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Writing in Overdrive: The Secrets to Writing Faster, Writing Freely, Writing Brilliantly

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Jim Denney is a veteran of both traditional and indie publishing. He has more than 100 published books to his credit, including the Timebenders science-fantasy series for young readers. In WRITING IN OVERDRIVE, he shows you how to:

• Write so fast you'll have no time for self-doubt.
• Organize your time and workspace to be more productive.
• Set ambitious yet attainable productivity goals.
• Overcome self-defeating habits and inner resistance to writing daily.
• Tap into the power of writing "in the zone" whenever you choose.
• Use powerful "writing rituals" to prepare yourself to write.
• Be aware and focused yet relaxed as you write.
• Become undistractible—even when surrounded by distractions.
• Leverage the motivational energy of NaNoWriMo.
• Eliminate writer's block.
• and much MORE.

You'll acquire skills you can road-test immediately on your current work-in-progress. Each principle is powerfully illustrated by stories from the author's own experience and from the lives of such prolific, successful writers as Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, John Steinbeck, Agatha Christie, Michael Moorcock, Ed McBain, Jack Kerouac, Raymond Chandler, and many more. You'll see how to apply these life-changing principles in real-life writing situations, and learn to write with phenomenal speed, confidence, and mastery, whether in traditional publishing or the indie publishing world.

Praise for Jim Denney's previous books:

QUIT YOUR DAY JOB! Sleep Late, Do What You Enjoy, and Make a Ton of Money as a Writer (A Writer's Digest Book Club Selection) — "Follow Jim Denney’s suggestions and you will be well on your way to making the dream a reality." —Novelist JAMES SCOTT BELL (author, The Art of War for Writers). "Jim Denney has written a book that every writer and every aspiring writer should own." —Novelist DEBORAH RANEY (author, The Face of the Earth). "Read Jim Denney’s book and save yourself much anguish." —Novelist JIM FREY (author, How to Write a Damn Good Novel). "If you think the writer’s life is for you, you must read this book." —Novelist ANGELA HUNT, (author, The Offering).

ANSWERS TO SATISFY THE SOUL by Jim Denney was hailed by Nebula-winning science fiction writer ROBERT J. SAWYER as a "brisk and enjoyable" book that "challenges, informs, enlightens, and yes, satisfies;" by leadership guru JOHN C. MAXWELL ("if you are on a quest for success, happiness, love, meaning, or God, this book is for you"); by psychologist and author Muriel James ("wisdom clothed in a lively, contemporary, conversational writing style ... thought-provoking concepts").

THE MAGIC OF TEAMWORK by Pat Williams with Jim Denney garnered praise from novelist JAMES A. MICHENER ("a wise and needed book"), L.A. Lakers head coach PHIL JACKSON ("an outline for success in any business"), and television host LARRY KING ("a classic, one-of-a-kind ... four stars!").

126 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 22, 2013

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Jim Denney

73 books18 followers

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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Noura Noman.
Author 7 books404 followers
October 26, 2013
I didn't know what to expect from reading this book. I thought it was a kind of help book on steps towards writing. It turned out to be a book which smothers your doubts and gives you permission to achieve more than you thought you could. Half way through it, I was in the process of writing the last few climatic scenes of books 2 of my scifi novel. I shut myself in my bedroom from 7 pm to 2 am, and produced 4276 words.
Profile Image for Jenny Lloyd.
Author 7 books106 followers
July 31, 2013
You know how it is to be swept along by a great story; you become immersed in the tale and involved with the characters to such a degree that you can't stop reading, while at the same time you don't want the story to end. I loved that book! you say, and go on thinking about it, long after you turn the last page.

That is the kind of book every writer should aspire to write. It is the kind of book that is written when a writer is WRITING IN OVERDRIVE.

If you are that rarest of beings, a writer who never gets writer's block, never procrastinates, never feels strong resistance to actually sitting down to write, and are always writing 'in the zone', then you probably don't need this book. For all other mere mortals, this could prove to be the most liberating book on writing you will ever read. For those who have never experienced WRITING IN OVERDRIVE, well, you haven't yet lived as a writer.

I bought this book because, as a writer, I am prone to bouts of procrastination and self-doubt. And having experienced the exhilaration of 'writing in overdrive', I have lived in fear of losing 'it'; of my muse abandoning me as quickly and mysteriously as she arrived.

I feel immensely grateful to Jim Denney for bringing this book into the world. I understand, now, the mechanisms at work when I'm 'writing in overdrive', and that understanding has removed my fears of loss and abandonment. I only wish he'd written it years ago. A combination of circumstances came together to finally get me writing this way. I came upon it by chance after many years of writing manuscripts that never saw the light of day because they simply didn't blow me away.

With WRITING IN OVERDRIVE, there is no need to rely on chance. If you have never, or have only fleeting moments, of writing 'in the zone', Jim Denney provides simple and effective tools to get and keep you there. Jim Denney knows what he's talking about, this stuff really works. The quality of your writing will be greatly improved and you will experience a whole lot more of the absolute joy that is writing in overdrive.

In addition to all that, there are fascinating insights into the workings of some of the greats such as Ray Bradbury, Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, and many more.

Highly recommended reading for all writers.

Profile Image for Scott Moon.
Author 104 books161 followers
July 28, 2013
Writing in Overdrive: Write Faster, Write Freely, Write Brilliantly by Jim Denney is a well researched and motivational account of the creative process. Denney relates accounts of several renowned authors such as Ray Bradbury, Michael Moorcock, and Stephen King to name a few.

Included in the book are many examples of how writing quickly, getting in the zone, and trusting your Muse produce quality fiction. I was amazed at how Michael Moorcock wrote his early books. There is also a wonderful story of Ray Bradbury and his classic work Fahrenheit 451. I was surprised at how quickly such enduring classics were created.

Denney provides tips for breaking writer's block and eliminating needless work. My favorite piece of advice for writing quickly and freely concerned focus on the main plot line of the story (especially during the first draft). I learned that subplots can lead to dead ends (which I have experienced in my own writing). For some reason, this particular section was liberating. I could almost feel myself writing faster (and I am already a quick writer).

As a "cliff-jumper" or "panster" I have grown fond of plotting, outlining, and story structuring. Denney discusses the benefit of planning a story; at least enough fend off writer's block. Much of the message in this book concerns finding the right mixture of narrative push methods (cliff jumping or writing by the seat of your pants) and planning.

Denney has clearly studied successful writers and done a considerable amount of writing fiction and non-fiction. Writing in Overdrive relies on many stories of famous writers. These were entertaining and often inspirational if nothing else.

I look forward to reading other books by Jim Denney.
Profile Image for Carolyn Mathews.
Author 4 books63 followers
August 31, 2013
I'd say this book is essential reading for any writer - whether suffering from writer's block or not. It had a pleasing effect on me: because it was written at great speed (in the space of a month) I was able to read it on my kindle at great speed. Illogical, captain, but true.
Jim Denney is a phenomenally fast writer so it's no surprise that he recommends sitting at one's desk churning out chapters, without stopping to crank up the google engine for research. In this way, the writer maintains the flow and enter the psychological state of being 'in the zone'.
He writes a lot about the writer's heightened performance when 'in the zone'and quotes many and varied sources, one of my favourites being Dorothea Brande. Her book,'Becoming A Writer' should be required reading for all students of the craft. It's an oldie but a goody.
Denney emphasises that writing is very much about being a channel for the story to come through and I love this analogy he quoted from Anne Lamott: "We need to align ourselves with the river of the story...which can then pour through us, the straw."
After reading this book I returned to my unfinished second novel with renewed vigour and finished the first draft yesterday. There can't be a better recommendation than that.
Profile Image for Jim Serger.
Author 6 books9 followers
February 26, 2014
Write until it is done-- then go back over your work. The first draft is just that a draft, but technically it is done. The re-write is what takes it over the edge. The author, whom has written over 100 books explains how to write quickly, with confidence. His work is unbelievable for just like his other book I felt connected with his writing as if he were speaking to me. This is more than a how to book, this is a lighthouse guiding us home. He shares Ray Bradbury stories on swift writing, he speaks of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, George R R. Martin and others on their writing technique. He gives reference to book, technology to quicken the process--and most of all he cheers us on to write and write with passion, relaxation and concentration. Jim Denney is a superb example of a author, he is educating others on becoming a writer-- that is the corner stone of a leader, creating more leaders.
Profile Image for Roxy Rosen.
23 reviews16 followers
March 22, 2015
I feel that although most of this information is stuff I knew before, mostly because I'd already read Lamott, King, Brande and others, something about the presentation, the conversational tone, gave me that key I needed to finally unlock that door and write with abandon.
Just before Writing in Overdrive, I read another Denney book,Write Fearlessly!: Conquer Fear, Eliminate Self-Doubt, Write with Confidence, and honestly, I felt I got more out of it than this one, but they were great companion pieces and I devoured them both in a few days to prepare for my first Camp NaNoWriMo. I feel so much more confident about Camp than I did before these books, kike this is actually something I can accomplish, so that alone is worth the price!
Profile Image for Meryl.
Author 14 books13 followers
August 22, 2013
I'm a "write fast" proponent, so I was curious to see what Denney had to say. This book was a fascinating collection of reasons why you should write fast. I didn't agree with all of them, but I found the arguments in his book compelling and incredibly well researched.

Denney is slim on the "I think" and broad on the "look at this evidence". I liked that a lot. I also appreciate someone who can reference properly.

In fact it's the research aspect of this books that bumped it up from 4 to 5 stars for me. Denney has delved deep into literary history and gathered a fantastic collections of quotes, inspirational sayings and comments on process from writers of all kinds and times. The book is well worth the price for that alone.
Profile Image for Mary Holm.
104 reviews3 followers
September 16, 2013
I am notoriously the slowest writer in the world, so I was looking forward to reading about any tips that would speed me along. This book is a breezy read with lots of practical, get-to-the-heart-of-the-matter tips for better writing. I didn't find it as helpful as I thought, but only because I've read and already love a lot of the writing books Jim quotes. The admonition to write quickly, before the critical part of your brain catches up with you, is one idea I did find helpful. I've already used this technique to get myself out of some writing jams. Includes lists of helpful writing software, writing books and links to websites. Thanks to this book, for the first time, I'm seriously considering participating in NaNoWriMo this November. My new motto: The faster, the better.
Profile Image for Gyula.
Author 3 books4 followers
January 22, 2014
I'm always satisfied when I have at least one "AHA!" moment reading a book. Well, I did have more than one in this case.
This book helped me to understand what is that nice feeling when the writing is flowing smoothly and the words seem to write themselves. Now I know tactics to enter into "the zone" and write better stories faster.
The book also gave advices which weren't new to me, but it doesn't make them less important. If you struggle with writing you should read it. If you don't, there are still valuable advices you can consider.
Profile Image for Nikki.
Author 3 books3 followers
July 18, 2016
A swift kick in the pants...

...with a pat on the back after. An overall excellent book that doesn't just tell you to quit surfing the net or watching TV. He gives real insight into the concept of writing in the zone, as well as practical tips to get you there. Written in a very uplifting and positive tone, I find myself invigorated...ready to take my words to another level. Highly recommend if you are feeling lost or know you aren't living your full potential.
Profile Image for C.J. Darlington.
Author 14 books365 followers
January 27, 2015
Just what the doctor ordered! This book is a must-read for any writer, but especially for those who are finding the words stuck or find themselves uninspired. In its pages are practical ways to help you reach your fullest and become unhindered in your creativity. No fluff here. 100% inspiration and practical tips. Thanks, Jim Denney!
Profile Image for Katie Ruth .
593 reviews114 followers
November 3, 2014
A fantastic book for any writer--highly recommended, especially if you are involved in NaNoWriMo. Excellent content about writer's block, the writing "muse," organizing your writing life, and more. Very helpful and this is a book I'll surely return to again and again.
Profile Image for Izzy Thomas.
4 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2014
Good. I thought it could have been a little shorter, but the concepts and ideas included were perfect for me. Nothing evolutionary, but a great reminder of where I need to be when drafting and rewriting.
Profile Image for Kate.
10 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2013
It really helped me start writing again. I love how he includes examples of famous writers that wrote in overdrive. If you need a book to kick you in the pants and get you writing, this is it!
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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