Is your novel too complicated?

This may sound strange, but I recommend limiting the scope of your novel.

I'm not saying you should make it simplistic, or trivial.

But I do believe that many writers let their artistic projects sprawl out of control.

Often we writers fear that unless we write a massive, multi-sectioned tale, we aren't real novelists.

Or we think that adding more complex stuff can't hurt, and that we'll figure out a way to make it all work. 

But if we think these things, we are making a mistake.

The biggest danger, in any artistic project, is not being about to finish it.

And so many novels flounder because their creators made them too complicated without quite realising what they were doing. 

This video shows you how to keep things simple.

This "five ones" approach was inspired by a business podcast by Clay Collins and Pat Flynn: Collins described a "five ones" approach to business. I liked the idea so much I applied it to novel-writing.

Take all your inspiration, research, and pre-writing, and narrow it all down into a focused, clear, powerful, and moving tale.

A picture of me, Daniel Wallace

Thank you for watching!

Let's Write!

Teaching should never just be a clever person handing out ideas. 

The key thing is to put the ideas to work -- as soon as possible.

So, if you enjoyed the video, and would like to try those techniques out, now it's time to actually get writing: I've prepared a printable worksheet for you to download. 

Can you tell the difference between a "five ones" and a "four ones" novel?

I'll give you some examples, and ask you how many "ones" you think the novel has.

Click the yellow button, below, to access the printable.


PS Now, just to let you know what's coming, when you click the link, you'll see a request from me -- I'm asking a small favour in return for sharing my writing and the worksheet. 

It's simply this: to help me spread the word. I would love it if you told one other person about the above video.

I am a very good writer, and a very good teacher, but I tend to struggle at advertising, so I would really appreciate a quick share on social media. 

Thank you!

What other writers say:

I wish I had taken a class like this sooner.

"With Daniel's scene instruction workshop, I was able to write more quickly and competently. He created a path for writing my chapters. Using his scene maps, I understood the scene I was crafting and how it functioned within the framework of my novel. He created a path for writing my chapters, and I could focus on both the narrative and character arcs simultaneously. I wish I had taken a class like this sooner. I would've been a better novelist and my short story production would've been much larger."

JOHN VURRO //  Writer

Julia Brown testimonial

Daniel’s courses are chock full of useful information.

"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 //  Editor and author

tawni waters bio pic

Is it weird that I think of him as my literary midwife? Because I totally do.

"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  // Award-Winning Author of The Long Ride Home & Beauty of the Broken

Join the Seminar

This is the last video in the series. 

During this "novel writing seminar," I've shared techniques and printable worksheets for:

  • picking a good narrator for your story
  • creating a protagonist who takes action
  • avoiding stress and blockages
  • knowing when to STOP researching
  • building an outline with boxes and arrows

These are the same techniques I've taught to dozens of writers.

It's a comprehensive, free course for aspiring novelists.

Get the links to all six lessons by signing up below:

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