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.

Indie Bookfest 2017

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.promotionalbooktours.com/2017/08/indie-bookfest-2017/ EXCERPT: Over eighty fabulous authors, panels and workshops for both authors and readers . . . two amazing parties and a huge signing . . . where in the world can you find all of this awesomeness in one event? Indie BookFest, of course! This premier author-reader event, in its fifth year in central Florida, takes place September 28th through October 1 st at the Westin Lake Mary. Indie Boo

#WritingTip – Book Covers

This was a question that popped up in one of the many groups I am part of and after leaving a monster-sized response I figured I might want to post about this topic for those who need an answer to this. Not to mention my fellow Author L.E.Perez and I have been discussing this topic all summer long. So here it goes, the Full Monty on Book Covers. BONUS: Author Learning Center posted a clip of me sharing some advice about Book Covers in March 2018: Why Are Book Covers Important

#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 – Developing a Writing Style

What is a Writing Style? It is the most important and precious thing a writer or author owns. This is what helps us illustrate, immerse, and communicate beyond the normal means of writing. The style each of us has textures us as unique in the ocean of authors out there in the world. It is the flavor we experience when we read between Neil Gaiman, Nora Roberts, J.K. Rowling, JRR Tolkien, Stephanie Meyers, Anne Rice, Stephen King, and so on. Not one of their writing styles feel

#WritingTip – Developing A Plot

Recently I have been getting a ton of messages and seeing a large number of questions involving plot. Like many of my writing tip segments, this is my queue to take a moment to do an information dump on the topic in hopes of aiding my fellow writers. Looking over all the plot related conversations and such, I decided that I will start from the very top and work my way from answering what a plot is, discuss plot types, and then point of main versus subplot versus background/wo

A Fisherman’s Tail

“A Fisherman’s Tail” is a fun, quirky fantasy comedy centered around some old fisherman and one newcomer, Tad. What unfolds at the end of this pier is both reminiscent of the fishing gurus of today with a flair of magic and a sprinkle of old man humor. A favorite among listeners when read at open mics! Feel free to share, plan on smiling and giggling! https://www.inkitt.com/stories/fantasy/98402 The peach colored sun had broken away from the purple horizon when Tad made it to

#WritingTip – Foreshadowing

What is Foreshadowing Foreshadowing is a pivotal literary device seen in all writing in one shape or form. It can be used in several ways to interact with characters, plot, and even the reader. Examples can be simple and obvious, such as a narrative stating foretold events. You see such a narrative for ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ (https://youtu.be/DPzMYtze_kA). I am here to talk about this kind and even the sort of foreshadowing that carries hidden agend

#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

New Year Review – 2017

Another year has come and past. Though on a global and national level, 2016 was a nightmare filled with some scary events and we can only hope our fears and worries will not be as heavy as we expected in the 2017 time span. Regardless, let’s take a look at my goals for 2016 and see how bad or good I did along with 2017 goals related to these topics: BRASS COLLAR GAMES – http://brasscollargames.com/ Well, my work keeps getting stalled under a wave of financial needs and person

#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

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.

#WritingTip – Picking a Publishing Path

Publishing in general is a very scary next step for any writer and their story. Whether you are aiming for Traditional or Self Publishing, there is a mountain of things that have to be done before you are ready for this step. Before allowing yourself to even think about publishing in any shape or form, be sure to have your manuscript well edited and polished. It doesn’t matter if you plan on pitching it to an agent, publisher or self publish; you need a strong, clean, well-wr

Book Review: Autonomy by Jude Houghton

5 out of 5 Autonomy By Jude Houghton Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Autonomy-Jude-Houghton-ebook/dp/B01H3GYR5C/ GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30644174-autonomy B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/autonomy-jude-houghton/1124073212?ean=9781909845961 OVERVIEW If you are a fan of Dystopian Corporate societies for a setting, this book is a great fit. The writing is superb and the story weaves through one corruption to the next struggle with ease. The man characte

NetGalley – Why Do I Need To Be There?

As an Independent Author, or Self-Published Author, there are a few obstacles I have to face. Unlike a traditional published or contracted author, I have to be the wearer of many hats such as Graphic Designer, TypeSetter, Writer, Editor, Agent, Publisher, Artist, and the most daunting, Marketer. It can be an overwhelming feat on just one book, let alone several books, even if I paid to have third parties to take some of the hats and their weight off my shoulders. Marketing is

A Short-lived Treasure Hunt

Short Story, Humor The cell phone was ringing again. Florida summer heat brought in a wave of friends and family calling for favors, but this time it was Alvin. With a sigh, Jay answered, “Hey Al!” “Man, I hate to ask…” Alvin’s tone of voice was equal to a grimace on a face. “It’s my Air Conditioner…” Rubbing his forehead, Jay retorted, “Lightning didn’t hit it again, did it?” There was silence on the other end. The heat of Alvin’s frustrations coming through with no words ne

#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