Hey Writers,

Pacing a story appropriately will keep readers engaged. Unfortunately, though, many writers mistakenly think this means the story needs to be rushed.

This leads to many manuscripts being too fast--to the point that it harms the story.

The audience isn't always looking for an adrenaline rush on every page. "Pacing" a story isn't the same as rushing a story.

Learn some of the virtues that come with slowing a story down.

Get some help with your pacing: "Pacing a Story: What's the Rush?"





NEW from! The Triarchy Method of Story: A New Writing Course by September C. Fawkes.

Craft your best book by focusing on what matters most: The “bones” of story.
This content-focused course will help you:

  • Brainstorm better and more relevant material
  • Evaluate what ideas most belong in your story (preventing you from writing hundreds of pages that need to be scrapped), and
  • Craft a page-turning plot with compelling characters that sticks with readers long after they’ve closed the book (. . . and hopefully leads them to preorder your next book).
  • And more

If you’ve found yourself writing and rewriting the same scenes, acts, or arcs, only to make them marginally better; or have struggled creating complex characters who are engaged in meaningful plots; or if you’ve been experiencing writer’s block over what you need to write next and how… The Triarchy Method will show you how to write a stronger, solid story by focusing on the “bones” of the story.


Character is represented by the rib cage—it houses the heart of story. It’s how the audience gains emotional experience from the narrative, through (to some degree) empathy.


Plot is represented by the backbone—it holds the story upright and together. It’s the curvature that makes up the narrative arc, the spine that runs from beginning to end.


Theme is represented by the skull—it hosts the intellect of story. It’s how the audience gleans meaning that sticks with them long after the narrative is over. It’s why the story matters.

This live, online class is limited to 10 students and will focus on the core principles of each of the “bones” and how to structure them. Classes start March 7 and run Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 pm Mountain Time (8:30pm EST) for a total of 23 classes. Classes ends on May 25.

For more information, visit

About the Instructor

September C. Fawkes has worked in the fiction-writing industry for over ten years and has been editing stories for longer. She has edited for both award-winning and best-selling authors, as well as new writers. She has worked on manuscripts written for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers, and specializes in fantasy and science fiction.

For seven years, she worked through New York Times best-selling author David Farland, providing feedback on his workshop students’ assignments, editing their manuscripts, and sometimes, even editing David’s own books.

When not working, she is running an award-winning writing tip blog. She has also served as a writing coach on Writers Helping Writers and teaches at writing conferences. Some may say she needs to get a social life. It’d be easier if her fictional one wasn’t so interesting.

MICHAEL HAUGE, one of Hollywood’s Top Coaches & Story Experts is coming to Apex in February!

We are running a poll on the Apex Facebook group on which topic Michael is going to teach. If you haven’t voted yet and would like to, you’ll find it on the pinned section. Poll will close on Jan 28, 2023 at Midnight. Currently Seduce the Reader in the First 10 Pages is in the lead followed by Creating Powerful Scenes.

Michael is the best-selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read, as well as the 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book Writing Screenplays That Sell, and his latest book, Storytelling Made Easy: Persuade and Transform Your Audiences, Buyers and Clients – Simply, Quickly and Profitably. He has presented seminarslectures and keynotes in person and online to more than 300,000 participants worldwide, including countless screenwriters, novelists and filmmakers. He has consulted on projects starring (among many others) Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon. According to Will Smith, “No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.”



Mastermind Update & Links

Since January 2020, Apex has enjoyed twice-a-week zoom calls with masters of the industries and other experts. However, not everyone may be aware that David Farland was presenting all of them for the first few months.

Inside the Apex library on Teachable, under APEX ZOOM CONFERENCE MEETINGS--which holds hundreds and hundreds of interviews and presentations--are 44 zoom calls with our great Master Storyteller, David Farland. A treasure to watch and rewatch.

The Searchable Mastermind document is a work-in-progress; however, all of Dave’s calls are up and easy to find at the top of the page. Other zoom calls are also available to find. Currently, and working backward, we have from March 2021 to now, available, which can be searched by topic, by date, and by speaker.

This is one of the tools we are adding to help make things easier to both decide what to attend live and what to watch on the replays.

These tools include “At a Glance” for both Strategy Meetings and for Mastermind, and we have a searchable index for the replays. Strategy at a Glance Mastermind at a Glance - searchable index for Strategy - searchable index for Mastermind

📌 Shout-out to some of our Apexers for this week!

  • Bex May for WotF Honorable Mention in the 4th Quarter in 2022
  • Brenda Carr for making the Tangent Online Recommended Reading List of 2022 with "The Diaper Room Key to Cosmic Plumbing," in Pulphouse #17
  • Candice R Lisle for her 2022 Critters Readers' Choice Award: Best Positive Future Short Story - Follow the Pretrons
  • Wulf Moon for his 2022 Critters Readers' Choice Awards:
    Best Author: Wulf Moon (fourth year in a row)
    Best Nonfiction Book: The Illustrated Super Secrets of Writing
    Best Writers' Workshop: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshops (fourth year in a row)
    Best Writers' Resource: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS (third year in a row, now at 826,000 views!)
  • And David Farland for 2022 Critters Readers’ Choice Award: Best Book Editor

We miss you Dave!

Copyright © 2023 David Farland: Story Doctor, All rights reserved.

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