Entries in writing tips (4)


18 Tips to Becoming a Master Writer

You heard me, 18 tips to get you from unknown writer to published author. What are they? They are the backbone of 711 Press. When Daniel Middleton and I came together to produce books, we spent several years developing a formula to make sure we were creating a successful venture. Thus we created two models; one for the actual writing process and one that covers book design, publishing, and marketing. Those two models turned into books: The 7 Points of Write and 11 Simple Steps, which can turn an author's writing into a work of art, while showing them how to write faster and more efficiently, then get the book off the computer and onto the bookshelves. Now, for those of you who bought my 11 Secret Steps book a few years back, 11 Simple Steps was born out of that book. However, the new version is completely overhauled and gives you LOTS of free bonuses only available through this website.

Are the points and steps valuable? Hmmmm, well, after only one year, 711 Press is listed in OverDrive Media, the company that feeds digital content to public and school libraries around the globe. OverDrive doesn't accept just anyone. We are also distributed via several other sources, and our products can be found on all the major distributor sites: Amazon.com, BN.com, Google Play, etc. If you want to follow in the 711 Press footsteps, check out The 7 Points of Write by Daniel Middleton and 11 Simple Steps by yours truly, Jaime Vendera. Both are July releases for 711 and our regular movie book line resumes in August. Turn your writing dreams into reality and get ready for the workshops to follow :)


Unblocking Writer's Block

Over the past few months, James and I have been busy brainstorming elements for many books, including our Shifters series. I must admit, I've struggled with writer's block at times. However, as Jaime Vendera has pointed out time and time again, "writer's block doesn't exist; you're either inspired or bored." I've meditated on this statement for weeks now and realized that I was indeed inspired during the writing of the Crisis Trilogy (Crisis Artifact, Chaos Pendulum, Catastrophe Scroll). It was a breeze because we already knew the layout of the story from beginning to end across all three books. That was due to the fact that the Crisis Trilogy was a fantasy we'd played out in our minds since we were kids.

Shifters on the other hand, is a brand new story following the life of a young man named Devin Podrick, which we met in Order of 5ive Season One Episode Zero: Origins. I've struggled with elements of Shifters even when James pushed me through our brainstorming sessions. I thought I had writer's block, but it was merely boredom, due to my controlling nature. I am a person who likes to see the entire story before I begin writing it.

Realizing my own flaw of wanting to see the story from page one to the end of the book, I've developed the boredom factor during our recent project, sparring with my own creative consciousness to see the end of the book and flip through the pages in between even before it was written, inhibiting my creative flow. Typically, our chapter by chapter, bullet point by bullet point layout works wonders for our writing, allowing each of us to take a chapter and knock it out in record time. Trying this approach with Shifters, when we weren't even sure where the story was going, and feeling like we had to know every detail before the writing process began, sent me into creative mental roadblocks left and right.

After a few weeks of sad, sad story lines, James suggested that I let go of my controlling nature and allow the book to unfold, just like watching a movie. After all, 711 Press is about watching movies on paper and Kindle. So, we decided to write a chapter at time without our trypical bullet point approach. I wrote chapter one, let it unfold based on loose notes, then handed it off to James, let him write a chapter, and so on, passing it back and forth each time a chapter was finished. (We have extremely similar writing styles.)

This approach reminded me of the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Deathtrap Dungeon by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. I loved these books because you lead the story by your choices. As you read through the book, you were asked to choose where to turn next after you read a section of the book. You never knew where you'd end up or when the adventure would end. Because of our new approach,  I became inspired once again and, with the curious mind of a child, anticipated where James would take me for the next chapter. As I said, we continued this for every chapter of the book and I could not be happier with how Shifters unfolded into an adventure as amazing as the Crisis Trilogy.

My point in this blog is to let other writers know that I now believe that writer's block is a fallacy. As Jaime says, "You're either inspired or bored." Which path you choose is entirely up to you. If you're as controlling a writer as I am, try letting go for once, writing a chapter and not worrying about where the story goes. Don't lead it; let it lead you. Just be happy you're along for the ride. Be excited, be curious, wonder where your thoughts will lead you, without trying to contol the outcome. You'll be blown away by the creative path your mind follows, and in the end, you may end up with a creative work far surpassing what you originally imagined.


Tip For Writers: Keep a Dream Journal

I am a living, breathing, walking, talking, dreaming horror storyteller. I am constantly coming up with new ideas for fiction stories, and thankfully, because of the wonderful 711 Press writing formula, it doesn't take a year to write, edit, and release a book.

With that said, I have a photographic memory, but, sadly, no film. Therefore I ALWAYS have a means to write down or record a new story idea. I can record audio notes on my phone when I'm going about my day and a story hits me. Bbut I find the best times for me to create the best stories is when I'm dreaming. If I have an amazing dream that scares the wits out of me and wakes me up, I reach for my nightstand to grab my journal and I begin to write at warp speed, jotting down every thought and detail about the dream I can recall. I could record the audio, but for me, writing is where the magic happens. Something about transferring my dreams via pen to paper brings the experience alive for me, so I stick to the old tried and true way of recording dreams.

Aspiring authors, make sure you have some means to capture that great idea. Don't let it slip away from you. Regardless of wheter you record audio notes or use the dream journal like I do, just hang onto that idea no matter how you capture it.

Dru out.


Writing Your Novel at the Speed of Thought

James and I feed off each other so much when we plot stories that we can't even call each other on the phone without some means of audio capture to record the call, because it's constant story, story, story with us. We mainly use Skype since we live on different continents and I use a program to record our audio. However, I HATE transcription. When I'm on my own and an idea comes to me, I use a Dragon Naturally Speaking app for my cellphone. Of course, some of the words it translates are spelled in some weird language that only Caesar Guevara could decipher, but overall, cleaning up typos is far easier than trancribing two hours of Skype conversations.

So, I thought I'd throw my two cents out there for all you writers. Try the Dragon app to save transcription time. It's like writing at the speed of thought (stole that line from Phoenix Earth... sorry Ronald and Melvyn ;) You're both still my mates.