The Belittling Of Writers

careful-or-you-ll-end-up-in-my-novel

STOP!

If you’re a writer you have heard the following statements:

“I always wanted to write a book, except…”

“You have so many good ideas – you should write a book!”

“You always have such great stories – you should write a book!”

“Can I be a character in one of your books?”

 

If you’re a writer you have seen the following phrases somewhere:

“Careful not to make me angry, I’ll put you in my next book! (Or some variation)

Okay, I can only think of one phrase…

All of these insult my passion and profession as a writer to the core of my being. Allow me to explain myself…

I’m all for having fun, making jokes about pretty much everything because who doesn’t want life to be fun? And maybe if these phrases and pieces of conversation were done so in moderation, it wouldn’t be bad because hearing one of these once in a while isn’t a big deal; hell, I wouldn’t even mind it at all. However, the volume of these phrases is out of control. Here’s why these statements are at heart – insulting the profession of writing and making a mockery of what we do.

 

  1. “I’ve always wanted to write a book, except I never had the time.” Let’s dissect this. This statement is fine if someone is actually interested and has a desire to write. However, that is never the case. It’s because they see your book and think how cool it would be to have a book of their own. So they put themselves on the same level as you by saying, “Yeah well, I always wanted to write a book, my friends tell me I should.”
  2. Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel. However innocent and joking as this statement is, a writer isn’t going to compromise his or her own’s book just to put someone they know in the story. It just belittles the act of writing a book. It’s difficult.

I need only ask one question: Do you write? The answer of that question will determine if you’re a writer or not.

Okay, so I’m not going to dissect each one, it would be redundant and boring. But the core belief of all these statements is consistently the belittling of writing. Just because someone thinks it would be cool to be a writer, doesn’t mean they have the stones to do it. And please hear me out, I don’t mean to put myself or fellow writers on some stage and say “YOU CAN’T BE US. WE’RE AWESOME.” That’s not at all what I mean.

For me, writing isn’t a fun, carefree thing I do because it’s my hobby. I already have an post on my site titled “Writing Is Not My Hobby.” It’s not my hobby. It’s my dream, my profession, my passion. It is literally the most important thing to me beyond family and friends. It’s everything to me. So when someone acts like my small and seldom accomplishments could be achieved by anyone who THINKS they could just pick up a pen and write an eighty thousand word book, it backhandedly slaps any writer in the face.

Being a writer is a hard life, and it only gets harder with the evolving…or devolving industry – depending on how you look at it.

Do you have an interest in writing? That’s great! Truly. Talk to a writer about it, they’d love to talk your ear off about everything and I mean everything. The majority of writers and authors are like most musicians – the nicest and most sincere people you will meet. They love talking about their passion. I would love to talk to anyone who wants to get into writing. But these nonchalant statements of how easy it would be to write a book are lazy and angering.

Maybe I’m being too sensitive, if so, just tell me. Zac, stop being a whiny (insert expletive). Either way – I don’t have many things that bother me. But this one takes the cake.

Thanks for reading my tirade.

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Local Book Signing Dates

Hello everyone!
This post is for the locals in York, PA unless you want to make the journey across a few state lines…haha.

I have 2 dates coming up for INFERNOUS.
The first one is with my good friend Andy Craven, a crazy guy with an insane book called MOSHIAH. If you like sci-fi, this is what you need to get.
This signing is at TG Books at 2107 Industrial Highway, York PA from 1-3.
Check out Andy’s site here

The second signing is just yours truly at the York Emporium at First Friday in York! I’ll be doing a reading as well as selling copies of INFERNOUS. More details to come for this signing…

Writing Is Not My Hobby

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(picture from http://www.sliverofice.com/blog/)

How many writers are out there who are belittled and dismissed as lost souls with a useless hobby?
I’ve just published my 4th book and I’m taken aback when people so close to me refer to my career as a hobby.

A man slaves over wood for hours, days, weeks and months to make a beautiful table and chairs. He may work somewhere to pay the bills but he does his wood work because he loves it. That isn’t a hobby. It’s art and he’s an artist.

I write novels, short stories and poetry. It is art and I am an artist.
Do you write? Draw? Paint? Slave over something you love?
You’re a goddamn artist.

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

Demonic Possession Inside The Mind

Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside the mind of someone who is possessed by a demon from hell?

In my new book, Infernous – you find out just that. It’s a dark and twisted story as well as a quick read at 90 pages.

It’s on sale starting today!
Paperback
Kindle

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Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

How It Feels – Finish Writing A Book

There was a sense of accomplishment as I finished the last word. Even more so when I opened the box and saw my completed product. As I looked at my binded book, I thought of the events that brought me to it.
It took me 4 years to get there. But even so, I looked at it knowing I can do so much better. I can put more detail in, more dialogue, better characters, better everything.
Just as I have to write to call myself a writer, I have to keep improving my words to be proud of my work.

Keep writing, keep fighting, that’s today’s mantra.

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

Park & Eleanor – Review

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4/5
Yesterday I finished this fine story. It took me a few days to read it and I’m hear now to tell you all fine folk about it.
The book is about a Korean teen named Park and an American girl living in a house of abuse named Eleanor.
They begin seeing each other on the bus to and from school although they don’t say a word to each other. As you can guess from the back cover of the book, a romance begins between them that is genuine, unique and believable rather than stories by… John Green.
The story thrived on convincing dialogue and a wide range of diverse characters from parents to other schoolmates.
It is more than easy to sympathize with Eleanor’s terrible home life, but not too much that you feel the writer saying “do you feel sorry for her yet?”
Both characters show obvious flaws which help the story’s realism.
The only weak point was about 3/4 the way through when the story started repeating itself and slowed the plotline. Luckily, Rainbow Rowell moves it on from there and the story continues on pace for a fitting ending.
For teenage romance stories go, consider this. And if you mind foul language, avoid it because it’s a book that shows how real people talk.

Also, Dreamworks is in the process of making a movie!

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

Read When We Write

Do you find that your writing is at its best when you’re reading a book at the same time? Do you read in the same genre as you’re writing? I find that my writing is at its prime when I’m reading as well. This would make sense because I went through a long dry spell and now that I think about it, I wasn’t reading anything.

So before I go and dive into this, if you’re reading something as you write, be sure of 3 things.

  1. DO NOT rip off the writer. Being inspired by writing is one of the best tools we as writers can use. Even if you don’t downright plagiarize, it’s not right to rip off from writers.
  2. Make sure what you’re reading specializes in what you think your weakness is. Dialogue. Read a story that has rich characters and each one has a clear personality that shows in their dialogue. Too many stories die and wither from bad and unbelievable dialogue.
  3. Lastly is narrative. If you’re writing is weak on narrative, just like dialogue, read books that have long and meaty narratives. I always struggled with detail and narrative while my dialogue thrived. So I started reading books with long paragraphs of details and narratives. As soon as I began, I saw my writing improve before my eyes in just the first writing session.

Are you writing a love story that includes heartache and raw feelings? I’d recommend reading any one of the following: (Most of these are available on Amazon for absurdly cheap prices)

(No spoilers I swear)

 

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
This fantastic story is unknown by way too many. It’s a tender story of two brothers (Sam and Riddle) from a broken and dangerous home. They find comforting arms and a warm home in teenager Emily Bell’s household. The story thrives on hard situations with a violent father, and the love Sam has for his brother and the life his new interest – Emily has. The story sucks you in and carries you on each page.

 

The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

Tears have never been so close to my eyes because of a book. Matt Beaulieu’s wife Elle suffers a terrible injury and is left brain dead. The catch here is that he finds out she’s pregnant. Through this struggle to keep her body alive there are unexpected challenges that appear that will test both Matt and your heart. Flashbacks in this novel are key as they show the couple younger and allow you time and pages to grow close to both Matt and Elle. This story remains in my top 10 – maybe I’ll make a list sometime.

Are you writing fantasy?

I’m not too versed in this field of writing but I do have two recommendations.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

There’s a reason critics tell readers to shelve this next LOTR and The Hobbit. Kvothe (pronounced Kwothe) is a simple boy traveling with his family as a traveling circus. One day he finds his parents and his entire troupe slain. The culprit? A group of people that are thought of as fictional fairytales. His only answers are at a place called The University where they teach magic, but not the cheap “abracadabra” magic. It’s well thought out magic that happens in the mind. This book which is book 1 of a trilogy is good for everything. Narratives and description that rivals any book I’ve ever read and dialogue of equal value.

Need a short story for narrative value?

The Slow Regard of Silent Things – By Patrick Rothfuss

Yes same writer. However this small novelette ranging just over a hundred pages takes a side character from his trilogy and spends a few days with her. Auri is a cute, innocent girl who cracked. She isn’t mentally sane and sees the world in a different light. You don’t need to read his others to understand this. All you need to know is that she lives underground beneath a school and is gathering different items to make a gift for her friend. The entire thing is ALL NARRATIVE. Pages of description of rooms, chambers, pits, wells and everything in between. If you’re not a fan of fantasy, don’t be afraid to give this a chance because it isn’t fantasy at heart. It’s a story of a girl who sees regular items commonly discarded as something special. It’s truly an interesting read.

Are you writing horror?

Horns – Joe Hill

You may not recognize Joe Hill by his penname, but you may recognize Stephen King’s name. Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son and let me tell you, he made his way into horror writing not by being King’s son, but by writing damn good stories.

Ig Parrish’s love of his life, beautiful Merrin Williams is dead; brutally attacked, violated and killed. The town believes he did it no matter what he says. After some drunken night to which he remembers almost nothing, Ig wakes up and has horns on his head. With these horns come influential power over others. He sees into their lives like a peeking through a window and can tell them to do things. This novels covers dark comedy, murder mystery, supernatural, romance, let’s just say it  covers everything and covers it well. This is one to read a few times, and then maybe watch the movie (which was actually pretty good).

Let’s go to the King.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Have you heard of this one? Because it’s not like other King novels. Trisha McFarland is a young girl who is forced to go hiking with her dysfunctional family. After taking a few steps away from the path, she is lost with no idea how to get back. She’s not in a small wooded area either. She’s lost in the Appalachian Trail. In addition to being a survival story, King weaves a sinister plot line with something watching little Trisha from afar. She can hear it growl, she can hear it move around her but she can’t see it. This shorter novel (speaking in terms of King’s usual length) is a smooth and creepy read.

Other very honorable mentions

This Is Where I Leave You – Jonathon Tropper

Do me a favor and read anything by this great writer. Every story he puts out, he creates a new story that mixes heartbreak, nostalgia, humor and some of the richest characters you’ll find in writing. Just do me a favor and read the story before you watch the movie…or don’t watch the movie at all.

This Bright River – Patrick Somerville

This lovely story is also in my top 10. Being my only exposure to Mr. Somerville, I’m not sure why I haven’t picked anything else by him. This book is about a tortured protagonist who has a dark history. He runs into a woman from his past with a terrible life as well and the two clash and mix. It’s a dark love story that travels through family secrets, possible murders and worse things still.

That should about do it. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment what you like to read when you write, or what you’re reading right now.

Thanks,

Zac Zinn

Show & Tell

It’s show and tell time boys and girls!
What’s your favorite book and why?
Let us know in the comments why you love this one book more than the rest.

Mine is The Name of the Wind. I’m in love with this book because I don’t like fantasy books yet, this story captivates me each time I read it. Patrick Rothfuss is a master of words who weaves them together into something beautiful.

Now it’s your turn!

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

How Long Have You Waited For A Book?

It’s a terrifying question, how long have you ever waited for a book to come out? Is there a book that just never came out? Some sequel that never happened?

My favorite author is Patrick Rothfuss. He’s been writing the Kingkiller Chronicles for a very, very long time. Yet – it’s only a trilogy.

The Name of The Wind – April 2007

The Wise Man’s Fear – March 2011

The Doors of Stone – Rumored to be summer 2016 AT THE EARLIEST.
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Five years. This is my Walking Dead, my Breaking Bad. Imagine waiting five years before the final season…the final episode.

So tell me? How long have you – or are you waiting for a book?