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Brought to you by David Farland's Writer's Groups -- a writer's forum divided into small groups by genre and experience.

Don't have a group? Join ours.

How to Participate

Anyone can call in and ask questions: At the appointed time, dial 1-857-232-0155 (long distance charges may apply, depending on your phone plan). Enter the Conference Code: 245657. To raise your hand and ask a question, dial 5*. To Mute yourself, dial 4*.


New interviews are being scheduled. Watch this space for details.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

10: David Farland- How to Sell Your Novel

Tonight, we took time for a word from our Sponsor, David Farland. Dave shared with us five key factors an aspiring author or newly published author must have for a novel that sells. Those five factors are:
  1. Make sure your novel is as good as it can be stylistically and grammatically before you try selling it.
  2. Research prospective agents and editors for your work.
  3. Crafting well written query letters.
  4. Where (and how) to best meet agents and editors who will properly market your work.
  5. Personal persistance and tenacity, how much is too much?
Dave took ample time to field questions from our Forum members. If you desire to astound the world with the brilliance of your prose, amaze humanity with your heart-rending flights of literary fancy, why haven't you stopped reading and started listening to what Dave had to say?

You can listen to it here on our handy-dandy player:

Or, you can listen to it on your computer's Window's Media Player by clicking here.
(If it's not downloading, switch to Internet Explorer.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

09: Dan Wells: Monsters, Sociopaths, and Other Sympathetic Characters

Tonight Dan Wells told us about the secrets of creating sympathetic villains, heroic sociopaths, and many other things he learned as the author of I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, MR. MONSTER, and the soon-to-be-released I DON'T WANT TO KILL YOU.

When he's not writing, Dan also co-hosts Writing Excuses, a weekly writing-advice podcast with Brandon Sanderson and Howard Tayler.

Among Dan's advice:
  • A humorous sociopath with a lousy life who wants to be good will evoke reader's sympathies
  • A good villain will be flashy and/or relatable and/or fascinating
  • Villains need a believable goal--if they want to blow up the world, they'll be just as dead as everyone else if they accomplish it, so it might be a tough sell to your readers
  • A villain can have a try-fail cycle, too--if you're careful
**Warning, this call contains spoilers for I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER**

As always, you can listen to the call here:

Or you can listen to it on Window's Media Player.
(If you're having trouble downloading, switch to Internet Explorer.)

Thanks to Dan and to everyone who called in!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

8: Michaelbrent Collings-- Ten Steps to Overnight Success OR How it Only Took a Decade to Get Paid

Tonight Michaelbrent Collings shared his presentation Ten Steps to Overnight Success OR How it Only Took a Decade to Get Paid. I saw him present this topic in February at BYU's Life, the Universe, and Everything symposium and loved it so much I just had to hear it again. I think you'll agree--this is great advice, and Michaelbrent had lots of great stories to go with it.

Michaelbrent is a novelist, screenwriter, martial artist, and until recently, was a practicing lawyer (he quit when being a writer started to pay better). He has written numerous novels, including RUN, BILLY: MESSENGER OF POWERS, THE LOON, RISING FEARS, and THE MERIDIANS. Michaelbrent has also sold, optioned, and done rewrites for screenplays for major Hollywood production companies, and is currently developing several movies and television shows. He couldn't give us details of his movie deals (yet), but maybe in a few weeks....

March 11 Update: Michaelbrent can finally confirm that his screenplay BARRICADE is being produced by WWE Studios, starring Eric McCormack. See the announcement by The Hollywood Reporter. Congrats, Michaelbrent!
In a nutshell, the ten steps are:
1.      Write.
2.      Involve yourself in marketing.
3.      Plug your book (or script, or whatever)!
4.      Make connections.
5.      Play nice with others.
6.      Constantly improve…but don’t over study.
7.      Be clear.
8.      Be interesting. And interested.
9.      Be prepared to be part of a big game hunt. And you’re not the hunter.
10.    You cannot fail…if you don’t give up.

To get the explanation behind the steps, you can visit Michaelbrent's website and read the PDF of his presentation under the tab "LTUE Papers" or you can download the MP3, or listen to it below: