nown as the “Wizard of Storytelling,” writing sensation and author of fifty novels, David wrote short stories as a child and dreamt of growing up to become a fantasy writer. He gained experience in a number of career paths but never lost sight of his goals. Finally, after saving money for years, he decided to risk it all and go to Brigham Young University to study.
While there, he became ill and feverish started having some fantastic dreams. In one such dream, two futuristic mercenaries were taking shelter in the skull of some giant beast and talking while waiting out a rainstorm. His dreams became so vivid and lifelike that he had to put them in a story called “On My Way to Paradise.”
He entered it into the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest and won the grand prize for the year, the Gold Award. He was immediately contracted by Bantam Books to turn the short story into a novel of the same name, along with a contract to write two more books. The novel, My Way to Paradise spent several months on the Locus Science Fiction Best-seller list, and won a Phillip K. Dick Memorial Special Award for being one of the best science fiction novels of the year.
He wrote science fiction for ten years under his given name of David Wolverton, during which he wrote several best sellers. After having mastered science fiction, David decided it was time to take another risk and try writing fantasy, hoping to realize his childhood dream. So as not to confuse his readers, he writes fantasy under the name David Farland.
He had to work hard to achieve notoriety in two genres, but eventually his fantasy books started hitting the New York Times Best Seller’s list right out of the gates, beginning with the third book of the Runelords series entitled Wizardborn.
He had not only achieved his childhood dream, but in doing so, became popular in two genres and has amassed many awards for his short fiction in particular, and set a Guinness Record for the world's largest booksigning–a record that he still holds. In 1991, David became a judge for one of the world's largest writing contests, the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, and for the next several years he read thousands of stories each year, edited an annual anthology, and taught writing classes to new writers.
To date, David has written and edited fifty published books. These include novels for adults, young adults, anthologies, middle-grade readers, and picture books.
Among his numerous other accomplishments, David eventually returned to BYU as a writing professor, for several years. It was getting in the way of his writing, so he ended that and decided to fill his need to share by lecturing, giving workshops and seminars to those who would be writers. He is known for having taught many great emerging writers and had a part in their success, including Stephanie Meyer, Brandon Sanderson and Eric Flint. In many cases it was his influence and words of wisdom that caused a new author to sell their first story. Now he has the privilege of helping other struggling would-be writers to achieve their success. He says, “Nobody makes it alone. We each build on one another.”
As part of his dedication to helping other writers, David writes the David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants, an email bulletin for writers or those who would be writers. Many authors rave about how it has helped them. Out of devotion, he provides the Daily Kick free. You can register to receive it in the green box in the bottom right corner of this page.
DavidFarland.net Journal Entries
The writing world is changing quickly, and that means some things that used to be taboo are now all right.
A plot doesn’t have to be brilliant for a story to work. It just needs to have some basic components
Certain works of fiction are designed to appeal to readers with strong belief systems. For example, most large religions have enough followers so that a few storytellers can become popular enough to make a living writing to people of that denomination.
I’ve begun talking with an attorney. We’re looking at creating a non-profit organization that would simply “insure” authors against plagiarism.
Many new writers don’t know when to stop polishing a manuscript and move on to the next.
The truth is, most art isn’t very good. Theodore Sturgeon once pointed out that “90% of everything is crap.”
The adage “Show, don’t tell” is used to beg for more information. Yet I’ve always felt that that advice is . . . imprecise.
When I'm looking at a story, one of the simple things I look at is setting. There are so many aspects to setting, so let’s just look at a few.
The first thing that I seek in a great story is originality. You may not realize it, but the most common problem with stories is that they’re tepid.
One of the most common problems I see with new writers is a “mistake in tone.” You know what I mean if you’ve ever played in a band. A new kid comes in, you’re trying to play a song, and he blats out a sour note on a trumpet. The same thing happens in writing.