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David H. Safford

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Reason Readers Quit #6: No Authentic Conflict

In 2004, I wrote and produced a play. I was convinced it was brilliant

(It wasn’t).

I was especially proud of all the conflict between its two main characters, believing that this made the play an honest portrayal of life’s complicated issues.

When it debuted, I hoped that my friend and professional actor, Landon, would be mightily impressed.

(He wasn’t).   Continue reading “Reason Readers Quit #6: No Authentic Conflict”

“The Warmth of Blankets” – Winner of Honorable Mention!

After many nights hiding in the hot, lonely swamps of the Deep South, Celestine and her daughter decide to risk staying at an unproven Underground Railroad Station. “The Warmth of Blankets” is the story of their terrifying and heroic trip into the home of a white farmer that may, or may not, be worthy of their trust. 

Read “The Warmth of Blankets,” winner of Honorable Mention in the 2017 Spring Fiction Contest (hosted by The Write Practice and Short Fiction Break), here! Continue reading ““The Warmth of Blankets” – Winner of Honorable Mention!”

“Pulled” – A Short Story

“The Pull is an annual tug-of-war contest held across the Black River. It is one of the nation’s oldest standing college traditions. Competitors are 36 members of both the freshman and sophomore class.”

– Hope College website Continue reading ““Pulled” – A Short Story”

Why Readers Quit #5: No Resistence

I love The Lord of the Rings. 

I fell in love at 17 when I saw The Fellowship of the Ring in the theater, and I immediately picked up the books.

I trust I’m not alone. Authors of great fantasy like Tolkien, Rowling, Martin, and more, fill our shelves and our imaginations. Continue reading “Why Readers Quit #5: No Resistence”

Why Readers Quit #4: No Flaw

I want you to meet Tim.

Tim is a well-meaning, energetic writer – probably just like you.

But (hopefully) unlike you, Tim writes stories that are deeply flawed. And he isn’t alone. A lot of amateur writers make the same mistake, and its killing their readership.

Are you?

Continue reading “Why Readers Quit #4: No Flaw”

Memoir: How to Climb a Mountain

Clambering over the mountain ridge’s craggy black teeth, the fire tower finally came into view. I paused and wiped my brow and managed a smile. The sight of it did nothing to ease the burning in my knees. Continue reading “Memoir: How to Climb a Mountain”

Why Readers Quit #3: No Choices

I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

Good news: This post will solve writer’s block.

Bad news: Solving writer’s block is damned near impossible, for if it was easy, nobody would complain about it.  Continue reading “Why Readers Quit #3: No Choices”

Why Readers Quit #2: No Physical Goal

“I want to write something that’s deep.”

If you’ve ever spoken or thought these words, then I have some tough news for you.

Readers are probably walking away from your stories.

And the reason is going to shock you.
Continue reading “Why Readers Quit #2: No Physical Goal”

Why Readers Quit #1: Nothing Happens

“Nothing happens.”

Has a reader ever said this about your story?

This one hurts.  Continue reading “Why Readers Quit #1: Nothing Happens”

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