Guest author: M. C. Tuggle ~ Darci Lynne’s Three Secrets for Writers

I’ll admit I get teary-eyed every time I watch this video. And a lot of people have had the same reaction. What’s not to love? A gorgeous rendition of a haunting aria, a shy young lady braving the limelight and bringing the audience to its feet, and – miracle of miracles – Simon Cowell rendered speechless.

Cowell, the famous (infamous?) creator of the global “Got Talent” amateur talent show franchise, usually plays the role of the cranky critic who’s seen it all, especially after fellow judge Howie Mandell gushes over an act. “America’s Got Talent” features hopeful performers from the US and abroad, and in their efforts to impress the judges, they often rely on the more approachable Mandell for support. But little Darci appears to have dazzled the fearsome Simon Cowell as well.

As if all that wasn’t enough, there are solid principles for the writing craft on display here, too. Watch the video, dab your eyes with tissue if you need to, and read on. Darci Lynne Farmer might be only 14, but she has something to say to all aspiring writers – and maybe some reminders for old pros who’ve fallen into a slump.

1 – Never stop growing. Darci brought the house down in the America’s Got Talent competition two years ago with a soulful rendition of “Summertime.” But when she made it to the competition’s Champions round, she didn’t fall back on safe show tunes; instead, she tackled one of the more demanding pieces in opera. Listen to the range of notes she hits in that piece. That took both nerve and lots of practice. Lots.

We have to practice, too. We should scribble constantly. Ever notice how pro basketball players work on their free throws at every opportunity? If the best basketball players in the world have to continue to sharpen basic skills, so do we.

Of course, the best way to keep growing is to challenge yourself. What better cure for writer’s block than to spit on both hands, take up your pen like a sword, and start writing in a wild and dangerous new direction? Novelists, have you dared to try your hand at flash fiction? The discipline of concentrating your passion and insight into a thousand words or less will trim your prose of excess fat, and maybe even add some muscle to your next work in progress.

Hey, short story writers! Have you tried writing poetry? That’s a discipline that’ll really get you to learn word economy.

2 – Own your work. Darci didn’t have a ventriloquist teacher. She taught herself how to “throw” her voice. Writers must also be their own teachers. Workshops and courses are fine, but the only way to improve your writing is to read a lot and write a lot. Do you have an idol you want to emulate? Fine, use a famous author as a role model, but after a few thousand words, you’ll find your own voice. Only then will you own your work.

And like Darci, writers have to invest their emotions in their creations. Face what you fear and write about it. Figure out what you love and let it move you to capture it in words. Put all of your rage and all of your love into every piece you put your name on. That piece you’re working on must contain your soul.

Darci brought her “lucky” dummy to the competition, a rabbit named Petunia. When asked why she brought that particular prop, Darci responded, “She is a diva and she likes to win.”

Who do you think Darci was REALLY talking about? A cloth rabbit? I’d say she described a shy but determined Darci Lynne Farmer. Writers tend to be a bit bashful as well, and “talk” through their creations – but only after they’ve invested the sweat.

3 – Get back on that horse. Remember the first America’s Got Talent competition when cute little Darci Lynne swept away the competition with her unique, polished performance?

Then you remember wrong.

In fact, Darci didn’t get enough votes to make it to the next round in her first attempt. But she didn’t give up. She hung in there, and managed to get back into the competition as a wild card. Needless to say, she made the most of that second chance.

So don’t curse those rejection letters. Learn from them. Be prepared when the opportunity comes along. If you don’t quit, the right opportunity WILL come along. Just ask Darci.

About the author

M.C. Tuggle is a native North Carolinian whose ancestors arrived in the South in 1647. Raised on a tobacco farm near High Point, North Carolina, he enjoyed a childhood of outdoor living, including rambling through the countryside hunting, fishing, and searching for arrowheads. In college, he took a double major in history and English, and completed his M.A. in English at Wake Forest University on a Wake Forest fellowship.

After a career in insurance company underwriting, management, and office automation projects, he is now a writer and recovering technogeek, spending much of his non-writing time learning (and re-learning) wilderness skills.

M.C. Tuggle’s fantasy, science fiction, and literary short stories have been featured in several publications. Novel Fox published his novella Aztec Midnight in December, 2014. His latest book, The Genie Hunt, was published in May, 2017 by Solstice Publishing. He blogs at

Read an interview with M. C. Tuggle at The Book Blogger

Find and follow Mike

Website/blog    Goodreads     Amazon UK     Twitter@tuggle_mike

Books by M. C. Tuggle
Available via Amazon.

The Genie Hunt

Buddy Vuncannon, an attorney in High Point, North Carolina, and his friend Coot Pickard are heading out of town for a fishing weekend when they’re surrounded by a SWAT team. Three eyewitnesses have identified Coot as the gun man in the latest of a string of robberies. To defend Coot, Buddy must stand up to a bullying district attorney, uncover the identity of the real robbers, and battle a powerful genie who serves the robbers. Buddy’s investigation implicates an old friend, reigniting long-forgotten friction between Buddy and Coot. Old and new loyalties clash, leading Buddy and Coot to a desperate chase that forces them to seek the help of a madman they both fear.

Aztec Midnight

When drug cartels begin vandalizing ancient Aztec sites throughout Mexico in search of the sacred obsidian knife of Aztec emperor Ahuitzotl, the Mexican government reaches out to the U.S. State Department for assistance. Dr. Jon Barrett, an archaeologist and pre-Columbian weapons expert, then journeys to Cuernavaca with his wife Susanna at the request of Eric Winwood, a high-ranking State Department official, to find and rescue the knife before the cartels can claim it. Locating the knife proves more challenging and dangerous than Dr. Barrett anticipated, and he and Susanna soon find themselves at the center of the cartels’ search. For Dr. Barrett and his wife to survive, he will be forced to apply his knowledge of ancient weapons in the face of an ancient power he never imagined.

Tell me a story!

If you are a writer, artist or photographer…If you have a poem, story or memoirs to share… If you have a book to promote, a character to introduce, an exhibition or event to publicise… If you have advice for writers, artists or bloggers…

If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Guest post and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Guest author: M. C. Tuggle ~ Darci Lynne’s Three Secrets for Writers

  1. I followed Darci Lynne on AGT and was struck by her bravery every time she was on that worldwide stage. I agree, as writers we need to stretch our imaginations in order to grow.
    Enjoyed this post!
    For some reason, I keep getting an error message when posting the comment so if it repeats I apologise.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I saw Darci on Youtube and thought she was awesome. I hadn’t seen this though, and it blew me away. Wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. jenanita01 says:

    Just goes to prove that determination will get you anywhere…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched her on AGT and was so happy when she won. What a talented, beautiful, sweetheart. Love her.<3

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dgkaye says:

    I love this girl. She’s such a talent and self taught, originally to get out of her shyness. I was thrilled when she won AGT last year! Great article. 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Face what you fear and write about it”. YES. I will today. Thank you Mike, thank you Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t often watch this show but I did find this article interesting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.