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David Safford: Super Moderator, Administrator, Becoming Writer, Subscriber
Member since January 17, 2017

You deserve a great book. That's why David Safford writes adventure stories that you won't be able to put down. Read his latest story at his website. David is a Language Arts teacher, novelist, blogger, hiker, Legend of Zelda fanatic, puzzle-doer, husband, and father of two awesome children.

Website: https://www.davidsafford.com

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4 Lies That Are Keeping You From Writing a Book

There is a book inside you. There has to be. Why else are you reading a post about writing a book?

Getting that book out, of course, is the extremely difficult part. The words don’t come out as we imagine. The time to write shrinks as life gets busier. And so many questions vex us — so many lies that we tell ourselves to avoid the challenge ahead.

But you have to write your book. It’s one of the greatest driving forces in your life. Here are the lies that might be holding you back, and the truths you need to overcome them.

How to Write a Novel That Readers Can’t Put Down

Want to write a novel readers can’t put down?

I’d love to come up with a yarn that grabs people like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games did. Doing so would practically guarantee a large and loyal fanbase for years!

Yet writing this kind of story is deceptively difficult. The story we want to write is always a good one in our own minds. But when we put the words on the page, they rarely possess the page-turning qualities we imagined they would.

Thankfully, there’s a way to set yourself up for success. Here’s how to write a novel that readers can’t put down!

How to Write a Brilliant Twist Ending
by David Safford in How to Write a Brilliant Twist Ending
10:00 am on September 9, 2020

Don’t you love a great twist?

Often appearing in the middle or at the end of a story, a twist can completely transform the reading experience into a wild ride where anything can happen. But executing a twist isn’t easy, and if done improperly, can leave your reader feeling deeply disappointed.

And that’s just what many writers unsuspectingly do.

How to Apply Helpful Writing Feedback (And How to Know What You Can Ignore)

When you’re a part of a writing community filled with great critique partners, you’ll be the happy recipient of lots of feedback on your writing. Sometimes it’s obvious how and when you should address the issues the feedback brings up.

But not all feedback is created equal, and often it can be overwhelming to know what feedback items you should address first or last, or whether you should address certain ones at all. Should you address every nitpick and complaint? Could your readers possibly be incorrect?

3 Writing Challenges That Will Make You a Better Writer

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard this question: “What’s your genre?” Or you’ve been asked, “What do you write?”

As writers, we tend to find a creative “happy place” and stay inside of three boxes: medium, form, and genre. This allows us to find a consistent voice and target our work toward a very specific reader.

But staying inside these boxes without any deviation can have major drawbacks that will threaten the quality of your writing, and the joy of writing itself. Here are three ways to challenge yourself beyond your typical writing bounds.

The Perfect Hero’s Journey Example: Star Wars

The Hero’s Journey is easily the most-used and most-loved storytelling structure in the history of humanity. It resonates with readers in ways that are as old as human D.N.A. itself.

If you want to connect with readers and engage them on a deep level, you would be at an advantage to study this storytelling method and use as much of it as possible in your writing.

One of the best ways to study and master the Hero’s Journey is by seeing it at work in another story. And in recent history, there is no clearer use of the Hero’s Journey than George Lucas’s space opera, Star Wars.

Let’s break it down, step by step.

5 Essential Hero’s Journey Themes and Symbolic Archetypes That Will Thrill Your Readers

They say opposites attract. That holds true, even in a Hero’s Journey story.

And while you may craft opposing characters who find themselves attracted to one another, you would be wise to study these universal relationships—also known as themes—that great stories have utilized for generations to the benefit of their readers.

Here are the five essential Hero’s Journey themes that will thrill your readers!

Situational Archetypes: 5 Essential Hero’s Journey Scenes Your Readers Will Love

What do you get when you string a bunch of scenes together?

A story!

Since stories are composed of individual scenes, it makes sense to study them and figure out which scenes your story will need. And if you’re going to write a Hero’s Journey (in any genre), there are some scenes, or situational archetypes, that your reader will instinctively expect your story to include.

Let’s explore five essential scenes to write in your next Hero’s Journey story!

5 Essential Hero’s Journey Symbolic Archetypes (And 4 Bonus Archetypes)

Symbols enrich your story’s meaning by connecting what’s literally happening with overarching themes. Does your story include symbols? And what symbols should you include? In this article, we’ll look at symbolic archetypes that will help you create powerful symbols in your story.

5 Essential Hero’s Journey Character Archetypes (And 5 Bonus Archetypes)

There are heroes everywhere. A great Hero’s Journey can take place in any genre. That’s what’s so special about it: it’s universal.

Yet there are characters that your reader will unconsciously expect your story to have, no matter the genre. If you want your next heroic story to be a success, you’d be wise to plan the entire journey around these key characters. Otherwise, you might have a story that fails to “work,” leaving the reader dissatisfied and confused.

Luckily, the Hero’s Journey describes not only the events your hero will experience, but also the charaters — or to be exact, the character archetypes — they’ll meet along the way.

The Hero’s Journey: How to Write the Return With the Elixir and Master the Perfect Ending

The Return With the Elixir is the final stage of the Hero’s Journey. The hero returns to their community as a force of change, bringing healing and wholeness to society at large. That healing (the “elixir”) can be physical, spiritual, or both.

Here’s how to master this critical scene.

The Hero’s Journey: How to Write the Resurrection and Nail Your Story’s Most Important Part

Ultimately, heroes confront death. They rise against the most powerful villains and the worst sources of evil imaginable. On their journeys, they often suffer the consequences of tangling with these bad guys.

And they can’t emerge without being changed. That’s where Resurrection comes in.

The Hero’s Journey: How to Build Suspense With a Fake-Out Ending

Every story has that moment when everything seems okay. The dust has settled. The hero has his or her object of desire in hand. And for a moment, there’s peace.

But then all hell breaks loose. 

It’s the fake-out ending: that classic neck-breaking part of the story that thrills readers and audience members practically every time.

Here’s how to do it, Hero’s Journey-style.

The Hero’s Journey: How to Write the Climax of Your Story

Writing your story’s climax isn’t easy. And even when you outline it properly, including a great villain and a high-stakes task, putting it all into words can be quite a challenge. Perhaps the most challenging part of it, though, isn’t getting the words down. It’s getting the right words down.

The Hero’s Journey: How to Outline the Approach and the Ordeal

Every great heroic story has that moment. It’s the deep breath before the plunge. The calm before the storm. The quiet before the calamity. In the Hero’s Journey, it’s the Approach before the Ordeal.

It’s an essential moment you need to plan for and build around as you draft your story. And to do it right, you’re going to need to figure out three key elements.

The Hero’s Journey: How to Fill the Middle of Your Story With Trials, Allies, and Enemies

Every writer knows that writing the middle of a story is tough. But it doesn’t have to be. The Hero’s Journey, an age-old story structure theorized by Joseph Campbell, provides a clear path to take when constructing the middle of your story.

How to Transform Raw Inspiration Into a Solid Novel Plan

Inspiration comes in many forms. It may be a lovely tune from your playlist; A stunning vista in nature; A wildly creative turn-of-phrase you overhear in a coffee shop. Nearly anything. Like all creative minds, you sit down to convert this nugget of inspiration into a story.

But then you hit a wall. How do you transform raw inspiration into an actual story? How do you turn inspiration into a novel plan?


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