More than Fame or Fortune

Writing tips from bestselling author, Dave Farland on what motivates a writer to write.


Writers of the Future Coordinating Judge and bestselling author, Dave Farland discusses why some stories just aren’t publishable and it usually narrows down to a few common mistakes.

Avoid Hesitation

When you sit down to write a story or the opening to a scene, you’re presented with a problem: how to begin? As a contest judge, I see too many tales that don’t work—right from the very first sentence.

Writers of the Future: Playing the Odds

A friend recently asked me about ways to improve your chances in the Writers of the Future contest. I thought it was a good question, and I thought my answers were a nice summary of lessons learned. So I decided to share them here as a simple set of “rules”

Spectacular Settings

I mentioned last week that when I judge a story, one of the simple things I look at is your setting. There are so many aspects to setting, here’s a look at just a few.

Character Traits

New York Times bestselling author Dave Farland gives tips on characterization in story writing including common problems to avoid.

Galaxy Press Rocked the Salt (Salt Lake City that is…)

We attended the Salt Lake City Comic Con which took place at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City with over 100,000 attendees over the 3-day event.

A Guide to Critiquing a Story: Seven Vital Elements Every Story Must Have

Frequently authors ask if I have a “form” that I used to help me critique a story. Given the large number of things that I look at in a story, any form that I had would simply be too long to be workable. Yet it makes sense to try to codify the critiquing process.

Back to the Story

What defines “good” writing when it comes to a story? That’s a question I have to ask time and again as I’m judging contest entries.

Avoiding Cliché Openings

Many years ago, Damon Knight, a fine writer and editor, wrote a book on how to write short fiction. Damon talked a bit about avoiding clichés.