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Behind “The Process”: 10 Tips from the Author of the Vodou series
There’s a writer you should all know about…
Brandon Scott is a very nice guy, and a fantastic writer of supernatural fiction. His novel Vodou hit #1 on Amazon’s occult fiction list, and he recently released the sequel, Sleight. We were fortunate to get him on the podcast and we had a really fun conversation. To hear it, go to the Creative Ops website, *OR* go into your podcasts and search “CREATIVE OPS”, *OR* simply look for the media player at the bottom of this post.
Alright, let’s do this.
10 Writing Tips from Brandon Scott
- Use sticky notes to collect your seemingly random thoughts. If you’re working on something and a strange new idea hits, write it on a sticky note. One liners, plot ideas, you name it. The main bad guy in Vodou started out as a sticky note, then later got incorporated into the story.
- Always start with pen and paper. Don’t switch to the computer until you feel like you’re actually watching the story in front of you.
- Don’t outline. Once you click with a story, you can make bullet lists and “ask [your] characters if they wouldn’t mind getting to some of these.”
- Write your first draft as fast as you can. You can “hack and slash” later. Scott says, “My first drafts are a disaster.” But that’s just step one in “The Process.”
- Take a red pen to your work. Don’t edit everything at the computer. You’ll second guess yourself too much.
- Do 5 or 6 drafts. Then, after an editor looks at it and gives it back, reworking it some more.
- Get character names from cemeteries. Scott goes through cemeteries in quadrants, writing down first names from one, matching them up with last names from another. Cool, huh?
- Write what you know. If you’re writing about a foreign place, visit it. If you can’t visit it, talk to someone who is familiar with it. Like many writers, Scott centers many of his stories in fictional places based on familiar places.
- Stop writing when the action is happening. Then you’ll be able to jump back into it quickly. I’d say this is one of the big things to take away from this. Several reviews of Scott’s books say that his pacing is phenomenal–which it is. So stop where it’s easy to get back into it.
- Have thick skin when it comes to writing. It’s a game of rejection and endlessly trying to improve. None of it’s personal, so don’t take rejection personally.
Quit sitting around!
Goodbye, folks! (For now…) – Creative Ops
Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this? High five!