Behind “The Process”: 10 Tips from the Author of the Vodou series

Hey there!

There’s a writer you should all know about…

Brandon Scott,
author of Vodou and Sleight

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.”
  5. Take a red pen to your work. Don’t edit everything at the computer. You’ll second guess yourself too much.
  6. Do 5 or 6 drafts. Then, after an editor looks at it and gives it back, reworking it some more.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

Go get Brandon Scott’s books, check him out on Twitter, Instagram, and FaceBook. Also check out the small presses he’s a co-owner of: Crimson Creek Press & Mimir Press.

Ep.92 | Inside the Box, But off the Wall (Science-Backed Ways to Boost Creativity) Creative Ops

I'm talking about how to boost your creativity in the new year! (And the annoying start to my year that slowed the podcast to a crawl in January.) I'm coming at you with some quality CREATIVITY BOOSTING stuff. No matter who you are or your creative outlet, I hope you find this useful. (Or at the very least entertaining. (Or at the very most, both!)) LINKS and SHOUT-OUTS: Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered is a great podcast and Jason got me into podcasting! Nick Nortier, @oldgrowthcreative on Instagram, is a talented artist and also bought my truck. Heather the librarian in Grandville, for letting me use a room to co-host… The TRBM podcast, which I guess I'll be co-hosting semi-regularly for an unspecified amount of time… The MINDFULNESS article I wrote back in the dizzay. Take a look…at my book! ***credible sources I used to prove to you weirdos I didn't make this stuff up: entrepreneur.com; ideas.ted.com; GCU.edu
  1. Ep.92 | Inside the Box, But off the Wall (Science-Backed Ways to Boost Creativity)
  2. Ep.91 | Jason Demmon: music, creativity, cancer, & cannabis
  3. 2022 Wrap-Up & Updates (And a New Song!)
  4. Ep.90 | Marcel ”Fable” Price – A Shameful Showing from the Kent County Commissioners Board
  5. Ep.89 | Mallory Shotwell – Founder and Director of CULTIVATE on local art, community, ”making it”, & marketing

Creative Ops is a semi-regular podcast, sponsored by River Town Adventures and Baby Farm Soaps, and produced by Hey Guys Media. Check those guys out.

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Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this? High five!

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