Patrick Duncan may not be the first to tell you that writing isn’t easy, but he knows where you are right now. You are sitting there with a head full of ideas and a page full of nothing. Maybe you have a story, but can’t piece it together. Maybe you have the characters, but you can’t get them to move. Or maybe it’s you that can’t seem to lift another finger after a long day to throw two words together. Duncan knows your pain, and he’s going to get you through it.
His first book, Dracula Vs. Hitler, hit the shelves with two European powerhouses meeting on the field of battle. But Duncan is not new to the art of pen and paper. He’s been writing screenplays like Mr. Holland’s Opus and Courage Under Fire for the big screen. Duncan knows what it takes to turn ideas into action and to fill a page with memorable characters.
Grab your garlic and silver bullets. Here’s what you need to bring your own book to life.
One of the hardest lessons to learn might be one of the easiest to understand: just write. When you finally sit down to bring your world to life, make your characters move, and hit those emotional moments; you want each and every word to fly up from the page and dance. Instead, your words slump like a dull garden slug. Keep going. Keep writing. Duncan says to lean on your rewrites to make your masterpiece sing.
If you find that you need another character to pull off some sort of story plot, Duncan points out that you can simply write in “add a character here” and keep going. Don’t let the rough bumps of your first draft halt your path to success. Writing is dirty, chaotic, and often times, messy. That’s why you write a first draft. The second, third, or even tenth draft are there to turn that pound of clay into something amazing.
It’s All About the Execution
As Duncan puts it, “everyone has an idea for a book.” He points to “lack of time” as the excuse he hears the most when it comes to writers, cab drivers, or that office worker with their head in the clouds. Snap out of it! You have all the time you need, and Duncan is proof of that.
For five years, this future writer worked as an accountant, a job he detested. Every morning, he thought about what he was going to write that day. And alongside every bag lunch, he wrote for just an hour. The rest of the day was spent working on the rest of the story, writing and rewriting in his head through any given moment. You’re not going to bust out a novel over a week, but the slow and steady drip of words will give you the start of your story in just couple of months.
Write For Yourself
Dracula Vs. Hitler was a book that almost didn’t get made, only talked about. Duncan hates to talk about whatever he’s working on currently, so when anyone asked him about his current project, he would spin them a story about Dracula and Hitler fighting it out on the fields of Transylvania. But every time he would pull out this ridiculous idea to sideline the conversation, the more he fell in love the concept of the prince of darkness taking on Hitler. After a couple of years and a trip to Dracula’s castle, the book came to life.
Duncan mentioned that he already has two other books in mind to complete the trilogy; Dracula Vs. The Werewolves of the SS and Dracula Vs. Franken-fuhrer. Whether these turn out to be actual books has yet to be seen, but one thing is for certain, Duncan is having an amazing time doing it all.
Feature Image Credit: Blizzard