example, what if I have a character who isn’t who he says that he is, but reveal his true identity at the end?”

My very first thought was, No, that’s not really possible. If you’re deep into the protagonist’s mind, if we as readers know what he is thinking, then it will feel like a cheat if you pull out something big.

I see a lot of writers who try this particular cheat, and it never works.

But I’ve learned that just about any time that you think that something is impossible to do, in a day or so you’ll notice that someone else has figured a way to work around it.

So, while driving to the store I thought of some ways around it.

Here are some workarounds:

1) Maybe the protagonist doesn’t know who he is. Maybe in your science fiction universe, identities are like software that you download, and he doesn’t learn who he truly is until he downloads himself in the end.

2) Or perhaps this character is brain damaged due to injury or illness and literally forgets who he really is.

3) Or perhaps in the course of a fantasy story, a character literally transforms into a new person.

4) Perhaps you could rewrite the story from another person’s point of view, so that the new main character discovers, for example, that their friend/work partner/spouse isn’t who they say that they are.

5) Take the story out of close POV and try writing it more from the narrator’s POV.

In short, there are ways to do it. None of the above would be easy, and maybe none is to your liking. In fact, in most cases, it would probably wind up being a very different kind of story from what you intended. That’s all right. I’ve found that some of my best effects have been created when I push myself to think outside the box.

What’s important is that you push yourself to work outside the box. If you’re going to create “novel” novels, write monumental stories, it often requires you to figure out how to do things that others wouldn’t even attempt.

Writer’s Peak

Zermatt Resort, Midway, UT

Friday and Saturday, November 2nd and 3rd


Bestselling authors typically have a few things in common. They know what they want to write, and they develop the skills needed to write efficiently.

But many new authors suffer from writer’s block (usually because they haven’t learned what they are doing yet), or they may bring unhealthy mindsets to the craft. Well, we can fix those problems!

In this course, New York Times Bestselling author David Farland will team up with neuro-linguistic programming instructor Forrest Wolverton to teach the skills you need in order to overcome writers’ block, write more effortlessly, rearrange your own priorities, and increase your productivity. The goal is to help you develop the tools that you need in order to become a super-productive writer, the kind who can complete multiple books per year and win the trust of publishers and fans.

We’ll cover such topics as

  • Designing a Career. Many writers waste years trying to figure out what to write. We’ll provide information so that you can decide now what career path you would like to pursue, and then set goals accordingly.
  • Moving from apprehension to excitement. Have you lost your love of writing? We’ll teach you how to ground yourself in such a way that writing becomes more than effortless, it becomes something that you are eager to do!
  • Learn to set compelling goals that you will be driven to achieve.
  • Eliminate internal conflicts and self-sabotage that keep you stalled out.
  • Learn how the professional authors manage their mental and emotional state to write when they want to–and do it for yourself.
  • Take control of your motivation and direct it toward what you want.
  • Are you better at starting, maintaining, or finishing? Would you like to be able to do all three and get you stories out and finished?
  • Find out how to decrease the time it takes to find solutions for any task or challenge.
  • Learn how to effectively tell your stories by understanding plots, characterization.
  • Discover the secret to silencing your inner critic when it is sabotaging your work
  • Eliminate doubt about your future success.
  • Learn how to organize your mind like bestselling authors and get results fast.

This two-day workshop will cover all of this and more. Space will be limited to 50 students. Please bring something to take notes on and be prepared to change your life.

Register now for both days for $299 and get two additional on-line seminars (a $58 value) for free!

Advanced Intensive Writing Workshop – 1 Spot Left

St. George, Utah

October 22-26, 2018

10 Attendees Maximum

$799. Room, travel, and meals are separate

Prepare for National Novel Writing Month right in this workshop exclusively for those who would rather be dead than unread!

Dave is ratcheting up his popular Writing Mastery camp and this will be an advanced workshop where we perform daily writing exercises, give daily critiques, and work to improve our writing craft.

During the workshop, instruction and exercises will cover such topics as:

  • Adding intrigue to your tale
  • Creating tension
  • Using the eight kinds of hooks
  • Using appeals to various senses to hypnotize your reader
  • Weak appeals versus strong appeals versus “failed” appeals
  • The music of writing–assonance, consonance, metaphors, etc
  • Developing and using both your voice and your character’s voices
  • Advanced descriptive techniques
  • And more!

We will have at least ten assignments over the course of the class, and Dave will review each assignment and offer critiques. We will also invite other writers to offer their own insights.

During lunch and dinners, authors will be able to set up appointments to dine with David in order to talk about specific concerns that they have with their writing, or to plan their careers.

While the goal for this workshop is to allow the writer to have fun, to get inspired, to work in an intellectually rich and emotionally fulfilling environment, this will be David’s most intensive class ever!


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Advanced Story Puzzle Course