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.