November 2011 I read a book that literarly changed my writing career. I had signed up for a writing workshop with David Farland (aka Dave Wolverton) and he chatted over the phone with me about my writing and then sent me a book he’d been working on called Million Dollar Outlines:
I’d been working on my Writers of the Future story and facing my next rejection after a string of rejections from the contest and wondering what I’d been doing wrong. I pushed the story I’d been working on aside and started skimming the book.
I soon realized I’d stumbled into one of those rooms in cartoons where the amazingly rich character piles all his gold, treasures, and priceless items. Usually in these cartoons start swimming in the piles of gold and that’s pretty much what I started doing. I actually started a whole different story that I’d been outlining for years, but could never figure out how I could get it to work. I changed the POV character, I changed the structure of the story and then wrote for ten days straight (right before Christmas and into New Years). THAT story won Writers of the Future. Not only did Dave Farland pull that story aside in blind judging, but four other judges voted it in first place.
Then I waited a year and the contest flew me out to LA (this week and I’m having a blast). I’m learning from the best teacher of the field (other bestselling writers and editors).
I had been extremely excited to learn that David Farland would be teaching part of the workshop. However, a few days before we were all scheduled to leave, his son Ben was involved in a horrible accident and is now currently at a hospital in a coma, fighting for his life. Many writers have benefited from Dave’s wisdom (Brandon Mull, Brandon Sanderson, and Stephanie Meyers, to name a few).
If I were you, and I were a writer I’d buy Million Dollar Outlines or buy it for a friend today.
If I were you and I were not a writer I’d buy Nightingale, an award winning Young Adult novel.
I love comments! But I also love seeing people swimming through the room of treasures, so go buy the book and maybe stuff your pockets full of riches.