Monday, April 23, 2012

Writing for an Audience: Notes from David Farland

Went to David Farland's Million Dollar Outlines this weekend! Good experience, if not quite what I was expecting. Dave is full of knowledge, for sure, but 16 hours of sitting in the same chair while he talks is a little physically and mentally tolling, to be honest. ;) Still, I took a bunch of notes and met some more aspiring authors, which is always great! And I got an idea for a short story; perhaps I'll give WotF another try between CoT beta readers and drafting book #6.

Day 1 Dave talked a lot about keeping your audience in mind when outlining a novel. Here are a few of my notes:
  • Make sure your protagonist is the right age for your audience, and the right gender
  • Play on the primary emotional draws for your audience. For example:
    • The biggest drawn for 16-year-old girls is romance
    • The biggest draw for most men is adventure
    • The biggest draw for children is wonder
    • As women moved into their thirties, they lean more towards drama and mystery; those genres start appealing to men in their forties
  • 32% of males can't identify with a female protagonist
  • 12% of females can't identify with a male protagonist
  • You can pull in more than one audience by staggering multiple protagonists and different conflicts

Interesting statistics, no?

I would recommend Dave's workshop for people who a) have a lot of patience/butt-endurance, and b) those who are fairly new to writing, especially those who have yet to finish their first book.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Charlie. :)

  2. That's a lot to think about. :)

  3. I hope your rear has recovered! That's a LONG TIME to sit. And to learn. I bet you felt ready to explode by the end of the day!

  4. It's too bad you didn't do his death camp first, since last weekend was just a regurgitation of the week-long class I attended a year and a half ago. I know, I know, a whole week of butt endurance, but it wasn't that bad. In fact, he only lectured 4 hrs a day, and the rest of the time met with us individually to listen to pitches, questions, problems, etc. The rest of the time was for us to write, write, and write. It was awesome.

  5. Very interesting! I love to get his "Daily Kick" in my email box. He has some wonderful things to share. :) These ones are particularly great. :)