Name of the Wind – Review

image

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
5/5

I sincerely wish I would have found this book right about now instead of 4 or 5 years ago.
Any Rothfuss fan knows the pain of waiting for book 3.
However, onto the review:
Without trying to sound like a total and complete fanboy, this is the best book I have ever laid eyes on. I have never read a book with richer characters as well as solid and definable character development.
Many readers main complain of the book is that the lead man Kvothe is the stereotypical flawless character that’s ridden over all of the fantasy genre. This is a very misplaced complaint given the fact that Kvothe is one of the most flawed characters in literature. Through the 2 current books out now, he continuously makes mistakes that put him compromising positions. He’s smart, cunning and has a temper as red as his hair.
The side characters Wil and Sim provide a decent support to Kvothe while I do wish there was a little more detail, history and involvement from them. However these stories are ultimately about Kvothe. The love interest… Is a frustrating one, but what book that has a love interest isn’t frustrating?
Part of me wants to love Denna as much as Kvothe loves her but the other half wants to dislike her quite strongly. Over the span of this novel (and the next) so little is known about her as well as Kvothe’s progress as far as becoming a lover. It’s harder to become attached to a character that you continuously know so little about. However I can sympathize with Kvothe’s undying love for a lovely and mysterious girl.
Rothfuss is an artist and a magician in the words he weaves to create such a beautiful story with a character you want so badly to win – but anyone who’s made it further than 50 pages will know this trilogy is that of a tragedy.
If you are a fan of fantasy or even if you aren’t because I am certainly not a fan of fantasy, check this book out.
Find out who Kvothe, Kote, Reshi, the Bloodless is.

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

Advertisements

Thorns – A Horror Story

image

Here is a piece I wrote…

Thorns
Chapter One: Wooden Walls
Opening his eyes, Remedy recognized nothing around him. When he fell asleep just minutes before, he fell asleep to a dark bedroom. The strong beam of moonlight hitting his window but dimming to all but a small trace of light passed the black blinds. However faint, the light cast enough brightness into the room so that a trained eye could see its surroundings. There were posters littering the walls of various rock bands. One poster features a sarcastic inspirational quote in mockery of the ones found in school classrooms.
In the corner furthest from the window was a television and video game cases scattered on the floor. Another corner of the room had a transparent plastic desk that held a laptop and stacks of paper. Some of the sheets were old homework assignments he had never finished; others were drawings Remedy worked on but never put into his portfolio.
A door creaked open in between the television and desk. The fake wood and rusty hinges of the closet door moaned quietly enough so not to wake him.
And in the weak, pale moonlight that barely lit the darkened room, a black shroud hovered out of the closet. It maintained no distinct shape as it made its way to Remedy. It was smoke but it couldn’t be smelled. It was black but it could be seen through. It was quiet but sinister in its intention. It was an external being, but it was Remedy.
Sifting and pushing itself under the lone sheet that covered Remedy’s tear stained face, the cloud compressed itself into a narrow tornado of blackness. Once it became slender, the shroud disappeared as it forced itself into Remedy’s mouth and down his throat.
Remedy immediately woke up tasting pure charcoal in his mouth. Licking his cracked lips, he tried to cause his glands to salivate and relieve him of the terrible taste. Nothing. His mouth remained as dry as sand under a desert sun. He opened his eyes and found nothing he recognized. He was no longer in his bedroom. If he weren’t so disoriented he would have noticed the deadening silence that rang off each surface. However there was no reality that hit Remedy that what he was seeing was real.
Remedy closed his eyes and let his eyes moisten so he could better see his surroundings. But when he opened them again, he found the same…room?
There were no visible windows. Each wall had large pieces of plywood nailed so that no actual wall was able to be seen.
As his senses returned to him, Remedy noticed more things. He was on the floor. There wasn’t a bed in the room; or anything for that matter. The air was thick and musty with a foul stench that he couldn’t quite place. Looking down at himself he suddenly fully awakened. He was naked down to skin and bones. He instinctively sat up and slid himself backwards until his back touched one of the wooden walls. Curling up and wrapping his arms around his bony legs, fifteen year old Remedy looked spastically around the room to find a way out. However when he looked around with frightened eyes, he found nothing. The room was completely enclosed with the plywood. It didn’t make sense how it should’ve been complete and utter darkness but somehow there was a dim light that shone.
The concrete floor beneath his bottom and feet grew warm at an alarming rate. It went from a cold to the touch temperature to an almost burning heat. Within five more seconds, the red hotness against his hindquarters was too much to bear.
Remedy jumped up hugged himself as he shook. He kept taking lifting each foot off the floor for a moment before switching trying to keep his skin from burning. Soon it became too much. Rapidly switching feet and taking steps in random directions, he started looking around again for something, anything. Nothing had changed though; the room had no exit. 
The skin on the bottom of his feet became so hot that they itched. He felt like he could rip the skin off his feet and the only emotion he’d feel would be relief. Remedy opened his mouth to yell in panic and tasted the charcoal on his tongue again.
Should I yell for help? He thought. Who would hear me? I’m nowhere.
Remedy started running all over the enclosed room hoping to find that when he returned to any certain wall that a door would be there. He ran in circles looking at the floor, the walls, and the ceiling; but nothing changed.
Remedy looked down at the floor as he kept running and saw bloody footprints on the concrete floor. All of the sudden, the room lit up, blinding Remedy. He closed his eyes as his eyelids began burning. The ends of his eye lashes lit up like the small cherry on a cigarette. They burned down until the skin where each strand used to grow from. When they burned completely off, his eyelids sizzled red and the first layer of skin began to burn off.
Hearing glass break, Remedy tried opening his eyes again, he saw broken glass scattered all over the floor. However he couldn’t stop running. Standing in one place wasn’t an option. His first step broke a piece as large as light bulb.
Remedy screamed until his vocal chords burned with the same intensity of the rest of his body. He saw the floor turning a bright red like a brand ready to sear into an animal.
The nerves on the bottoms of his feet were being destroyed and charred till they were gone. His blood on the floor began to bubble at boiling point.
Falling down, Remedy writhed and screamed flipping from his stomach to his back. Glass stuck to his melting skin and within seconds his entire body was covered with glass. Each thrash upon the floor the glass pushed further into his skin.
His eyelids had burned off. He knew his eyes were next. As he rolled again onto his back, Remedy saw the wooden walls set ablaze. The bright flames danced high against the ceiling.
Remedy had a thought. If I could survive until the walls burn themselves down, maybe there would be a way out.
However just as he finished the thought, the large section of wood closest to him fell from the wall and crashed down on top of him. The flames from the wood raved inside Remedy’s eye sockets. Black ash rested where his eyes used to be and Remedy stopped moving.
Suddenly, the wood on top of him disappeared and the fire stopped. The floor returned to a bearable temperature and the glass that wasn’t inside vanished as well. Remedy was left with a thread of life remaining. His skin was no more and all that was left was a blackened and charred surface.
Please die, please die, please die. Remedy’s mind was left crippled and all but dead. The only life remaining was the repeated last message, asking for an end to the pain. The humanity inside him, the strive to live, the desire of life were no longer alive.
He continued laying there on his back with no vision taking shallow breaths. The feeling of dust and ash reached the depths of his lungs when he inhaled.
“Remedy,” something spoke. The voice was more like a hiss rather than a solid sound.
Remedy didn’t make any reply for the simple reason that he was dead. His body was just hanging onto the last seconds of life.
“Stand up Remedy.”
Remedy began moving but not by his own power. He was a puppet and the voice was the puppeteer. His head lifted up and the black on the back of his neck cracked seeping with blood. In moments, he was standing, frozen in place.
“See Remedy.” Instantly, Remedy saw – his eyes returning to life. He would have been confused if his mind were alive. All around him was white. He was standing outside in a snowy forest. As the snow fell, the flakes melted before they hit Remedy. The heat from his body radiated around him and melted the flakes as well as the snow beneath him.
Ahead of him sat a statue that stared into his eyes. The stone statue stood at the same height as Remedy. It was a man’s body with legs that turned into branches running into the ground. Its head was that of a jackal. The narrow slender head looked menacingly at Remedy with black eyes. The eyes themselves looked alive somehow while the rest remained stone.
It spoke four words and the ground, it shook. Its solid stone jaw moved up and down finishing the words and then smiled.
“Unhallowed be thy name.”
As the ground shook, the branches from the statue’s legs extended further into the ground. Movement stirred underneath Remedy’s feet until the stone branches sprung free and latched onto his legs. From where they touched him around his ankles, his body turned to stone. As his black remains were replaced with gray rock, the branches pulled him into the ground.
Remedy’s right hand twitched with a sign of life. It opened up and rotated outwards in a gesture of “help” before turning to stone. His jaw became unhinged and hung open with ash falling towards the ground.
“Help,” he breathed.
The only part of Remedy’s body above the surface was his head. It stayed just inches above the ground for an extra second. The puppeteer that controlled him twisted and jolted his head backwards, snapping bones inside his neck. With his head turned backwards and sideways to face the statue, the jackal stood up. Stone grinding against stone, its smile was gone. It outstretched a hand that had a hole in the palm and opened its mouth again.
“Welcome Remedy. Welcome.”
Remedy’s head grayed out and disappeared under the ground. The soil was hot under the snow, but Remedy didn’t know. He was dead.
//
Shooting underneath his blanket, Remedy thrashed in his bed and screamed.
“No!! Get away!!”
He threw fists in every direction, hitting his headboard, bedframe, and bedside table. As he raged, the closet door across the room creaked close.

Chapter Two: The Absence of God is…
Thank you for reading…
Zac Zinn

The Fault In Our Literature (Stars)

Let’s talk about a book. Let’s talk about a book that is unfortunately very popular. In fact, it is so popular, it’s been made into a movie.
No, it’s not Twilight.
It’s The Fault In Our Stars – by John Green.
This book is the fault in our literature.
I picked this book up hearing pretty good things about it. After reading the inside cover and thinking it was pretty ideal for me since I am a sucker for generally sadder books, I bought it.
Let me tell you that I tore through this book in a very short period of time. When I was finished, to be quite honest I was confused. Throughout the entire book I didn’t understand what I was reading. It should have been called How to write the most depressing piece of “literature.”
But it’s not. It’s been read by millions and hailed by readers and critics that this is an amazing piece of writing. I’m here to tell you that it’s not.
Spoilers are abounding…
The characters are not likable at all.
Hazel Grace, the most likable trait about her is the fact that she has cancer. The sympathy card only lasts for so long. She meets a boy named Augustus Waters at a support meeting for cancer patients. It’s love at first sight. Augustus who is in remission, has lost a leg to cancer. He keeps a cigarette with him at all times in an act of defiance of cancer/death. It’s garbage like this that makes the book so hard to like. Who keeps a cigarette between their ear and head in a cheesy, pointless attempt to defy death? The pure character of Augustus is one of a self-righteous douchebag. I’m sorry but there’s no other way to put it. He’s arrogant, but at the same time literally perfect – just as Hazel is. Everyone is just faultless (pun). They’re just so perfect for each other.
Isaac is a side character who unfortunately, is also not likeable simply due to the fact that he is the most depressing part of the book. He has one eye. Let me restate this. He has one eye. He has cancer in his eyes.
So the theme in this book is – everything bad that can happen will, in the saddest way possible. That’s why this book is an embarrassment to literature. It’s not a book. It’s a lovely dovey snuff film made into a fictional words.
Hazel has the opportunity to go across the world with Augustus to meet her favorite writer. This writer had been the center of her dreams to meet. When they meet him, he is an absurd drunk who is as offensive to them as possible. He makes fun of them for having cancer and pretty much ruins their trip. Then there is the part with Augustus and Hazel making out on the steps of Anne Frank’s house – because that’s totally cool and not offensive at all. The most outrageous part about it was that bystanders clapped and applauded them. This is why the characters are so awful. They do whatever they want because they have cancer and think it’s justified. So I guess in that light – they are perfect for each other.
So during this horrible and depressive trip, it’s announced that Augustus’ cancer came back. But it more than just came back. It’s literally everywhere. So what happens? Hazel who had cancer the entire time lives, Augustus dies in a terribly slow way. Isaac had his other eye removed and his girlfriend broke up with him.
The end.

People think that because this book made them sad makes it a good book. Literature is not defined by how sad it makes you. That’s all this book does. It created the worse set of characters in the most depressing scenario and John Green yelled at every reader – “ARE YOU SAD YET?”

The worst part about all of this is I wrote a book about a teenager with cancer years ago. When I explain the story to any interested reader, I have to hear the question “Oh so it’s like Fault In Our Stars.”
No. It’s not.
I don’t write this from a high place thinking I’m such a great writer because I’m not. But when I see garbage being called gold, I get upset.
Rant – over.
Thanks for reading and do yourself a favor and don’t read this book.

How To Write Plot Twists – by Lux

So I stumbled onto this blog/article that had a lot of good information about plot twists.
I was looking advice up for my novel as far as common or predictable plot twists and this piece here gave a lot of good wisdom.

So for any writers, this is worth a read.

Finding Originality When Even Plot Twists Are Cliched

by Lux

Hi, 

I’ve been trying to finalize the outline of my novel, however I’m skeptical and critical of every plot outline I’ve come up with. I’m to the point where even some of the plot twists I come up with seem cliched. (I.e. a plot with a fresh twist in itself is cliched!)

How should one find a balance between cliched plots and fresh twists in one’s work? 

I was also wondering if every author goes through this stage, where the fear of being cliched inhibits them from writing without a care in the world.

Thanks!

Answer: This may surprise you, but I recommend you stop being afraid of cliches, at least when it comes to plot. 

The originality which readers crave and writers aspire to mostly results from the manner in which you express the ideas, themes, and plot twists in your writing. It’s in the unique voice of your main character or your narrator.

It’s true that many of us start out dreaming of being a creative genius who single-handedly discovers a new law of physics every fortnight. But you can’t become a creative genius by trying. You become one by playing (which is why five-year-olds are far more creative than adults).

Surprisingly, few readers ever complain about a plot being unoriginal. In every romance, a woman finds her true love. In every murder mystery, the detective identifies the killer. Villains keep being defeated. Siblings keep having rivalries. Vampires keep drinking blood.

In the course of thousands of years of writing and what I expect are millions of stories the human race has created, the structural possibilities of story have been extensively explored. We have learned a lot about the principles that make up a good plot, just as musicians have learned what makes a good melody and painters have learned what makes good composition.

Today, if a writer wants to create a totally original plot, the only avenue that seems open is to abandon what has been learned about good plotting. This usually leads to a weak plot or no plot at all. 

If you’re writing literary fiction, that might be all right. You can focus mainly on characterization and voice and create a story in which nothing happens apart from an exploration and resolution of the main character’s inner conflict. But I would argue that the great stories wed characterization, voice, and inner conflict to a solid plot structure – and most often on plot twists that are as old as the hills.

You are absolutely correct that the fear of writing cliches inhibits creativity. Thinking you must find a totally original plot will torpedo your output faster than anything.

Here’s what happens. You approach your desk wanting to write a story that is emotionally compelling. But every emotionally compelling plot twist you can think of seems like it’s been done before (which it has). You know this because you’ve read widely. 

So you reject the idea that excited you at first. And you keep rejecting ideas until rejecting becomes a habit and writing becomes torture. The fun is gone, and you find yourself paralyzed, unable to write anything for fear that it’s not good enough.

If you want to create an original story, the best approach is to forget about originality and just have fun playing with ideas – no matter how cliched they are. 

Don’t believe me? Try this as an exercise:

Sit down and try to write the most unoriginal story outline possible. Throw in the most cliched plot twists you can think of. Spend at least an hour on it. Really have fun with the process. Then put it aside and look at it again after a few days.

At worst, you will find you have the makings of a terrific parody. 

On the other hand, if you then take that plot and tweak it so it has a solid dramatic structure, and if you write the story honestly, from the perspective of a unique character, the result will seem like pure genius. It will be oozing with originality. Most readers will not even notice the cliches. And those that do will be amazed at how you managed to rework them into something so compelling.

– See more at: http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/finding-originality-when-even-plot-twists-are-cliched.html#sthash.c2mqUZJb.dpuf

Do You Write or Read Erotica?

This has brought me some discord because I’ve never done this. My recent novel had a small scene where I had to write a bit of foreplay, but that was it.

Now I’m writing a book for adults in nature, and 30 thousand words into it, I came across the point when I knew it was time for a detailed and most likely graphic sex scene. I don’t do it to be smut or just sex for the sake of sex.

I had two characters that had been through absolute hell and after years of fighting their battles alone, they found each other. I needed to adequately write the passion they felt, the thoughts the thought, and the actions the did without making if sound like two perfect people were getting each other off.

As I began writing it, I thought of myself like this picture… except a guy, and not nearly attractive.

So I began conjuring up realistic ideas and memories of the act.

What has your experience been with erotic writing? Have you ever given it a go?

Here’s a small snippet of what I wrote..

Ellie dove at him before he could finish the chorus. She knocked the guitar on the floor and pushed him against the armrest. Pushing her lips against his and her tongue against his she waited for his embrace of it all. She didn’t feel anything in return for a moment and continued for a few seconds longer hoping for a response.

Finally, she felt a strong arm around her back and another closer to her shoulder blades. He lifted her up and laid her down on her end of the sofa. He pulled at her jacket in an unconventional way. He pulled hoping it would just come off any further thought or effort.

Ellie smiled beneath his lips and helped him out. She wiggled out of the coat but it was difficult because he was pressing his weight against her again. He kept kissing her and wouldn’t let up. She felt his hand press against side and let go, and press again. Her lips felt drier the wetter they became.

Her mind was racing above her and of things she didn’t want to think about. She thought about the next day, and then ten after that. Does this mean anything? She thought. Or is he just getting his fix? She began thinking if he had many girls over after playing event. She didn’t have a doubt that he would have no problem doing it if he wanted to. What do I do tomorrow? I work, I don’t have my car. She thought all these things as she was being pleasantly assaulted. When he moved down her body and found a place on her neck that he kissed and caressed. He sucked on her just enough to make it hurt and then he let go, and repeat. Her mind went blank and just focused on the now when he did that.

She was breathing harder and became self-conscious. Am I breathing too hard? She stopped breathing for a moment and listened. Kurt was breathing twice as loudly out of his nose and mouth. He alternated between breathing out his nose when he needed a full breath, and his mouth when wanted to breathe hot on her.

So there ya go. The first piece I’ve publicly released of my novel in progress.

Comment your thoughts or experience on erotic writing, or reading erotic literature.

Searching For The One You Love

This is called The One I Know

It’s about looking for someone

I’ve searched behind trees and under rocks
But I’ve only  found dead ends and loneliness

The fog around my eyes makes it hard to see
Is it my imagination that I see her sillohoutte in front of me?
How is it that she evades me when I reach out?
Why does my hand grasp for her but return with nothing?

I swear,  I swore to all that I once had her
I was able to touch her hand
My eyes saw her’s
And I witnessed her smile

Although it seems as if I was,  and am the one running through a fairy tale I created,
The one I promised myself is out there was never there before
And I am stricken with fear that she won’t ever be there

Thanks,  Zac Zinn

Why Do You Write?

So I’m kicking off my return from my brief break from the blog with a question for all you writers.

Why do you write? Or maybe we can go back a bit further with, why did you start writing?

I remember back when I was 6, we had a school assignment to write what we would do to help a new student get used to school. I remember enjoying it quite thoroughly, so I kept writing.

My first story which I still have was called Jurassic Park 4. I was a big fan of dinosaurs back then. I also wrote a Lego story because that’s what I was reading back then.

To take a bit of a serious turn here,

I kept writing through my elementary and middle school years because I had a troubled school experience with bullying. Whenever the real world was miserable or sad, I wrote. I created my own worlds within Star Wars and terrible revisions of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. At some point I had the idea to write a full novel. I had just completed a story that was about 50 pages and the thought of a full novel didn’t seem so far fetched anymore.

So that’s my small history,

Why do you write? Why did you begin writing?

What Do You Do To Get To Get In The Mood?

What do you do to get in the mood to write?

Do you listen to music before you write? While you write? Do you have a specific playlist that plays the same order of songs each time?

I have a playlist on Spotify that I use since my iTunes library died along with my fried hard drive.   Alt  <– That there is the playlist if anyone is interested.

Earlier this week, I actually watched an entire movie to get in the mood. Stuck In Love. Sounds terribly cheesy I know, but it’s all about writing and really inspires me to write. It’s on Netflix, check it out, you may like it. Songs like “Pray” by Kodaline and “Broadripple is Burning” by Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s really do it for me.

But that will do it for my input.

What do you do?

The Struggles of Writing

I don’t believe there is any struggle in life that can be more rewarding than writing besides childbirth or parenting. Anyone who is a writer knows this.

But I must confess I feel like a fraud when I call myself a writer because a writer doesn’t go weeks, or for that matter, months without writing.

So I have some encouraging words that I have learned recently.

Once upon a time, I stopped writing. We’ll call it writer’s block to save some face. I was frustrated because when the time would come once a month for my writer’s meeting, I had nothing new to submit. I would submit something a second time and claim that I wanted further work done to it, or I’d submit something I had written years ago.

Anyone who is involved with an author’s social media outlet will see quotes from them saying “Just write” and a thousand variations of it. But I would just say to myself, “It will come in time, just let my mind work itself out and when it’s ready it’s ready.”

But I was telling myself a lie. There is a time to let things cook in the mind before spilling it on paper, but I was abusing this. I was letting my mind grow lazy by not exercising it. So if anyone is in the same boat, believe me when I say KEEP WRITING. There’s a reason that when you Google “writing” this picture shows up-

Or my favorite –

There’s a reason.

If you are working on a novel and have no inspiration, write a poem. Write a poem about anything. Write about the struggle. Write about your childhood. Write about the first time you remember feeling angry, felt love, felt happiness. Write about the first time you experienced tears of joy. My first time was when I saw my brother graduate from basic training. Even though we had barely been brothers all our lives, seeing him go away into the army and actually losing a brother for a few months… Seeing him again made me feel like I had something I never had before. I’ll never forget it.

If you’re working on a short story and find it’s putting up a fight, don’t let the wall you just ran into stop you. Take a step to the side and walk around it. Pick a scene from a movie you love and write about it and make it your own. Picture the park bench scene in Good Will Hunting and rewrite it.

In the end, you either have a product you can say “This came from my hardest of efforts and look at what I made.” Hold it in your hand and be proud. Or you can say, “I tried to write, but it didn’t work.

No. It didn’t work, you gave up, just as I have done too many times. I’m finished with my own complacency, my novel-in-progress is now actually IN PROGRESS. Let’s write people, we’re all one big group of people sharing the struggle.

I’ll close with a picture that makes me laugh and inspires me from my favorite writer, Patrick Rothfuss.

Thanks for reading – Zac Zinn.