Revisions & Editing Workshop

If you missed my workshop with OCLS at the Downtown location, here is a chance to grab a copy of the PDF and/or PowerPoint Show. It was a heavy 2-hour course and we covered a lot of content and questions to help guide your revision efforts. Be sure to “enable outside links” since this does contain 3 YouTube videos. Just in case, I will add those down below and explain what they reflect. Thank you to all who came out to attend and I hope the advise has helped you in your effor

NaNoWriMo 101 – 2017 Edition PowerPoint

Yesterday, on behalf of Orlando Nanowrimo at the South Trail location for OCLS I had the honor to introduce and inform writers what this “Nanowrimo” thing in November means. I had a great group and it was fun tackling the questions many still had after the presentation. Per my promise, here are links to the PowerPoint I used both in PDF and PPS format via DropBox: PDF: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mkorcxnr4tj4ayu/Nanowrimo%20101%20by%20Valerie%20Willis.pdf?dl=0 PPS: https://www.

#AFO2017 Triforce of Fanfiction Panel

First off, myself (Valerie Willis), Racquel Henry, and Laura (L.E.) Perez want to say thank you for the warm welcome and great turnout for our first panel at an Anime Convention here at #AFO2017! We hope we were able to aid fellow writers and fans to jump into their stories and grow to new heights. It was a little hectic and little Link wasn’t so cooperative, but thank you for laughing and participating with us. Please don’t hesitate to seek us out online and here on my Blog

PowerPoint from Writing a Novel 101

Once more, I want to thank everyone who came out to attend one, if not all my classes on “Writing a Novel 101” at the Orange County Library in Downtown Orlando. I hope I was able to provide tools, knowledge, and inspiration at some point into each of you. Again, do not hesitate to reach out to me, follow my online sites, and know I stay rather active in the literary community. Below is a link to the PDF and PowerPoint Show files from my presentation for your convenience. Belo

#WritingTip – Editing & Revisions

Editing should be kept separate from writing. Bottom-line (granted more experienced writers can juggle both, but we are talking about several novels under your belt by this point). It’s easier said than done, I know I have a hard time sticking to this principle, but I can confidently say mixing the two can slow down getting all of your story out, not just by months, but YEARS. You’ve got all the story out in a first draft? Excellent, let me share with you my process and some

#WritingTip – Worldbuilding – How?

Picture from Pixabay.com by Tabor: https://pixabay.com/en/mountain-world-lake-nature-1062831/ What is Worldbuilding? This is the term used most often in video games and, in the writing world, more often used by the fantasy and science fiction genres than any other. Don’t be fooled, every book, game, and movie has worldbuilding, some are better remembered than others such as comparing movies like Lord of the Rings versus Sulley in terms how in or out of focus the world around

#WritingTip – The Research Hound – How?

Introduction As a writer, we often find ourselves in need of Research. I blame it on the natural curiosity, which drives us to put our stories to paper, a need, a thirst to see where “this” goes. In many of our works, our characters and worlds have elements we have never experienced, things new or oblivious to us, and at times, things we never want to experience. Not all research feels fun, yet other times we fall down a rabbit-hole, coming up for air hours later realizing we

VTMAS No.42: The Scooter Gang

We’ve all been on family vacations, but occasionally one comes along that leaves a lasting impression. Being in Florida, going to the Beach was at least a must once a year. I was still in high school and my mother’s boyfriend, coined “Papa Jon”, had his son Cody down as well. It was instantly decided we would be taking a “family vacation” to Daytona Beach. It was a gorgeous clear day, the sand hot under your feet, the waves rolling in weren’t too wild or choppy, and we were h

VTMAS No.39: Car Ride to Miami

My husband and I had been dating for a while at this point. In fact, we had moved in together and things were going good for us both. His parents asked if we wanted to go with them to Miami to see the NASCAR race in Homestead. So we are talking about November 2005 when this happened. We piled into the baby blue Mercury Villager and Justin was shoving me in the very back, third row section swimming in pillows. “I can’t even see out the windows.” I huffed. “I don’t understand w

My Struggle, My Victory, My Message on Mental Health

When I was asked to write something for Mental Wellness for #HoldOnToTheLight , I was thrilled. Why? It is the reason why I create and write, to do just that, Hold On To The Light. A spectrum of mental health issues, both my own, family, and friends surrounded me growing up. At first, my writing did not reflect these deep dark pools of human struggle until I reached my high school years when I better understood them. I realized that it was part of living in a tangible world.

VTMAS No.36: The Day The Grass Parted

My uncle Ymmit and I were asked to investigate what happened to the cats at my Great Grandmother’s home. She had been a safehouse for captured ferals who the humane society spayed or neutered and brought to her property to live. We had gotten a call asking where the cats had gone, and well, none of us had really stopped to consider what to do with them after she was submitted into the Nursing Home with dementia. It wasn’t like they weren’t being fed. The no-kill arrangement w

VTMAS No.34: Val Got Wasted!

To be fair, I posted about the husband’s time being wasted so now it’s my turn to share one about me. That’s right, she who rarely drinks has gotten WASTED once. If you’ve been reading these, you can rule out my 21st birthday as the culprit. Instead, it was my 23rd birthday that got me. It was Wednesday, and I was officially 23. I decided to meet up with my friend Alisha for a Chocolate Shot and then call it a day. What I did not know, was my husband found out and well, when

#WritingTip – Publishing on CreateSpace & KDP

After finishing and polishing my manuscript, I turned my attention to the internet. There were a few things I knew I wanted to be able to do: I want a paperback version eBook – But was unsure of which to lean towards I wanted my book sold on Amazon.com as well as available to big stores like Barnes & Noble and even the Library System! Terms, Agreements, & Small Print I am ok with and allows me to take my work elsewhere when/if the need arises. I want to be able to upload my o

VTMAS No.26: I Broke My New Underwear

Having kids is both a blessing and a curse. I love my kids, but I have to admit, until they came along, I remember having far more patience and way fewer blow up sessions. Regardless, they give us some of the most awesome and mind-blowing moments of comedy that I can’t even fathom or create on my own. This particular memory was while I was pregnant with “baby brodder” and amazingly my toddler had mastered potty training. He was so proud of his new underwear. I had bought him

#WritingTip – Outlining Your Story Idea

What to Expect from This Topic Whether you are developing a plot for a story, game, or movie, we all struggle with getting our imaginations to take it beyond that initial idea. Inspiration comes from an event, listening to music, dreams, a spur of a moment thought, but taking it beyond that small snippet and making it into something big and complete can be painful at times. Lately, I have been asked for advice on writing a novel or story idea and so this has sparked a mini-se

#WritingTip – Character Development

What is Character Development? Developing a story is only half the battle. Character Development isn’t just the art of naming and describing a character, but dives deeper. This covers the overall design of a character physically, mentally, and emotionally. Proper development should show reaction, change, and growth in more than one way. At the same time, a character is expected to be consistent, but not always predictable. Development should not stop with the main character o