Bestselling author David Farland has taught dozens of writers who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).
In this audiobook, Dave teaches how to analyze an audience and outline a novel so that it can appeal to a wide readership, giving it the potential to become a bestseller. The secrets found in his unconventional approach will help you understand why so many of his authors go on to prominence.
Please note: Any files referenced in the audio will not be included.
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So interesting, you'll wish you had a print copy
Once the book actually got going (after an hour or so), this book became the one I've been seeking for a long time: a discussion of the actual nuts and bolts of crafting a story. What needs to happen for the reader to care, or to make characters seem less one-dimensional, or to increase the tension between even the allies of a story. As it went on, the book became more and more useful, going so far as to list out the classic character roles, textbook-style. Listened to this on my commute, but am now going through it again, pen in hand, to write down all the excellent, low-level instruction that's stuffed into it.
Though it occasionally wandered into loftier topics, a wide majority of the time was spent discussing practical matters: this is how to make a dinner conversation interesting, for example. This is why the protagonist has to fail, then make it worse, then fail again, etc.
His voice was dynamic and clear (even though he one said "smiles and metaphors" instead of "similes and metaphors"), but it frequently seemed like his "reading the book" voice was also his "reciting the dialogue of someone who is very annoyed" voice. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but got a little annoying sometimes.
Hours and hours of tips and concrete examples, not only with how to do things in your book, but how to think differently about your plot and move in new directions.
At one point, the print version lists the top-50 grossing movies of all time. This could have been skipped for the audiobook, but instead, they chose to read every. single. one. Also, there's a TON about plot, but "Million Dollar Outlines" includes very, very little about actual outlines.
- Rich A.
Good book about writing but...
This is a good book on learning to write. I think it's solid and the narrator is great. I like it. The problem for me is that I tried to listen to this after already listening to all of writing excuses (a writing podcast featuring the likes of Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells and Mary Robinette Kowal and Howard Taylor). I read this book because Farland is Brandon's teacher but if you listen to writing excuses, Brandon (and his crew) teaches you basically everything Farland does and imo, he does it better. And writing excuses is free and there's like 9 seasons of it. Great for some podcasting time for work and the like.
This is a solid book though. It just didn't work out for me because the reason stated above.
I highly recommend writing excuses though. It's changed me for the better and done loads more for my writing career than a degree in creative writing.