This last year, I've worked with a lot of writers.
I've talked to people who are revising complete manuscripts and people who are hoping to start their very first page.
And I found that there was one problem that affected one fiction writer after another. It kept coming up in course after course, and workshop after workshop.
Its effects are serious:
So I decided to create a simple online course to help you turn this potential weakness into a writing superpower.
Because, if you can master this one skill, you will have a huge advantage over other authors.
Here's the problem I kept seeing, over and over: many fiction writers don't share enough of their many character's thoughts and feelings.
These writers do many things right, but they don't successfully filter the story's events through their protagonist's consciousness.
I believe that narrating through a protagonist is a vital ability: using the protagonist's expectations, longings, and reactions to make a story feel real for your reader.
It's only through the character's thoughts and feelings that a reader truly starts to care what happens next.
You'll finish the course able to:
In other words, you won't just learn about a clever-sounding idea. You will also start using it, trying out these new abilities in short and simple writing exercises, prompts that will only take ten minutes or so to complete.
This will make a big difference to your writing, quickly.
Who is this course for?
This is course is aimed at anyone who wants to improve their skills at storytelling.
The regular email prompts will help you get writing, and the training videos will enable you to create better characters and tell better tales.
If I had to describe the ideal participant of this course, it would be someone who has been writing fiction for a while, and who has successfully created chapters of a novel, or even a full draft, but who feels like something still isn't quite right. When they show their work to friends and reading partners, while they do hear praise, they can tell people aren't moved the way they should be.
Or perhaps this writer is confused why her readers always seem so confused. People never seem to grasp the finer points of her stories.
I suggest that a lot of these problems may stem from a single source: not narrating enough through the consciousness of the story's main character.
This course is going to help you master that skill. It's also going to prompt and guide you to write a lot over the coming month.
You can use the prompts to start something completely new, or to develop, complete, or re-see your current project.
"Not all good writers are good teachers, but Daniel David Wallace (a talented, thoughtful writer himself) is a terrific instructor.
Even when leading a class with multiple participants, he gives each student individualized attention, and knows how to meet each work where it is.
If you can take a class with him, do it!"
- Julia Brown, fiction editor and author
How will this course be taught?
"Daniel respected my work and vision on a profound level but also had a keen editorial eye and a stroke of literary genius that took everything I’d written to the next level."
- Tawni Waters, author of The Long Ride Home, Beauty of the Broken, and Siren Song.
The Teaching Method
People learn quickest when they are guided through a new idea, and given chances to try out that new technique in a sequence of exercises and challenges.
In this course, I'll show you a writing technique in each unit's video, and then you'll receive, by email, a short series of writing prompts that will help you build up an instinctive, automatic skill at that technique.
"Daniel was as good an editor as one could ever wish for. In fact, he went way over what I expected, helping me organize my book... I don't know how he was able to give me so much time and attention, but he did, and I am grateful. Daniel has a good eye and a very good ear."
- Bill Buege, author of Stumble Into A Lighted Room
Hi! I'm Daniel. I help writers of all levels plan, draft, and revise their novels. I create simple, easy-to-implement techniques that help you master the craft of fiction.
This is the benefit of being a professional writing coach and a PhD researcher: I take complex ideas and present them in their clearest, most essential form. Thousands of writers have signed up for my free courses on style, plotting, and finding one's voice.
I'm a British writer living in Tennessee with three dogs, a cat, my brilliant wife, my very lively two-year-old son, and a Honda Odyssey mini-van.
My stories and essays have been published in many literary journals. I am the editor in chief of Burlesque Press, and I've co-hosted writing conferences such The Hands On Literary Festival in New Orleans and the Young Writers conference in Knoxville.
"Daniel truly has a gift. He’s one of the most patient and encouraging teachers I’ve had, and he continued to be patient and encouraging even after I made him read an almost 10,000 word outline. (Yeah. I know. That alone should tell you how above and beyond he goes for his students.) He gives the type of feedback that energizes rather than discourages, the kind that makes you feel like you can rebuild your novel—and rebuild it stronger.
I feel empowered to plan many more stories going forward."
- Allison Saft, YA author