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.

Creative Ops | Ep.14 | 2020 Performance Review: Year One Reflections w/ Jason Tieri Creative Ops

Hey Folks!Were you looking for this on Friday? Well, #CreativeOpsFriday has given way for #CreativeOpsMonday. Look for episodes to drop every other Monday until further notice.Sorry for the inconvenience. I promise to let you know ahead of time next time. Maybe. No guarantees. But I will. I promise. Ya know…most likely.. . .IN THIS EPISODE…My in-studio producer/friend/technical overlord (Jason Tieri, Threads Podcast:Life Unfiltered; The Gig Economy Podcast; Hey Guys Media Group) and I discuss/reflect on the first year (13 episodes) of the show and all the behind the scenes gaffs/mishaps/mistakes/planning/preparation/etc….. . .Thanks to all the supporters of the show:Hey Guys Media GroupCheck out the other shows they produce!River Town AdventuresBaby Farm SoapsAnd humongous thanks to all the listeners, especially folks like shakespeares_fire & cherylscreativesoup for reaching out on social media and helping to spread the word about the show–stuff like that keeps me excited about doing all this! (Even the writing-show-notes part…). . .Check out http://www.christophertallon.com for more on the show and its host (me!), read some blogs (my personal ones, not the ones I write for other people, although this and that aren't bad writing…), and all that shnazzy stuff.Please also go check out the past guests and their goings-ons!. . .Past GuestsPaul Brogan, River Town AdventuresJennifer Soucy, Novelist (New Book Coming Soon)Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered hosts Ben Kraker & Jason TieriAlfonso Civile, Heartsick Vocalist, podcaster (Beats and Beatdowns)Fresh Coast Seed Co, Award-Winning Cannabis FarmerAndrea Draft, Hobby Farmer/Stay-at-Home ParentAaron Daane, Soccer Coach/BusinessmanBrandon Scott, NovelistZach Snyder, Muralist/College ProfNurses Meaghan and Rachel (Our wives…lol)Mike Breymann, award-winning visual effects artist/producerClay McAndrews, Creative & Bright Walls Mural Festival OrganizerDajon, CA Hip-Hop ArtistSee you on the next #CreativeOpsMonday everyone!-CT
  1. Creative Ops | Ep.14 | 2020 Performance Review: Year One Reflections w/ Jason Tieri
  2. Creative Ops | Ep.13 | Dajon, a badass, Sacramento-based hip-hop artist
  3. Creative Ops | Ep.12 | Clay McAndrews, Founder & Co-Director of the Bright Walls Mural Festival
  4. Creative Ops | Ep.11 | Mike Breymann – Visual Effects Artist, Software Developer, Freelancer
  5. Creative Ops | Ep.10 | RN Double Feature, with nurses Meaghan and Rachel

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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