"How To Write A Bestseller"- Or diee trying

“How to write a Bestseller”

-By JM Barclay


































After you read this book I invite you attend my classes, Skype with me or take on 1 on 1 training as needed. I am your ally in your quest to make a difference.

(Email me at [email protected])







Chapter A – My Story


Chapter B – Become your own hero


Chapters of ‘the process’


Chapter C – Audio Books


Chapter D – Writing Self-Help


Chapter E – Documentaries


Chapter F – Marketing


Chapter G – Writers Health and Fitness














Dear reader, you have now begun quite the journey. I hope you never give up in your quest to make a difference. I will always be in your corner. ;)


Please note, this is an informal book between me and you. Thus the editing and design is not what it would be for a commercial book.


This book is written mostly as a process and I do not want to scare you away with its apparent challenges – So I have bunched the Chapters covering the actual process of writing in the index. You will see a full list after you have gone through it yourself.


From now on, when people ask what you do for a living don’t just say, “I’m a writer”. Tell them the truth, that it’s your job to keep people dreaming, including yourself ;)


You’ll soon notice I spend a bit of time on philosophy. That’s because a story comes into creation like this:


Universe → Writers Perceptions –> Writers Bias and Limited understanding → Writers creativity → Written story.


What does it take to become a bestseller? A desire to make a positive difference and commitment to bettering yourself. I you truly do not care about others and only want to write empty stories I cannot help you. A person must suffer a lot of pain in order to stop caring and for that you have my compassion. I pray you read forth anyway with the hope you may become a little more inspired yourself. ;)


You’ll notice my style resides on starting with the fundamentals and building upon that. This may take some getting used to but if you think about it, it’s the only way one should do anything.


I have always been mystified by the power of story itself. And it’s intangible threads of what makes a story truly something.


Weather documentary, self-help book, novel or movie all forms of the written word bust be done with the intention to make a difference within the mind of the audience for the better. That is also, after all, the only goal worth the effort of the writer. This book is not necessarily written for documentaries or self-help books per say, but you’ll still find plenty of ideas and guidelines to help you. :)


In my quest to learn how to become a better storyteller, I had to first read the biographies and reports on JK Rowling and Tolkien... And was surprised that both shared a love for a part of writing I had never heard of or read about- “Creating your world before you write the story itself.” I was blown away. Many of you may be already thinking, “Oh yeah, I already do that.”


And thus I would like to issue your first warning. Anytime you think you ‘know something enough’ or think ‘you’re good enough’ instead realize this is only what novices believe. In every area of life there is an infinity of potential of knowledge and skill.


For example I was talking to a student the other day and I said, “I don’t feel that you fully get the heart of your hero. I don’t think you fully understand his/her fears and motivations and have a strong sense of how they would personally react. You should spend some time daydreaming till you can feel your heroes own heartbeat and personality like you would your own wife”. To which he replied, “Oh, yeah I did that.” He thought the ability to love his character was a yes/no challenge, and from that alone I know how much work he needs to do in this though area of love itself- which happens to be the only energy and sustenance in the universe. Yes, love can turn to hatred but there will always remain a shred of love. Love gives us the power to live and hatred claims the power of destruction. But enough of my philosophical tangents for now ;)


My name is Jason Barclay and I’m a “small time bestseller” with my first novel of “Unchosen: Rise of The Secret Wizard societies. I am writing this e-book for free in the hopes that I can inspire countless writers out there, who maybe didn’t even realize they were a writer, who in turn can hopefully inspire countless others in turn. I’m also writing it for my students and writing clients so that when they see me I can help them along the process instead of explaining it over and over.


What I have for you here is some rare insights into the real mysteries of writing. Yes you should be a little excited. You’ll find some books cover similar ideas but few carry all of the traps and secrets that literally destroy writers before they begin and, once known about, are as tough to deal with as a mentally challenged child bully. It’s also rare to read a book on writing from someone who has made it to the bestseller level himself. Why would I give away all of my insights and treasures for free, that literally took me a lifetime to understand? Because my style is very much about trying to make a difference while we still have time. I can only do so much and I need you, in fact the world needs you to hone your skills and start reaching into people’s hearts and doing your best to try and somehow leave them slightly better off. You may think that’s an impossible goal. I think you underestimate the power of a good story. ;)


It’s hard to commit to anything in life without being told that what we are doing is worthwhile. Let me be the one, who’s gone from near suicide to an Amazon bestseller, be one of your many future mentors and fans to tell you that you are not only on the right path, but your hand at inspiration is desperately needed in a dying world. How can your work actually make a difference to the outcome of my and others lives? Keep reading, you may find my unique philosophy intriguing ;) Feel your skin crawling with anticipation yet?


For me, getting myself to write usually feels like I’m trying to push myself to jump into a cold pool that has gross floaty things and while in there I’ll also have to do, of all things, dishes X.X – But, once you start writing, keeping the concepts of this book in mind, the hard parts can actually be enjoyable!


When I wrote ‘Unchosen’ I was in a pretty low emotional place because of what I had just survived. I was so depressed that every time I took a bath my own mother assumed I was committing suicide. Bam. My personal story will be in Chapter 1 of this book for those of you that are interested. It’s actually a fairly inspiring story.


I had never finished a story before so, with ‘Unchosen’ my main goal was actually a page count. But as a result my efficiency of story told / words used greatly suffered. Trying to create a schedule is probably the writers’ hardest job. Because if it’s too tough, you won’t do it and give up on writing. If it’s reasonable you may miss a day, feel bad and give up. Or its too easy you’ll never progress. That’s why it’s actually helpful to have a mission of inspiration behind your works. My elaborate world saving goals are what allowed me to commit to completing 1 chapter a day of my book (Once the prep was done). In hindsight I think the quality of the book would have been improved if I had instead committed to a rough amount of time during the days I managed to get to writing, instead of an overall page count.


For many of you, the idea of committing to a lot of time writing, and, GASP, to the idea of finishing something may seem impossible, even with your new world changing ambitions behind your work. But I used a secret weapon that few writers actually know about. This secret weapon literally builds up an unshakable amount of motivation to get to work, solves moments of writers block before they ever happen and when they do happen you simply refer back to this secret weapon and voila! The end of writers block! Sounds ridiculous right? Like the cure for cancer or a miraculous understanding of women :O (That, let’s be real, will never happen) – It’s simply the art of ‘creating your world ahead of time’ as mentioned earlier and fully explained in a later chapter. You’re welcome ;P


Before anything else know there is a very real magic to writing that very few can even dream of. For starters, do you realize that every piece of technology we now have was first written by a writer? When your pen touches paper you’re actually making a small dent on the fabric of time itself. The collective stories writers write and producers publish, produce and market literally paves the road that that society will head in. A true writer is able to look at the pain in themselves and others and do their best to write a story that’s more universal and, hopefully, not only alleviates some of our pain, but gently makes us stronger and more compassionate people. A true writer learns to literally feel the call to the light side of the force and let the needs to countless millions be their inspiration. Writing in the hopes of money or fame will kill your career before it ever begins for those are, at most, a small cherry on top of your main pursuits of trying to make a difference. And the longer you write without that beloved money the more you will despair until not even Zeus can spark your but into motion.


And that’s why I’m spending time talking about others and the world. Because your fellow man will always be your dauntless source of inspiration. Even the brats and booger pickers? Of course! Troublesome brat ogre kids (and adults) usually have fire breathing tarantula head parents who have had even worse treatment from others. Which is also why it’s not ‘good enough’ for a parent to try to do ‘better’ than their own parents.


That's also why it's never 'good enough' to try and measure your own personality by those around you. For they, too, have their own pains keeping them from being their best. The only way to truly measure your own personality is by looking deep within yourself and ask if you can do better or get more educated in an area of life and then honestly work on it. Self-improvement is not about trying to reach some idealized perfect level of existence but instead simply enjoying the smooth journey of daily self-improvement itself. In a story, a characters self-improvement, inspired from within, from witches, ogres, smelly mentors etc- is what makes the difference between the dragon having them for dinner or the other way around... THAT’S the magic the writer is trying to chase. The invisible thread of Self Improvement itself. Every writer has to ask themselves what they think it means to be a good person and how one is supposed to find the energy and courage to do better for their family and those they care for.


And look over society and think of what messages you feel they both need. Universal to both the rich and poor. Messages ‘only for the poor’ become evil when they become rich and messages ‘only for the rich’ will either increase evil ambitions or become less useful to them should they become poor.


From here on out consider yourself a fellow wizard writer. Not that you’re necessarily going to write about wizards… but master the internal magic of ‘story’ itself.


You have much to learn, as do we all. Not only of your own mind and it's ninja like attempts to keep you from your dreams- But of the actual effect you can make across the world. It does not necessarily matter how much you know of the complexities of some stupid ogres rampaging across our world, banks and food pretending to be important political figures.


Unfortunately, in our world there are some pretty stupid people with a lot of power. And the more power the ogres get, the worse normal people, like you and me feel about ourselves. In an abundant economy there is a much wider range of choices you can make in how to contribute to your society. Your pay is also far higher and the general cost of living remains low. It's only when various industries, like real estate, go out of control and politicians and big businessmen make new laws and work to protect themselves... -do you get a strangled economy. One where it’s hard to even get a job you don't like. You typically have to work as much as an enchanted gargoyle just to barley make ends meet. As a writer you will come across shit in life that you want to direct most of your attention to. This earlier problem is my biggest concern and one that will work its way into every story I write. The rich/poor divide. (P.S. Shout out to all the people out there with crappy jobs. Really. Thank you! I could never hold a job like that but without you I'd starve or worse :O ) Where was I?


Like any challenge, looking at the whole picture can be daunting. Like facing a dirty room, if you look at the whole thing you’ll never have the courage to clean it. But if you relax and look around for ONE THING you can face, only take of that and IGNORE the rest. Then doing that step by step you’ll find it way easier to confront cleaning. Or like professional climbers that climb Mount Everest, the highest of all goals. After their tough preparation (Steps 1-7 of ‘the writers process’) and they get to the base of the mountain they don’t stare at the top. They look at their next footstep… the whole way up. For some reason the mind is afraid of big tasks and ok with small ones. Therefore the trick to success is learning how to break up your dreams into tiny steps that you can go after :) Power and speed come in a distantttt second to perseverance and the will to never give up, regardless of your speed.


You’ll find the summary of steps at the end of this book. But I don’t want you to look it up yet or it may scare you. Instead, relax and make your way through this book, your stories and personal hero’s journey step by step. Don’t worry about trying to act on things as you come across them. You’re welcome to if you feel the eye of the tiger. But there are many secret traps in the universe as a writer that can kill your belief in yourself. It’s possible you get so excited when you come across one of my tools that you try to write something serious, but, not knowing all of the tools and traps you could suddenly find your passion and even your belief in me disappear. So relax and make your way through this book. At the end you’ll see the summary all together, and even then, with your increased insight it may look a little tough. It’s better to convert it into a rolladex type of thing so you can only see your next step, one at a time :)






Chapter A

My brief story.






(You’ll soon realize why this chapter is labeled Chapter A instead of Chapter 1 young padawon :) )


I’ve been dreaming of stories since I can remember. I was always fascinated by the unbridled power of imagination and the magic effect good stories seemed to have on others. My only problem was I couldn’t finish anything.


I was fortunate enough to keep coming up with endless story ideas but zero ability to get more than a paragraph out. On my best day I could maybe write a few pages but I think I only did that once in 15 years.


I was surprised how unhelpful books on writing were. Especially the ones that recommended some sort of formula. Bleh.


With every word I wrote I would double my uncertainty of my characters, path choices and my own existence. I felt like if I really pushed myself then I would really turn into a mental patient or something. I love writing but I hated all of the uncertainty and mental turmoil I thought was a “part of the process.”


You should also know that I was born a Scientologist. I will always love the basic principles of integrity, ethics, communication etc but I no longer associate myself with the corporation currently running it. You can google “Jason Barclay survives Scientology” to learn more about my adventures in and escaping of the church.


All I want to state here is that for three years before I began writing 'Unchosen' I was actually 100% a slave in the Sea Organization. I only got an average of 6-7 hours’ sleep and worked every single day of the year with maybe 3 days off. I had about 8 hours a day of hard labor and another 9+ of hard work. It was my job, alone, to keep a $10,000,000 building cleaned and maintained. Of course that was impossible. My unwritten purpose was really to simply be someone who was available to yell at by the many angry executives above me. Even though my peers were impressed by the sheer quality of my work, the bosses were always angry. I was reminded daily how much of a piece of shit I was and that I was an enemy to the founder. I was even beaten across the back of the head for 6 months every day. After a year I started thinking about suicide. I truly believed the world would be better off without me, that I was too stupid and useless to ever amount to anything. Finally, one day I found myself at the top of my building. Even today I can still feel the wind across my face and the warm call to the pavement 6 stories down. -But at that moment I saw a sign. Possibly from God or Aliens. A single big bright orb appeared directly in front of me, and started to float upward at the exact moment I agreed to not kill myself. My mother happened to catch this on her cell phone! I knew it had happened. Since then I was determined to believe in myself more. And hopefully find a way to inspire others. I escaped the church and I was so depressed at this time that whenever I went to take a bath my own mother assumed I was trying to kill myself.


In those times I had a choice of trying to force myself to take a minimum wage job or write. For some reason I chose to start a trilogy (“Unchosen”). O_o! I was sleeping 14 hours a day. When I woke up I would stare at nothing for hours, I just sat there depressed staring into the void of emptiness. I would lethargically try to go about my day to say the least, make breakfast- I physically felt like I was drowning in molasses. Most days I played video games all day. Then, after a while, I slowly started forcing myself through my process.


A year later I became a bestselling author and officially began my writing career :) !


So no matter where you’re coming from, your life conditions, your emotions, know that if I can start achieving my dreams then so can you! More than that, you are actually very much needed by others right this moment. And this is the hardest part of the writers’ job. You are expected to commit to a long and tough journey with the possibility that no one will care. But I hope you’ll see that by adding my madness to your own methods, writing will become both easier and actually guaranteed to inspire at least a few people. :) And that will always be the best reward a writer can hope for.


Oh, and by the way, the more you learn about the magic of writing, the more ideas you're going to get and it will be up to you to be ready to organize them. I carry around a pocket sized notepad and pen everywhere. If I get random story ideas, elements, scenes, objects etc I'll then put them in their proper folder when I get home. Do not use any device that's connected to the internet. There are countless bots out there looking for new ideas to forward to their masters for free. Right now I'm typing this e-book on a laptop that’s not connected to the internet. If I ever need to connect to the net I'll first put my book on two separate thumb drives, eject them, delete them from my computer and trash can. Then I'll restart the computer and once its booted up I'll only then turn on the wifi etc. You may think this is superstition. I welcome you to spend a year+ writing a novel on the net hoping no one takes it ;) Yes copywriting your work will protect you but unless you’re rich you won’t copy wright till you’ve completely finished it and edited it a few times.


Having a strong system in place lessens your stress over the story itself and will free up imagination and willingness to work toward your destiny :)





Chapter B

Become your own hero





In the path of every good story you’ll find the heroes journey. Which you must research and look up on your own. If you find a YouTube video and begin to think “Dear god I hate the heroes journey!”, simply stop that video and keep looking for one that’s effective. You’ll find a list of steps every ‘hero to be’ usually goes through in their own way. If you’re up for a very in depth dissertation of the Heroes Journey I recommend “A Hero With A Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell, recommended by Steven Spielberg. Its a very deep read and honestly, over the last 6 months I’ve only read 20 pages. After this book I’ll get to my epic Star Wars like movie, but before that, as part of the research phase I will have to complete reading that book myself.


One mistake I made in ‘Unchosen’ is I looked at my story and said, “Yep, I’ve nailed the hero’s journey! My hero naturally went through all of the steps without me having to think about it! I’m a natural! I’m the king of the world :P – But in hindsight my heroes journey was weak. Like I earlier mentioned. When I had that thought that I was ‘good enough’ at something I should have realized that thought only belongs to beginners and I thus should have done a deeper study and look.


You have to look at the invisible thread of what it means to become a hero in its essence. Understanding that essence is actually the only chance you have of learning to inspire yourself and others, or also stated as “Inspiring the inner hero in others”. A hero is NOT defined by their looks, wealth, social acceptance or even skills but their ability to say enough is enough, stand up and start fighting for what they believe in. Take note that in your search of the essence of the heroes Journey you’re also dealing with the riddle of helping others get into action. So to be a responsible writer you must also lightly include the importance of one learning to do their own unbiased research and education lest they become a more passionate member of a cult instead of being able to find the truth and summon the strength to simply walk away. Most cults keep their members locked in not only with strength but mostly by twisted words of greatness bent to serve their wishes.


This may all sound like a lot. But don’t worry, it will come more and more naturally. And as you grow as a person the effectiveness of your works will also better. Hence, above all, the most important tool for the writer is Self-Improvement. What's that? Despite what many think true Self Improvement is not the act of becoming more of yourself or gaining power. True self-improvement is based on the strength of your heart, strength here is of course measurement in units of love. Many of us have been hurt so many times that the strength of our love is not what it could be. It just simply needs to be worked on. The more people, races and groups you hate the more work you need. Sure there are many stupid and wretched people out there, but if you TRULY knew their history you may understand them. And, like me, wonder what types of messages and stories you can write that can help them out a little, and who knows maybe even inspire the 1% to take on more and more humane courses of action.


The other half of Self Improvement, the heroes’ journey and learning to never give up is based on education. How can you truly know who your enemies are, from without or more often from within, if you have a shallow or biased idea of life or particular groups? The strength of any society is heavily based on the value of its education. And in America we face an educational crisis to the degree that people are supporting Donald Trump! Like many countries, our history is one sided that end up perpetuating the lessons to continue ON THIER OWN and real lessons history begs to teach us remain hidden. What’s worse, we learn false lessons that perpetuate wars further and insight economic strangulation across the world. Our high schools don’t teach money management, office politics or how to be a good parent. Math is over prescribed to all where few will ever need to use advanced math. Those who are geniuses in uncommon areas are silenced and pushed into linear paths that they never accept but also lose their fire to pursue their destiny at the same time.


We’re supposed to be a civilized society yet we don’t even fully understand what it means to eat healthy. And even if you’re able to figure it out, agriculture prices are kept artificially high to make it unreachable for most. In America we say we do that for “the good of the farmers” while Monsanto is allowed to turn around and fraudulently sue them into oblivion. And thus we have criminal organizations like Monsanto who are trying to hide their GMO foods under Organic labels! If you think GMO’s are great then I refer you to the above paragraph. If you think only science can answer the demands of a large society then read as many books as you can on logic then tell me how we can’t answer food needs with the amount of food already being thrown away. Cue the crickets-


There are many problems the world faces but every single one of them have simple solutions. Remember that. The hard part is reaching the hearts and changing the minds of those making money in ways that hurts the rest of us, and as part of their ability to survive, their news and media outlets are paid to confuse and hopefully reprogram people to even support them. For example, anyone who thinks only oil & nuclear can efficiently answer our energy needs should research how many inventions of perpetual energy America alone patents each year. If you think it’s impossible for the government to research all of them I refer you to logic. Why patent something if you have no ability to test it? Could it be possible there are ulterior motives than working hard to release a safe perpetual energy idea to put the oil companies out of business who’s hands are deeply in most governments pockets around the world? Hmm.


Again. All of the solutions to world problems are SIMPLE IN NATURE. It’s only the vested interests who work to convince you otherwise. It’s them alone that are complicated and our target as writers. Like the person who dreams of becoming rich so he can have an abundance of life necessities for his family forever, then saves too much of his money, lowers the pay of his employees who in turn find it hard to get life necessities and dream of one day becoming rich…


In your research you will undoubtedly discover indisputable enemies of mankind. Do not hate them for they are protecting their families’ tradition and wealth. And they also surround themselves with scientists whose job is convince them they are in the right. Imagine you were handed an Oil empire and entrusted to keep it profitable no matter what. Then a bunch of tree huggers started saying your trusty and loyal scientists were wrong and therefore you should give up on your families’ guarantee of future riches? It’s your job as a writer to discover whatever problems you’re willing to look at and simply do your best to make a difference. It can be more effective to try and write ‘universal stories’ that ‘happen to hit your real targets, and their families, in the heart’.


“Only love can solve problems of hatred”- Master Gideon: Unchosen


All that you really need to remember, above all, is to follow your heart and never give up. Then success becomes literally guaranteed and only becomes a matter of time till you make it :)






Chapter 1

Find your spark






Life itself begins with a spark and so must your story. This spark will never be “strong enough” to push you through the entire process of writing. In an awkward romantic analogy, if your story was the baby, the spark would be way before conception- The simple look of pure love in anthers eyes.


What is the spark of a story? It’s that magic moment of ‘What if?’… It’s that initial idea, no matter how small, that can be fostered into a story. Where most people go wrong is they expect too much of that little spark and smash it into a structure of wood they’re hopeful for and emblazon it into a mighty palace.


That spark can really be anything from, “Wow that guy is stupid! Someone save his gene pool!” - To “What if … (Fill in the blank)/... or- Aliens were already among us and were desperately trying to push us onto a path of peace before their confederacy was forced to reset us for the sake of our planet.” You may think the second is 'better” or more “commercial”. But you’re wrong. Stories are like individual people; those that look better or who are wealthier are not thus better people. The only thing that matters, really, is love itself. Many may say, “Bleh, I can tell you're a broke virgin with a lame statement like that! Everyone knows that all that matters is economics!” To you I say this, “What is the best 'economics' without love but a Hitleristic society?” Boom.


A society starts to fall apart and cause unneeded wars once it loses its grasp on its love for its citizens and fellow man. This usually starts when those in power think they deserve respect with their title alone. Or simply don’t give a shit for those below them. When a position of leadership is misunderstood or misused those under them invariably suffer. Yet there is no regular college class on earth on the repercussion of greedy actions. Both as a history lesson and as a modern day economical study and skill to be able to look at one’s own future greedy actions and be able to measure the repercussions for others. So when the oil company is thinking of opening a new site for fracking, they will know their damages farrrrrrr outweigh their profits… and hopefully will be an easy target for lawsuits. In this world it’s hard to make something matter without legal backing ;) Even though many of our legal accomplishments began with movements of the heart…


Any unbiased economical study will show that acts of kindness and consideration build a stronger economy. I’m not saying the lazy should get rewarded. I’m saying that the ambitious should be able to have an ample life. I think it’s a crime against humanity where you have area where the people have to work all week, or pray for work, to barely afford their food and housing. If you think the word ‘crime’ is a slight exaggeration I beg you to imagine how well Nicola Tesla would have succeeded if he was stuck having to work two jobs just to afford his rent and food. He still would have made a difference. But the question is how much of a difference. When a large portion of a society is forced to work or starve all month you lose all of the great life better inventions they would have come up with.


Thus I believe it is scientifically provable that the most valuable commodity is love and that’s how civilizations should be measured. Funny thing, love. We still have so far to go in understanding it and gaining the vigilance to always respect it.


And so, no matter the spark you get, love it, respect it and save it. However you want. As single lines in a notebook, or individual flash cards. I don’t like using tiny cards because they tend to insinuate the idea was invaluable. How do you differentiate between a spark or a random thought? A spark carries some emotion or meaning that moves you in any way.



No rush. This part can take a long time, despite its simplicity.


Once you find your spark do not doubt it and then it’s time to move on :) You don’t have to work on every spark you get right when you get them. You will know which spark to act on young padowan. :)







Chapter 2

List your messages







All you have right now is a spark of an idea. There are endless morals and messages you could come up with more depth than “Don’t pick your siblings nose”, although that could probably be its own children’s book lol.


I’m not going to ask you to dive head first into an ultimate philosophy of good vs evil but we should agree with the basics.


Here we’re not just dealing with an idea of what it means to be good, as gone over earlier, but the tough magical threads of change itself, too easily rejected by many.


I don’t want to go too deep with you already, I don’t want to scare you away. For now I just want to point this area out to you. I’m not talking about mind control or trickery. I’m talking about the ultimate act of love. The unbiased and unforced attempt to inspire others to do better for others and themselves.


So at this point, with your spark in mind, simply pick out three key messages that you feel most strongly about IN THIS STORY. Just write them down. Then list out a few other messages that you hope you can get across but you can live without.


In ‘Unchosen’ I went crazy with messages and many are painfully obvious. I had about 250 morals and messages through the entire story.


Don’t worry about how it's all going to fit in yet. But there is one peculiar phenomenon you should know about. The believability of negativity. Have you ever wondered why big Hollywood movies are containing less and less messages and philosophy? Because it's getting harder and harder to include messages or inspiration without losing your audience entirely. For example, you could walk up to a stranger and tell them someone close to you died. They will believe you without question. Yet, if you told them you were a very successful person and they would be lucky to work with you they may laugh. Many audiences judge how “real” or even how “good” stories are by how much negativity they contain. Case in point 'Game of Thrones'. You can almost come up with it's plot line by imagining the most depressing outcome for every character, and it will still surprise you. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic story- but also a very negative one. So putting in anything negative or painful is not only gobbled up by your audience but a vital necessity to them being able to believe ANY of it. Then, should you want to put anything positive in a story you better as hell earn it. In 'Unchosen' I don’t feel I earned many of the positive moments as well as I could have. You want to earn those precious moments so well that the audience almost comes to tears when it finally happens.


Then you'll notice every story has a ratio of negativity to positivity. If your story is slightly more on the negative side it might be an easier sell for your own welfare, but it will leave the audience more depressed, less tolerant and generally upset. In this case you are happily bettering yourself at the cost of every viewer. If your story is more positive than negative then it will leave your audience slightly more inspired, happier than before they came upon your story- however it will feel a little more like 'fiction' to them and you may not make as much money on average. Even though you may make less it is ONLY because of people like you that we will have air to breathe and a planet to stand on. It's easier to cater to dwindling audiences wishes for more money, but every successful attempt here only pushes the worlds further in that direction.


Then, something magical happens when you have a solid story with more positivity than negativity AND you earned the hell out of it – you get your bestsellers/ blockbusters. Yes there are exceptions but in this case are they heroes? No, focusing on pain doesn’t make others pain less. Teaching them to focus on the light does.


So you see, understanding good and evil within your own writing is not just important in your quest to tell a more impacting story, it’s also the key to your eventual monetary success ;P


And one final note on negativity. You have to be willing to impede, stop, betray, trick, set up, let down or even possibly kill your characters. The killing of a main character can become quite the shock to your audience and can be difficult to make up with heavily earned positivity. There is almost an unwritten rule that a main character is ultimately acting out of love and must remain somehow invulnerable. Killing off a main character also hurts that prime belief that love conquers all, so if you do kill off a main character you must also sell the power of love as well. If you yourself are unsure of the scientifically provable value of love, read the earlier chapters on it and do your own soul searching on the matter. Then spend some time figuring out how you’ll try and inspire others to once again believe in the power of love. If you have a hard time believing in love join the club but never stop fighting for it.


Sometimes you kind of have to think of yourself as a parent and your audience as your children. How can you go about covering morals and messages in a way that can both prepare them for the evils of the world, and inspire them to be sincerely good people.


One word of caution to those of you who, like me, may include less accepted messages about spirituality and past lives or - “Unusual Messages/circumstances”- for these you must ease into them. I rushed this too fast in “Unchosen” where in the very beginning:


An orphan asks, “Who would leave heaven to try and help the earth?”

Josh looked up and said, “I would.”


Even if you “must” mention your ‘beyond normally accepted idea’ right off the bat you must mention it with ultimate vagueness.


There is one last thing to know about messages and the art of trying to inspire people- the inception theory of inspiration. If you haven’t seen the movie “Inception” please do. The idea is that instead of simply telling your audience a moral you consistently show it to them in the hope they realize it on their own. For now, I simply leave you with that thought.


Worry not young writer. You are now on your quest to make a difference. Never give up and it will only be a matter of time till you save lives ;)







Chapter 3

Decide on the shell of a story that can best get your message across






You have your spark, and your messages and morals. Now’s the time to think of a story where you can best convey these messages. You may already have a general story idea you’re burning to write. That’s ok, but stop and do the first two points on it before you continue.


This part of writing can be the most fun. Through the fabric of time and myriad of fears and ambitions you’ll simply come up with your 1-3 sentence story line. It can’t be just any story. Because you’re not just any person. It has to be something that really shakes you in some way.



p<>{color:#000;}. Your spark was a sudden ‘unexplainable fear’ you got in your stomach one day and did your best to capture onto paper.

p<>{color:#000;}. Your 3 main messages; Never underestimate evil in others, never let others keep you down, never let the evil of others take away from the goodness in you. (I happened to put that into a three act structure as well, not sure if I’ll always do that but seems like a good idea ;) ) Lesser messages may be things like; beware who you trust, what people say may have nothing to do with their intentions, etc..

p<>{color:#000;}. Story idea: – Hmm… First what general genre do I feel this fits in? Let me try a comedy… – A wanna be galactic lord fails his way to a successful domination over the universe, he quickly discovers this isn’t what he wanted but before he can write his wrongs his right hand man betrays him and puts his previous plans into overdrive.


It’s important to take time here till you feel your general idea for the story is right. Imagine if you jumped to writing the story without knowing any of this so far, it will feel somehow empty, like its missing something but you just can’t put your finger on it. You may even later become confused as to the general genre of the story.


Some of you may say, “But my story is so eclectic that it stands completely on its own!” Although that may randomly work. It’s more important that you have a firm idea on what your story is and how it should feel overall. Genre affects the rationale and actions of your characters. In an action, characters are more likely to fight. In the ever evolving genre of comedy, the characters are more likely to make humiliating goof ups and have a more than usually hard time making things right etc. In a drama, characters are more likely to misunderstand others and care a little bit more about their own needs. In Sci Fi you’re expected to use bits of all genres to different degrees AND keep that mystic like sense of newness and amazement about this new world or view you’ve put together.


At this point you may be getting excited to write. Don’t. You’re not ready yet young padowan! You’ll find as you move through these steps, from point to point, you’ll be gaining more and more motivation to write. Except there is actually something magical about this motivation, it never dies or fades away. You may have had those fleeting moments of inspiration before and desperately tried to write till it left you, which it usually does too soon (for a secret reason you’ll soon realize), leaving you feeling empty and hopeless to ever finishing or liking this job.


Read on young warrior of the mind and you’ll make a difference yet :)


P.S. Encouragement is important isn't it? I wonder how much encouragement it takes to inspire people to do different acts of kindness or consideration- Or even better, how can you inspire people to encourage themselves? Interesting thoughts for a writer ;)






Chapter 4

Research/ Training






Here things get even more fun.


This is where you as a writer work on your own heroes’ journey part of knowledge, adventure and betterment.


Remember the earlier challenge of trying to really earn your heroes challenged path of betterment in the hopes that you can in turn truly leave a lasting inspiring effect on your audience? Well this is the time where you lightly go through the same thing yourself.


The goal here is not to force yourself to wash everyones dishes in your neighborhood to improve your “tolerance”.


-At this point you must only do things that interest you or face things that only lightly intimidate you. I’m not saying to become an adrenaline junky. But you do need to have some SLIGHT idea of what you're writing about, specifically the curve from the inactive hero to the active one. Again, don’t worry about trying to do anything you despise or would rather die than do. Because that would be pretty bad press for my book haha- “Epidemic of Writer suicides to keep themselves form JMBarclays process” - Haha :P


What exactly should you research and do?


First make a list of any key areas in your story. Areas of technology, actual history, martial arts, depression etc. Basically everything you feel will be an important area in the story.


For ‘Unchosen’ there were quite a few areas. One of them was my own magic system. It was really fairly in depth and very original. I wrote about 30 pages on the side detailing many different attributes and effects etc. However, in the story itself I feel I was a little lazy on truly sticking to my own system and my magic ended up having a bit of a feeling of “now we’ll do this just because we can” – Instead of a feeling of the magic is rooted in science and that the battles were actual happening and you better pay attention if you, yourself, want to try and survive this.


There are no rules for this part, except for a few since we are now working in the lands of preventative writers block.


There is an important phenomenon to know about as a writer. There are invisible things in your story that you must discover to be able to get through it. It’s almost like destiny already knows your story in its best form and it’s up to you to get close. And the more you miss of these invisible treasures the more doubt of all kinds you’ll have as a writer.


All writers have some level of doubt. This is one of the most important parts for a writer as you’ll not only, for the first time, be removing your doubts, but also adding to your own invincible building motivation. Very much like a building tidal wave. At first the water rises very slowly as it climbs higher and higher until the story itself comes gushing out with undeniable speed and force. But beware, even after you have confidently completed most of your needed research and adventuring you still have some vital steps to both build some final motivation and prepare for the coming tidal wave :)


So simply have fun with this phase. Remember every story will require you to re-decide what types of research and small adventures you should go on first. If you have to decide between giving up on your story or go on an adventure that you feel is vital to understanding your coming heroes journey I recommend you continue writing. You may feel a little bit of 'a fake' for not being able to walk a small part of your characters heroes’ journey but don’t worry. You are not yet a true Jedit- Yet!


What’s ultimately important is that, for yourself, you freshly understand the challenges and fears of your new world. And have an understanding of how various things work.






Chapter 5

Create your world






There are a few mysteries to writing that, when unknown, literally destroy writers like an angry drunk dragon bent on taking revenge against the universe.


A very large secret to writing is that ‘the most important part of your story takes place before you even start writing your story’. This is the part where you create your world. Before you do this you will have little motivation to write. You’ll have to force yourself through it but will mostly draw blanks, hey your world doesn’t exist yet what do you expect? That’s like trying to fly a plane without its mechanics or engine. Chances are that pilot will simply give up on his dream of flying and think there’s something wrong with him, that he just doesn’t have what it takes etc. It’s also kind of like a guy trying to make a baby with a lady he loves but who was never properly introduced. That’s actually serious jail time! I hope you can now feel the seriousness of doing things in the right order!


So at this point you are literally creating everything in your world. It must not be done by forcing yourself through it. But only by falling in love with your world, your characters, your locations for their good and evil can you truly bring something to light that can become an honor and joy for you to write.


The usual response I get to that is “huh?” or “That doesn’t apply to me, my story never focus on anything internal. Here, I’m not talking about the words that will go onto your paper, I’m talking about your own understanding as their creator.


Why not create your world before doing the research phase? Should you create the lands and locations before the characters? Like the rest of this book you must find the way that works for you best. :)


In unchosen I created 172 characters and narrowed them down to 32 or so to show in that book, which was still way to many. Because of the sheer amount of characters I created each one got only a little work as far as their depth. And as a result I feel most of my characters were sort of flat. I think my mistake was first writing a list of all expected characters first. Then, when I finally got to creating the characters I was tired of how much time I had already spent. And then I sort of forced myself through the character creation phase.


When you do get to your characters, it’s important that you take your time here and have fun or don’t do it at all. I didn’t spend the time to really fall in love with my characters and I was struggling to fall in love with them through the story, and I know the audience felt it. Sure, some of the characters were great and the story was decent but the characters didn’t really pop out at you and really take you for a ride.


This phase can take weeks to months and is, by far, the most important part of the process. Your characters are the ultimate vehicle of your message and tests of virtue and givers of love into your otherwise empty world. Its their tears, fire, blood, guts, skills, lies, accomplishments and failures that strike immortality into the hearts of your audience.


I feel it’s best to take time creating character sheets for your main characters and first finding a person or character online that looks similar to them, or hand draw it yourself for the best effect. Then fill out their:

General data






Fun Fact

Possible Scenes

Continuity notes.


Then, I may make one master sheet showing all characters that lists continuity data over time for a quick reference. You can create clay models, do anything you want in this phase of creating your characters. You can even try your hand at their skills and fears if you wish. But safety first and no, you are not a Jedi… yet!


Some like to create the world first, after all she is the mother earth. For unchosen I researched some of the coolest places on the earth, like underground crystal caves, vortexes, the Bermuda triangle, so on- But I didn't take the time to respect the earth itself and the various locations that would litter my world. And as a result I feel many of the locations feel superficial. It's hard to believe my book became a bestseller with the honestly overall lackluster job I did. That's why I know if you take this book seriously, it will only be a matter of time till you make it. :)






Chapter 6







You may be seriously itching to start writing now but it’s still not time yet! At this point you’re probably feeling more motivated to write then you ever have. What you got right now is literally a tidal wave of energy. So now it’s important to literally create a path for it so it doesn’t crash against you.


Some call this phase creating your plot line but you'll see it's much more than that. Some claim to only want to write out the story as it unfolds. That may work for some but for me, I find myself constantly doubting my plot choices, what to even focus on- with every doubt comes more pain from the extra motivation I built. Add to that the complexity of trying to write a story that’s truly pushed forward by all characters and not simply a linear dissertated 'just because' path. Then, trying to see how you can also try to apply the 'Save the cat' and 'Heroes Journey' guidelines, and consider multiple plot lines, strategies and wars at once? No thank you!


Like everything else in the process to writing it’s important that you take it easy and work in a way that gives you the most joy and love and least feelings of WORK. Yes, it takes some elbow grease to write, save the world and all that but if you don’t fight to make the process enjoyable then you’re going to have to work harder getting a less than ideal product.


If you haven’t read the book called “Save the Cat” by Blake Snyder you should. I’m personally very much against formulas, like in the book “Story”. There’s just something about them that kills my wonder and love for writing, like finding out that hot girl that’s been messaging you online is actually a fat guy in an Indian call center O_o!


The first thing I like to do is create a column along the left hand side of the page. I like the idea of breaking these up into save the cat beats. I didn’t apply these timeframe guides to Unchosen because I wasn’t sure how that would even work. As a result I wasn’t sure how long I should roughly spend on each ebb and flow of the story. As a result the story takes wayyyyyyy to long to really get underway and then there’s a depressing ‘all is lost part’ so close to the end you, for a beat, feel like the entire journey up to this point was for nothing. Yes, the ending is sorta nice but that sudden heavy empty feeling of loss is never made up for.


The beginning writers’ page count should be on the shorter side when writing novels. That’s your handicap, you’ll have to throw away more of your baby and also have to figure out to have more impact with less words. Once you start gaining your own small audience should you consider writing longer books. But remember, these are the days where a 3 minute You Tube video can feel long.


– Back to the list –


I like to turn the page sideways to give more room to write, so along the left side of your page you have the Save The Cat Points going from top to bottom. Each of these points serve as time markers to an otherwise undecided story. Right next to each moment write down what your goal is in that section between you and your audience. Then, truly consider each step of the heroes’ journey and guess where you would like them to land. This table should be written in pencil as it may change a bit during the next step.


Then, I recommend carefully placing where you want to place your three key morals. In 'Unchosen' I waited until I had finished my rough first draft till I randomly began plugging in messages where 'I felt they fit' and as a result many messages feel like they were plopped there and don’t necessarily have a direct result on the story- Where they should feel like they are the main driving inner working of the force within all things etc.


Now is the in-depth kick ass fun part. Have you ever been frustrated with doubt with your endless choices as you wrote? Usually creating writers block 3000? Well this is the part you literally handle that. What’s more, this way truly helps you generate a story that’s pushed forward by multiple characters. AND the path will be farrrrr better than the one you had wanted to force out.

That’s why it’s so hard to consider these things AFTER you’ve written your story. Many of you have completed works and I bet as your read this you may sometimes hit your forehead and go “of course!” I wish I knew about this sooner! Well I apologize for taking so long to write this book for one.


This is one part I feel I did well in ‘Unchosen’, except doing almost every other step weakly /facepalm.


After you read this book simply take another look at your book and apply what you can. If you feel that doing a full rewrite is imperative and you can commit to it then all the power to you :) Otherwise, simply do the best that you can as you continue your own heroes’ journey of improvement from book to book. That’s also why writers usually have to publish many books till they make it, there’s just a lot to learn about this master craft of storytelling young padowan ;P


OK so now, start with the first character, with their first box in mind, and really step into their shoes and figure out, based on their level of passion, ambitions, education, misinformation, depression, obstacles what they will achieve there (with some care paid to the others characters, noting that their wishes could easily be derailed by other characters.) It’s easy to take this part for granted and try and skim through it. Don’t. Fall in love with it. Complete each horizontal column. Taking a go with every character. If you truly do this deeply through each step you will get an overall storyline far better than you could have ever dreamed of. And your doubt over you choices will grow into its own insignificance that it was trying to place on you.


Spend time with this and really feel how the characters would act and what surprising plan they may try to come up with to try and gain the upper hand or try and seal their goal. Like all parts of writing. It is actually self-destructive to try and figure out what’s cool, because the secret is there is no such thing as cool. Put the best CG and only action in a movie and I doubt it will ever make its budget back. The magic of storytelling is truly about the basic human experience and is that which allows the “cool” moments to really shine. So do your best to find the traits and path and you feel is both real and moving to YOU.






Chapter 7

Prep for writing






Now you have your arsenal of material to support you like you probably never had before. The idea behind this prep work isn’t to compensate for any self-doubts on imagination but to give you mind a break so that, combined with your imagination you can tell a more effective story than you otherwise could have.


With your strategic list now break it up into sentences one after the other. Not every square tho! Only the boxes you want to show your audience.


You’ll then have your master plot lines that includes moments from multiple plot lines and actions. That will allow you to really examine the juicy moments that lead up to and execute human conflict and resolutions!


I very much liked my physical writing set up for ‘Unchosen’. I had my book of my world and another small one on my magic system to hand. Two giant white boards with additional goals and notes for the current part I was working on. My IPod playing music in my ear. IPad playing Twitch Tv with Hafu or TSM The Odd One / Regi. And a shotgun microphone with Dragon dictation recording everything I said : )


Spend some time looking over your character sheets, locations, research, morals and messages. Figure out how you want to organize your writing space. Make up a light schedule that you feel you can loosely follow. Do any last research and organization that you feel can best prepare you for your rocket launch.


Really tho, it’s your rocket launch. Because in the next phase, there are no breaks. You are not allowed to fix anything up as it comes out. I call the next part “Let the ugly baby out”. :)






Chapter 8

Let your ugly baby out






With your Hercules like preparation you will feel like nothing can stop you. The more seriously you took the earlier steps the more invincible you will feel. Strange though how delicate this part truly is.


For a second take a breath and pat yourself on the back. You made it this far!


You have your chronological list of events now, your story is truly motivated by multiple characters and you have enough research to crown yourself a Jedi.


The funny thing, though, is that if you did not do the previous steps then you are actually “better off” doing this part the old fashioned way of “winging it and let your building doubt stop you”.


So here’s the deal. This is where you simply let the floodgates open and let your story gush out. You are not allowed to fix a single spelling error, grammatical error etc. The only thing you are allowed to fix is if you wrote the wrong character name. I call this “letting the ugly baby out” for a reason.


Imagine a real birth, quite ugly to say the least, but is there anything more beautiful? That honest, unrefined truth of life itself. You should learn to look at your stories the same way. But also imagine that the mother desperately wanted the most outwardly beautiful baby ever and as it was coming out she kept stopping the birth shouting “Wait! I must fix this semicolon!” Not only will that baby not grow up to be beautiful but... I should stop here XD- Same with your story. Your motivation is a very delicate thing and every time you stop the train you lose a little motivation and gain more doubt. You must turn off spell check while writing as there is also nothing more disconcerting than a screen full of red X.X! It's like your computer is saying “This story sucks! You suck! You’re wasting otherwise valuable empty memory buwahahahaha!”


When I wrote unchosen I spat out a chapter at a time. I had no idea how long I should spend at different phases and I did not take the save the cat moments into consideration and I very weekly had a heroes journey. Once a whole chapter was out, only then would I do a sloppy and hasty clean up before handing it off to my mother. I realize that the less experienced a writer is the more desperate they are for feedback. I also realized that the sloppier I did the earlier steps, the more doubt and concerns I had during this phase and the more frowny faces I got back. (Due to my sensitivity at the time my mother was ONLY allowed to put happy or sad faces in different parts of the book)


They key thing to remember is that, no matter what, you must let the ugly baby out. And resist the urge to make any corrections and if you do only do it in one block of time. Not write, stop, correct, start writing, stop, correct etc. That will drive one mad.


This is also the part where your strength as a writer is very much your weakness. Especially if you’re as supernaturally good with the use of words as my step sister, Ana! The stronger you are as a writer the harder it will be for you to get through this phase, but luckily if you can somehow make it through you’re jolly well guaranteed to inspire quite a few people! It’s like knowing you’re capable of giving birth to a golden god but getting upset with every hint of mortality on its way out.


I actually feel that my sister Ana is a better writer than me, and if she was able to use this process to complete a story of her own, then she could, overnight, become far more successful than me.


This is also the time during the process where I find it needed to get a little tougher on myself and get quite a bit more hours in then I normally would through the earlier steps. But it’s also a little exciting to rocket out a bloody baby like this so I don’t mind the tougher schedule personally ;P






Chapter 9

Clean up







Usually this phase feels like you have to get into a pool of cold slime and weird slithery creatures in it and wash dishes filled with ogres’ buggers- Except this time.


With your story COMPLETED, from beginning to end, you’ll find you have a new sense of motivation, unlike any you’ve ever had.


Your story is COMPLETED! Whahoo! And unlike your earlier writings you have now had zero or very few second guesses as far as plot line was concerned. That had to be pretty revitalizing :)!


Your first step is to simply go through and do a general clean up. Don’t try and make the words amazing yet as it’s important you finish shaping the foundation of your concrete before you spend a lot of time on the flowers and beautiful arrangement of the words ;) Personally, I’m pretty barbaric with words. I’ll make them neat enough to tell the story but no more. Dialogue that’s “ok enough” but no more. That’s definitely another area I need to work on ;)


Then, with a generally cleaner script I suggest you go through with a writers clean up. First deleting anything unnecessary. I really failed here with Unchosen. It took 8 whole chapters for the story to really get underway! There was also a whole additional bit where a meteor is directed to the earth and a privately owned company had to save the day. Totally not vital. Like not even close. Maybe a cute sideline story but gah was it unnecessary.


Next you should check your save the cat targets again, look at where you place the focus, writing efficiency of story told per words used. (You can increase this by having a few easy to understand story lines happening at once (As you've already done, THAT MATTER, that the audience can keep playing in their head while you bring other events into focus- watch your continuity!)






Chapter 10

Timeline changes







It feels kind of funny having a whole chapter for this small point but it’s important you mentally keep it separated.


Now that you have your story in linear form you can easily decide if you would like to move things around a little. If you’re dead certain how you want to arrange things during the ugly baby phase then by all means. It will feel awkward but it’s quite doable.


In ‘Unchosen’ I wish I had started the story right when the hero becomes “chosen”, and then flash back to moments in the orphanage later.


So take a look, also check to see if you’d like to add a flashback or two anywhere.







Chapter 11

Tools of improvement







So now you have a pretty kick ass story, script, memoir etc. Made from the inside out, packed with a message, adhering to the save the cat beats with the heroes’ journey points also nailed. Your story is already one in a million!


First thing you can do now is really laser in on your use of words and dialogue. But again, since your story is COMPLETED it’s not too hard to summon the motivation to get through this.


Then, tidy up your timings on when you hit certain beats along the story. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it’s wise to keep it close.


Many of you will want to do your own thing, that’s fine, but even if you do ‘your own thing’ every part of your story still needs a goal with your audience. You can’t just ‘get lost in the ramblings of your heart’.






Chapter 12

Copywright # 1






It’s still not time to hand out copies of your story! You must first copyright it with your library of congress and the writers’ guild.


The last thing you want as a writer is someone stealing your hard earned work. Nothing can kill your motivation more than that, so be careful.


If you can’t afford the money to copyright it then get a part time job :P Most of your work is behind you now so you can afford to lose some writing time per week to prepare for marketing.







Chapter 13

Feedback phase






We all need feedback. But how you go about it is very important. For instance, before you ask people what they think, first ask them what their favorite types of stories are. If they typically prefer other genres you’re better off finding someone who likes stories in your genre. If they are the only souls willing to give your project a read just keep them in a separate category. Any feedback or suggestions they make will most likely be to help morph your story toward their preferred genre.


I prefer to give each audience member their own manuscript and ask them to write notes directly onto the page. I ask them to write down everything they can. What parts they like, what parts bore them, parts they disagree with and every time they decide to take a break, go to the bathroom etc.


The good news is that the more seriously you took the earlier steps the more successful your feedback phase will go and the more motivation you’ll receive in turn. Also, your feedback will make more sense and be easier to act on.


I personally like to act on every single feedback I get, I don’t only look at common complaints- Unless of course I disagree with the one standalone note. If I get several notes on something I thought was certain I'll take another look to see if I missed something.


When you act on any complaint, though, it’s important you look as deep as your own philosophy on life- Never to doubt yourself- Just always looking for better ways to communicate and of life itself.


For example, say someone say they hate a certain dialogue. Instead of simply considering other words, really dig deeply into that characters shoes, see how he really feels, what his fears are etc. I call this reconnecting your heart to the characters. When writing, we are dealing with farrrrrr more than the written word, we are dealing with the very fabric of life itself. Our main area of study is that magic area between the moment when one is not willing to fight and when they’re ready to roar with their new might. In other words, that intangible area of self-improvement.







Chapter 14

Final Changes







With those notes simply make your final changes. You may face the problem where you have to improve or lessen a character at a certain part but your afraid your small changes will demand changes down the rest of your timeline. Simply use the force to keep balance.


For example let’s say at one part a few people felt your main antagonist wasn’t tough enough. You can make him bring a little more fire to the situation and make sure his new strength is earned through his past. But then, to prevent him from dominating that conflict simply add a little more fire to another character on the other side of the force.


You must take your feedback to heart and act on it in a way that feels more honest. For every time you try and chase what’s flashy or cool you lose a little honesty. The first Star Wars was not an action only movie. It was also filled with many low key moments, like alien merchants prepping their wares. Or the cast licking their wounds after a fight. Or the juicy moments in Kill Bill that were technically irrelevant to the action but added a sense of reality otherwise impossible to achieve.


This is also now the time to completely leave your story alone. Do some soul searching. Eat some ice cream. Pick someones nose. Just kidding but if you seriously feel the need you may need some help…


Start to daydream about your story and the path its taken, imagine its effects on the audience and see if you feel you can sweeten some areas up with different flavors of love. You can almost consider every emotion a color of love. Anger would be love upset by the threat of losing it, but itself usually becoming the cause of that same love lost. Sadness would be the loss of love, yet with that every so tiny feeling of what could have been. Only at apathy is there no love at all.






Chapter 17

Professional editor






If you happen to be a wiz with words and grammar good for you. This is my weakness and all I can say is that my editors would have shot me if it wasn’t for spell check.


Your friends will sort of serve as a poor mans editor during the feedback phase.


But now that you’re preparing to go pro you need to understand the importance of this phase. How much should you pay for an editor and what should you expect? Why should you work so hard to handle as many typos as you can before you give it to a paid editor?


First, the cleaner something is, the easier it is to notice remaining dirt. Or the more help you get in a certain direction, the further you’ll be able to go. That’s why it’s important to take the preparation to writing seriously, because it helps you go further and deeper than you otherwise would have gone.


So for gods sakes before you hand over your manuscript to the editor, clean it up as much as you can.


The next part is also helped by cleaning it up as much as you can and is the editors’ real job. They are supposed to help look out for continuity and even make recommendations they feel that can help the story. Except, if they aren’t very experienced their ideas should be considered equal to your friends. Thus the importance to try and pay more in the $800+ range if you can but ONLY FOR ESTABLISHED EDITORS that have worked on at least semi big projects. Otherwise you’re better off at $300-400 price range for a novel with an up and coming editor.


You may be worried about the marketing and printing phase to come, which is a valid concern. I would personally be more willing to spend money to make something better than to try and get the name out. Also, at the end of this book I’ll include my updated marketing ideas to keep the cost of publishing and marketing near zero and still be effective.


Taking feedback from your editor can be challenging. The tomes of passing writers is mostly filled with those who never tried and those unable to work with the direction of the few that truly saw the beauty in it. There's nothing wrong with fighting for a story you believe in and trying to stop the networks from stripping every moral and message you tried to put in the book. But if you aren’t flexible and can't find ways of making adjustments not just work but SELL better than the executive note-giver had hoped for- Then they are actually better off creating their own version of the story without you. I don’t mean you aren’t valuable. I’m saying don’t be a dick to executives.


Remember that the strength of our society is naturally far less than our dreams, and if we stop dreaming… That’s where you fit in, you fight to keep dreams of accomplishment and possibility up so the rest of us can have something to live for. No pressure ;)






Chapter 18

Add images/ Design into book format







I bet you’re getting excited huh? The end so close!


For novels you have to decide how many pictures you need. 2 per chapter is a great ratio, as long as the pictures help build audience chemistry for characters or help reveal something that adds more to the story, or makes something fuzzy more clear. And of course you have both your front and rear cover.


The style of artwork vastly depends on your genre, target audience, positive feedback and your own deepest wishes on how to try and present the book.


I recommend using fiverr.com to hire your artists. That’s a truly amazing site for everything; website design, advertising, art, animation etc.


If you write a script or movie script you should TOTALLY fill your script with art or photos along the way. It’s better to keep your ideas abstract and not too specific or your vision will become a part of their judgement. And they will be looking for ANY reason they can to say no to you.







Chapter 19

Copyright with Library of Congress and Writers Guild







If you’ve really done all this work so far, there is no such thing as “I can’t afford the $35 to register with the WGA and another $30 for the library of congress”. You must do both because the WGA is the industry staple but it’s really the library of congress that gives you the most legal backing and protection.


If feels funny to do a whole chapter on just this but it’s been a surprising Achilles heel to some writers. Until a story is copy written I will never let it touch the internet, and even after that I still prefer to keep the word and pdf doc forever offline 9unless I happen to be releasing it to the world for free anyway). I also will not normally give the pdf or word doc to family. NO one. It’s not a matter of trust necessarily, it’s more a matter of just not taking any unnecessary risks.


You should also study up a little on copyright law and what cannot be copy written and trademarked.


For Unchosen I also even got a ‘non-exclusive’ trademark on the title “Unchosen” haha. It cost $300 and was a very simple process. My fear was that a bigger company might have tried to buy an exclusive use of the title “Unchosen” without my knowledge and force me to change all copies of the digital and potential printed books.






Chapter 20

Amazon trick






So your story is all good to go. Congrats! The following trick is more for novels.


Self-publishing is very easy. Just do this:


1. Follow Amazons step by step guide to publishing your book.


Haha! How’s that for a tutorial?! Mind blown ;P


With this first upload of your book, call it the 1st edition and have it abruptly end near the climax of your story. Don’t be too much of a tease with your audience in fear of their potential wrath. Amazon will even give you a free ISBN number for all books in e-book form. Don’t worry about printed books yet. Your free e-book is actually also your second wave of free feedbacks, just on a larger scale. Once you get those in and make your final changes, and once you can build some traffic with your digital books should you consider printing?


DO NOT DO AMAZONS 5 DAY PROMO that puts your book at $0 for 5 days in an effort to build traffic and you become ONLY allowed to list your book on amazon and not the hundreds of good sites you could otherwise place your book.


Next upload your book onto Shakespir.com for $0 and wait for it to show up on borders.com

THEN have friends go to your amazon page and each click the link ‘found this book for less on another site?’ After a few weeks of this Amazon will price match your first edition to $0.

At this point you simply do a google search of websites that promote free e-books in various genres. These sites are AMAZING!


You may even say something on your amazon page and website, if you have one, like “Help spread the word! Once 1,000 people have download this book I’ll release the full book on amazon and for just a few dollars!” Or something less cheesy, generally better etc.


Once you’ve gotten enough free downloads, upload your 2nd edition, clearly marked, onto Amazon as a whole new book with its own page. Priced at the minimum, preferably. Then simply include a link on your 1st edition page with something that says, “To get your hands on the 2nd edition with the full story click here!”- Or something less cheesy, generally better etc haha






Chapter 21

Market Pitch to networks/ Big Distributors (NOT SMALL ONES!)







If you wrote a movie script this part can be a lot of fun, and who knows, you may be able to apply this part when trying to get big distributors to pick up your book.


p<>{color:#000;}. Get a list of all the big networks near you (easier to do in cities with a big film industry), this may be a good time to make a visit to Hollywood or New York with surpluses of networks and agencies.

p<>{color:#000;}. Find out what types of stories they prefer and/or are looking for. Send all of the applicable networks a copy of your script with a cover letter that asks them for the honor of making a big presentation to anyone willing to watch. Don’t just send a normal script in a manila envelope. If its an action maybe have the script in a beat up and shot up suitcase and do the same to the script as long as you don’t make it harder to read! Wait till three days after you know they received it and call to find out if they got it. If they have, see if you can get an appointment to do your ‘big presentation’. If they haven’t, then simply inform the receptionist when you and your crew are planning on coming by if the network is accessible by the street. If the network is not accessible by the street push for at least the ability to show your presentation to a sister organization or a friend of a friend. Everyone likes a show though so, although this part takes work, it is not as hard or as impregnable as you may think.

p<>{color:#000;}. Prepare your 'Show'. This may be a song from your story, a critical scene or a 10 minute summary up to when the action begins. You don’t normally want to show a heavy action part since it will suffer from the 'so what' question without a knowledge of your characters- UNLESS that action scene defines your movie like 'The Matrix'. DO what you can and don’t spend tooo much. For example when 'Hocus Pocus' was pitched it arrived in a magical scroll like thing. And for their performance they sang the “I put a spell on you” song. They were fully dressed in character and there was even smog and lights!

p<>{color:#000;}. Perform!


Again, this is mostly intended for movie scripts but who says you can’t make a big performance for big publishing companies?


Before you sign with a Publisher you must be clear on what they will do and what your cut is. There are many “small time publishers” that do nothing and happily take 90% of all your future income. That percentage IS worth it if they intend to put some serious marketing behind it, will organize many book tours. Have many other successful books etc. But with the Amazon marketing trick, I feel the writer these days is much more often better on their own.


If you self-publish make sure you do your own homework on ISBN numbers and the general design of a book. ;P!



As a summary, here is the general process you’ve been waiting for:

p<>{color:#000;}. Find your spark

p<>{color:#000;}. Define your message

p<>{color:#000;}. Decide on the shell of a story that can best get your message across

p<>{color:#000;}. Research/ Training

p<>{color:#000;}. Create your world

p<>{color:#000;}. Ignite your characters

p<>{color:#000;}. Strategize

p<>{color:#000;}. Prep for writing

p<>{color:#000;}. Let your ugly baby out

p<>{color:#000;}. Copyright #1

p<>{color:#000;}. Clean up

p<>{color:#000;}. Timeline changes

p<>{color:#000;}. Tools of improvement

p<>{color:#000;}. Feedback phase

p<>{color:#000;}. Drawing board

p<>{color:#000;}. Final changes

p<>{color:#000;}. Final editing

p<>{color:#000;}. Professional editor

p<>{color:#000;}. Add images/ Design into book format

p<>{color:#000;}. Copyright with Library of Congress and Writers Guild

p<>{color:#000;}. Amazon trick

p<>{color:#000;}. Market

p<>{color:#000;}. Pitch to networks/ Big Distributors (NOT SMALL ONES!)







Chapter C

Audio Books




The Audio Book is obviously most like the narrative. It even uses the exact same process listed above. The easiest version is simply the author or actors reading the book.


Making an audio book only is actually an interesting option these days. But probably more so for Self Help books.


The only real difference in the process is that you actually need to do a little more footwork and organization ahead of time. You cannot really edit your voice in post and let it still sound natural so you’re actually trying to nail it in the first pass!


For those of you writing a Self Help book you must buy a decent $100 voice recorder so that you can ‘write’ your book anywhere. If you give a lecture anywhere, record what you say and include it in your book.


Audio Books are probably one of the easiest to compile and put out there. I would price them at 0 unless you don’t need marketing anymore ;P


I think you’ll find them to be an amazing extra source of marketing and exposure for your efforts. I have a general theory that if one comes up with something truly amazing it should be given away nearly for free, like the internet.






Chapter D

Writing Documentaries



Documentaries actually take more forethought than narratives do. Of course I’m talking about the documentaries that are geared as an exposure => activation to a specific area of life. Like “Food Inc” that gives a gut wrenching view of our food industry and heavily inspires you to eat better. Or “The Butterfly Effect” that gives an eye opening way of viewing the world and inspires you to live a more positive life. There are many other documentaries that bring certain areas of life into view for the world and in a way that inspires the hell out of people.


I am no expert on writing documentaries but I do feel that reading through this book will help give you some more ideas and insights that can help your series really pack a punch.



Chapter E

Writing Self-Help Books





The best narratives are secretly self-help books, if even to a small degree. With a self-help book, the writer is trying to hit his audience with as much unbiased honesty, love, compassion and truth as they can muster with the hope of having a direct effect on their audience. There is no other reason to write one so that goal must be clear in your mind.


It is not enough to simply try and give people advice. You must create your own structure on how you plan on getting your messages through their thick skulls. The “Inception Theory of Writing” still applies. The key thing for you to remember is that there is no better purpose in life than to try and inspire others. Never give up in these pursuits as they are the only chance we have of a better world.


The ‘Save The Cat’ points don’t totally apply but they can help shed light on how long you should spend introducing them to you and your way of seeing things, how long to try and let them have fun with some introductory ideas and when to get into the serious meat of your message. The ‘Heroes Journey’ points definitely apply as you are asking your audience member to literally walk through every step. And for the part where the hero doubts his new destiny (Your message) You simply need to give them a rest from additional ideas, give them love in whatever form you see fit and encourage them to keep going. This part can be as little as a few sentences or its own chapter.


A good question is what it means to be a “better person”. And you can’t simply state your opinion. No one wants to spend their precious time going over opinions. They need unbiased truth. And like mentioned before, if you base your own opinions of betterment ONLY on those around you aka ‘in your own bubble world’, it will be painfully obvious and no one will want to listen to you. You need to look deeply for the universal truths that we can all get behind. Every time I write a book on writing I understand my own process better and become a much stronger writer. And thus you must realize that the first person your self-help book improves must be you. Aka ‘become the hero’ like in the process earlier.


There is no such thing as a 'purely informational self-help book', where you as the writer have no interest in actually trying to help people improve and instead throw a bunch of information at them in the hopes that they suddenly apply it. As a writer it must be 100% your intention to reach into your audiences hearts and literally pull them a little upward to a slightly better way of life. It is not elitist to think you have the power to inspire others. It is only elitist to think down on others.


Thus the writer of a self-help book must have the courage to try, and the belief in themselves to persevere. The lessons you learn to improve yourself and go after your own dreams are centrally the same lessons you must pass onto your audience.


Self-Improvement can be broken down to the main following areas:

Dietary knowledge, application and inspiration to follow it.

Fitness knowledge, application and inspiration to commit to it.

Economical knowledge, application and inspiration to work towards it.

Spiritual knowledge, application and inspiration to reach for it.

Social knowledge, application and inspiration to give a shit.


Every one of those areas is vital to being able to live. A lot of emphasis is often placed on the last, social, but if you’re eating crap, never exercise, are economically clueless and spiritually shut off how well can a person then really understand how to work well with others?


Then as far as social theories go, it’s the direction of ones intentions that matter most. For example. Do you intend to gain more power for yourself and control over others? Or do you intend to better be able to help others? It is true that you should take care of yourself, but waiting till you reach a certain level of economics or fame would be foolhardy. When the decent hearted do nothing evil wins. To think you must have money to help others places too much power in the hands of the corporate giants. For then you may find yourself catering too much to current evils in your elongated quest to go after your dreams. When a mass of people are temporarily willing to endure and even support corruption in the hopes they will one day be able to make a difference then you get corruption so deep and so wide that not even the vested interests can be at ease. They may be happy with their own insider trading but their hatred for others own insider trading etc. will always far outweigh their pleasures.


It’s interesting to see the effects of one person’s greed on a society. For example 5 people are happily relaxing on a hill, in peace. Then one person stands up and says he wants the top and the others can be at the base. At first the others go along with it but soon notice how much taller he is. One may try to form an alliance with him and get minimal privileges to get near the top but must be a pawn themselves. Others may plot to attack him. The peace has disappeared. That man must keep the people below fighting amongst themselves and must now also lie to them about one another. He must keep the flames of hatred burning. He must also limit their nutrition so they don’t have the energy to challenge him. He must limit their education so they are more easily controlled. He must also limit their numbers. For some reason his messages of hatred make larger populations more dangerous. In the end those at the bottom of the hill will become too unhealthy and uneducated to support him and finally he, too, will die. But by then he would have convinced himself and everyone else that this is all gods will for their mysterious acts of hatred.


So you see, any “Self-Improvement” that only deals with one’s own power and control ends up destroying a society. But true improvements that are geared towards the wellness of one’s society, its health, education and mental independence are the only way a society can survive.


Science has already proven that greed in actually never the best economical path in the long run. Even for oneself.


And that’s why the basis of self-improvement is education. One must find out for themselves who the enemies of man are and who their enemies from within are- on one’s own.


In this information age we are too quick to pick people we trust and listen to everything they say. Although there are many trustworthy people, the risk of a society becoming too attached for one with impure aims to never worth it.


Ultimately you could say a person’s truest measurement of their level of self-improvement is actually the wellness of those around them. Which would you have surrounding you; saints or Wall Street moguls?


I will not go for too long here. But I hope I’ve given you some serious food for thought ;)







Chapter F




Some place wayyyyyy to much importance on marketing. It’s not about the argument over exposure, it’s more about the writers own journey. I know that sounds like bs but hold on. With ‘Unchosen’ I got feedback on this entire 120k word page book from multiple close friends. A few said they liked it more than Harry Potter. Naturally that got to my head and I thought I was ready for the ‘Big Bang’ marketing theory. Yes, I made it onto Amazons Bestseller list for a few hours but Sales quickly died out. I did, however, get so much more amazing feedback that I now feel I HAVE to rewrite it one more time. And then when I re-release it I plan on doing the gradual approach, simply because I’m broke now haha.



First, there are two different marketing styles. The first is actually inefficient and costs a LOT of money. The second is actually far superior and costs NOTHING. And until I’m rich, the second path is the only one I plan on doing in the future, and of course every free action I can take.


p<>{color:#000;}. Big Bang (Done with ‘Unchosen’)– Spend a lot of money and time to get as many people focused to buy your book at one specific time and try to become a ‘bestseller’

p<>{color:#000;}. Start the ‘Amazon Trick’

p<>{color:#000;}. Upload book to Amazon at minimal $2.99 (DO NOT DO PROMOTION) (Write 1st edition on book and make it only like 30-70% of the book)

p<>{color:#000;}. Upload book to Shakespir.com for $0.00

p<>{color:#000;}. Wait till it shows up on Borders.com at $0.00

p<>{color:#000;}. Have friends click the Amazon link that says they “found it cheaper elsewhere” and write in.

p<>{color:#000;}. Wait till you get a certain number of free downloads (1,500 minimum) to upload the second edition on Amazon for $3-7

p<>{color:#000;}. Use Fiverr.com to create a website with links to your amazon page and future pages

p<>{color:#000;}. Do your best to film a trailer for your book. Include on site and include in marketing

p<>{color:#000;}. Start a weekly podcast as a writer and around your world etc+ tie in to all sites.

p<>{color:#000;}. Create your own long term Indiegogo campaign for money to promote your book (I think I got a few hundred, whahoo!)

p<>{color:#000;}. Begin social media outreach. Don’t spam your friends! Try to start using twitter a little bit every day.

p<>{color:#000;}. Use fiver.com in many ways for advertising and search engine optimizing.

p<>{color:#000;}. Begin list of all website that promote new books and especially ‘free eBooks’.

p<>{color:#000;}. Once the Amazon trick goes through update all sites you found with your book, bio and photo. Be sure you update your Indigogo campaign.

p<>{color:#000;}. You do not want upload your book to many sites as you need the Amazon numbers ;)

p<>{color:#000;}. Its an option to hand out flyers for your book at major intersections. My mom and a few friends helped with this part.

p<>{color:#000;}. Print out 100 posters and find free places around schools you can post them. Or at least ANY places you can find to legally post them. Like construction sites or vacant lots. Check for ‘no posting’ signs. (I didn’t do this part :3 but should have instead of the business cards)

p<>{color:#000;}. (No book signings or store appearances yet.)

p<>{color:#000;}. Do every other marketing action you can think of- ALL leading to that specific time that you will release your 2 nd edition. (Making everyone know what your target of downloads in helps keep them on the same page and may even inspire them to help you- or hate you. Haha- BUT this time ALSO gives you a chance to make a few final tweaks to your book with new reviews! And before you spend a fortune on printing!

p<>{color:#000;}. Once you have reached your free book download quota begin a countdown timer to the release of your book. I think 15 days noted on all sites and posters is good enough. Longer is better but harder for the writer to push off.

p<>{color:#000;}. When nearly ready buy a physical ISBN number (Amazon gives eBooks a number for free)

p<>{color:#000;}. Release your 2nd edition! Blast all avenues hard core! Also release your paperback version!

p<>{color:#000;}. Start an aggressive google AdWords campaign based on clicks.

p<>{color:#000;}. Consider releasing a promotion that every purchase of your book also enters the user into an on film lottery to win an iPhone or iPad etc.

p<>{color:#000;}. Finally create contests for fans to take photos and videos of themselves with themes of the characters.

p<>{color:#000;}. Enjoy your bestseller status!

p<>{color:#000;}. Now you can upload your book to every other online site you can list it for sale.

p<>{color:#000;}. Gradual Marketing = Amazon trick = better in every way lol (First Edition on all websites – 2nd edition Amazon only)






Chapter G

Writers Health and Fitness





By now I’m certain you’ve realized on your own why this is important. The obvious reason is that you need to be awake to write haha. Not having heart attacks is also a plus. Another obvious is the whole ‘learn to become your own hero’ part.


A less obvious reason that few people know about yet is that health affects IQ. Many will laugh at me for saying this but I will PROVE it to you.

p<>{color:#000;}. Take a serious IQ test when you feel your best.

p<>{color:#000;}. Then drink enough alcohol to feel a little buzzed and take it again

p<>{color:#000;}. Then drink till you can barely walk and take it again

p<>{color:#000;}. Then try to skip a night’s sleep and take it again

p<>{color:#000;}. Then only eat at Mc Donalds and take it again


I’m not saying you’ll become a genius by eating organic or taking on a good diet. But learning to eat better and start exercising is actually a vital part of your own heroes’ journey. You don’t have to be perfect. At least work on it ;)


When I was writing Unchosen I was barely moving for a few months. I had to eat like a month or die from candida overgrowth so, uh guess what I chose to do ;P – I started exercising a little but not a lot and I know my mental acumen is not what it could have been and as a result I feel the book suffered a little.


There is another profession you may not think takes exercise seriously and that’s the world of pro-esports competitions. In this world where mirco second reactions are necessary more and more players are finding it helpful to keep their blood flowing and their bodies healthy.


Since food is so close to life it seems to follow another phenomenon in the universe. That what we believe tends to come true. Michrocondriacs unknowingly mentally create their own illnesses. Don’t believe that’s possible? Tell yourself “I’m sick, I’m sick, I’m sick, I’m sick, I’m sick for hours and see how you feel. Keep that up for a week and you will easily become sick. And so with food it’s obviously important to know what’s bad and good for you. But if you understand why things are good for you you’ll be able to recognize their benefits more and, possibly, unknowingly make their positive effects stronger.


If you don’t think thought can affect matter then do your own research on the “Water Thought Experiments.”


This world is unfortunately behind its expected intelligence curve. Racism, greed and corruption are rampant and akin in long term economic efficiency to caveman days. Yet at the same time, nuclear weapons have been achieved.


Best of luck in your efforts. You are not alone. I will always be there for you should you need any help ;) Even in your darkest days I will be your phoenix to help you realize new light and hope in your career.


Hope to see you soon ;)




[email protected]

(Contact regarding 1on1 services, classes etc.)

"How To Write A Bestseller"- Or diee trying

JMBarclay went from near death to a small time Amazon Bestseller and is simply sharing everything he knows about the process of inspiring for FREE in the hopes of more writers being better able to inspire countless others while we still have a society to inspire . From now on, when people ask what you do for a living don't just say, “I'm a writer”. Tell them the truth, that it's your job to keep people dreaming, including yourself ;) What does it take to become a bestseller? A desire to make a positive difference and commitment to bettering yourself. I you truly do not care about others and only want to write empty stories I cannot help you. A person must suffer a lot of pain in order to stop caring and for that you have my compassion. I pray you read forth anyway with the hope you may become a little more inspired yourself. ;) You'll notice my style resides on starting with the fundamentals and building upon that. This may take some getting used to but if you think about it, it's the only way one should do anything. I this book you'll find my own comprehensive process towards the art of story craft built upon the 'Save the Cat' and 'Heroes Journey' models. You'll also find Jems of data for self-help, documentaries, audio books and, of course, marketing

  • Author: JMBarclay
  • Published: 2016-01-22 09:40:10
  • Words: 17457