Join my free course, The Character-First Story. 12 lessons sent straight to your inbox.

Here's how I like to teach: you learn new plotting and storytelling skills at the same time as you write a great tale. This is my interactive mini-course that teaches you how to plot "character-first" while it walks you through the design of a brand new short story. 

A picture of me, Daniel Wallace

What is "Character First Writing"?

Let me help you write the kind of book you love to read.


Readers want lots of cool stuff in your stories. But in order to read your pages, they need one thing: a connection to a fictional person. Plot then turns that connection into a relationship.


I hate writing advice that tells you to "write towards" a particular goal, plot point, or beat. I will instead show you how to make page one good, and then page two (and then onwards.)


My courses are popular with both "literary" and "genre" writers. I (fervently) believe there is a high road of literature that encompasses both, and I guide all kinds of writers to find their place in it.

Let me explain

Finally: writing advice that does justice to the kind of book you've always wanted to write. 

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Join this Free Writing course and become a plotting expertHere is my introduction to "character-first" writing: a free, interactive course that you complete at your own pace, delivered by email. Build your

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Get the Better Sentences GuideTen lessons. 50 pages. Follow up tips and videos sent by email.Develop a unique Writing VoiceDo you love to write?Do you also wish that your writinggrabbed your

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They say

tawni waters bio pic

"He respected my work and vision 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 - ILA award-winning author of Beauty of the Broken, Siren Song, and The Ride Home

Buege and wife

"Daniel was as good an editor as one could ever wish for. He has a good eye and a very good ear."

Bill Buege - author of Stumble Into a Lighted Room

Julia Brown testimonial

"Not all good writers are good teachers, but Daniel David Wallace   (a talented, thoughtful writer himself) is a terrific instructor.

If you can take a class with him, do it!"

Julia Brown - author and literary editor

About Me.

I’m an English writer who lives in Tennessee. However, I’ve been in the US so long that my accent is starting to wobble. It’s so bad some British people don’t believe me when I say where I was born.

I spent my PhD researching better ways to help people tell stories. After I finished that degree, I began teaching my techniques online. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Now I get to share my love of literature, story construction, and sentence craft with thousands of writers — people just like you — each week.

They Say

Holly Pickett

"This was the course I needed to get writing again and I am well on my way to finishing my manuscript. Worth it completely."

Lynn Epnett

"I loved how deeply you love your material... Thanks, again, for a course worth every penny!"

Have you grabbed the style guide yet?

A few years ago, I spent a season researching old, little-known & forgotten techniques for improving one's prose style. Then I described them in a series of essays, keeping each explanation low-stress, no-grammatical-knowledge-needed, with illustrations of each principle  from famous writers.

The essays started off as blog posts; when they blew up on Reddit, I re-designed the series into a free ebook.

Get your copy here. I'll follow up with extra tips and video lessons.

Verbs over nouns

Empower your sentences.

Uses of Parataxis

This made Hemingway famous.

Cumulative Sentences

The best style technique I know.

Beats & Stress

Weave in poetic rhythm.