Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 11: Talking Publishing and Writing with Dave Wolverton

Dave Wolverton joins us for a third and final episode, and the Writing Excuses team pumps him for information before letting him escape. We find out why he uses two names (David Farland and Dave Wolverton), how to name characters, and why writers don’t jump between genres much. Dave discusses the state of the genre-fiction publishing business, and prognosticates a bit on its future.  As a special treat, Dave explains how he broke into the industry, so be the first to listen to that bit and get a leg up on everybody else with this proven (and slightly bloody) strategy.

Writing Prompt: Juan and Gregorio Watanabe are in medieval England–and they belong there.  Explain why.


15 thoughts on “Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 11: Talking Publishing and Writing with Dave Wolverton”

  1. Wow, never stand in Dave’s way when he has his mind made up to do something!

    The idea of submitting to writing contests has crossed my mind a few times over the years, but the one thing that usually held me back was the thought “How do I know this is legit?” I was really concerned about sending something I wrote off into the unknown. My writings are like my other children. It isn’t easy sending them off into the world!

    I also appreciated the futher explanation of writing under two names. I had the basic idea of why, but it helped to hear it from Dave’s point of view. In addition to Dave, I know Stephen King and Dean Koontz both also have pen names they write under. I’m sure there are many more.

  2. It’s fun to listen to Dave tell his story. I’m attending his novel writing workshop in April, and am so excited it’s all I can do to keep from soiling myself. It can’t come soon enough. Oh, except I have piles of work to do beforehand! Finish draft 3 of my current book and get going on the next one. Blast needing to feed the family!

  3. Kelly: Writer Beware has some really good information about making sure stuff like that is legit. (Writing contests, agents, editors, stuff like that.) They also invite you to write to them if you’re not sure.

    The other thing about literary contests etcetera is try to find them through sources you trust. I have a big list of contests somewhere that one of my creative writing proffs pointed me to. (I can post that, if anybody wants, but I haven’t looked at it in ages and don’t know how often they update it. Also, I think most of it’s literary fiction.)

    Or, just read up on people like Dave and see if you can find out what kinds of contests they entered. ~^

  4. Thank you, Raethe! That is a huge help! (I wouldn’t mind that list if no one has any objections.) And I do agree, especially after listening to Dave, that I should see which ones he’s entered and find out more information..

    And I don’t want Brandon, Howard, or Dan to feel left out.. Thank you guys for having Dave on and asking him those great questions! The podcast was very inciteful :)

  5. What can I say… I didn’t bother to listen first.
    Now that I have, that was fun, informative and more than a little schizophrenic. Great job as always guys.
    At least I know I am on the right track by submitting to a writing contest. Now if I can just figure out how to kill off the equivalent number of people that Dave has, then my success is assured.

  6. I’m noticing in that in our writing group, Reading Excuses, that some people will like something in the story while others hate it. Is this more along the lines of a target audience?

  7. I wished you guys would’ve asked him about the transition from short stories to novels and how they differ.

  8. Good point Jame, I get published all the time, on a semi-weekly basis no less. However, getting published as a journalist is not the same as getting published as a fiction writer and the transition for style is difficult there too.

  9. I can’t access the forums from work, so I just wanted to toss out a quick:

    Happy Holidays!

    May whatever holiday you celebrate be a special one, and may 2009 be a happy and healthy one for all!

    -Cancer Survivor Kelly :)

  10. Meh, WordPress ate my previous post. Probably thought it was spam or something. I mean, it did have a whole two links in it, oh no.

    Anyway. Here is the list I was talking about. Like I said, I got it from a pretty reliable source, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to check out any contests there before submitting to one. (I haven’t really even looked much at this list, myself.)

    A lot of litmags also run contests, so if there are any you read, check those out. There’s always Amazon’s breakthrough novel award contest, too (or whatever they actually call it), which I know practically nothing about. And there’s the Writers of the Future contest for fantasty and science fiction.

    You’ll just have to google those two, though, since WordPress will get angry with me if I post anymore links. And we wouldn’t want to incur the Wrath of WordPress.

    Happy holidays, everyone.

  11. I wished you guys would’ve asked him about the transition from short stories to novels and how they differ.

    @Jame: I’ve never done it before, but the way I understand it, this is a good sequence:
    1) Get your short fiction published. Starting with contests as Dave did is a good idea.
    2) Start writing novels. Finish them.
    3) Take your novels and your publication history to agents, and get yourself an agent.
    4) Write a bunch more novels, and hope your agent can sell them.
    5) Never stop writing.

  12. Thank you again, Raethe.. I’ll try and look at that list later after I wrap Christmas gifts.. I appreciate the help :)

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