Honesty

I've recently come to a realization in my writing, one that has been staring me in the face all along.

Call it an epiphany if you will.

Everything I've ever written I've sub-consciously compared to other writers whose work I respect, and enjoy. Usually with a deepening sense of despair at the realization that it comes nowhere close to the likes of Stephen King, Douglas Clegg, or Neil Gaiman.

My wife summed it up perfectly for me the other night as we were talking. I was telling her about my recent purchase of Stephen King's novel 11/22/63, I had recently finished Neverland by Douglas Clegg and was looking for my next read when I ran across 11/22/63 on sale for just 2.99, so I snatched it up. I would rather have gotten King's latest, Revival, but it was priced beyond my budget at $12.74 for the kindle version.

I made a comment along the lines that I'd like to be able to sell my work for that kind of money. She looked at me with an understanding smile and said "but you're not Stephen King."

My wife supports me in this crazy endeavor we call writing, though she refuses to read anything I've written with the exception of  Forget Me Not, my short story that appeared in the 2013 Backbone Mountain Review and can be read here on my blog for free if you check out the link bar above this post. 

It's obvious that I'm not Stephen King but her comment got me to thinking about how writers should be honest with themselves, accepting of the fact that we are each a unique voice, alone, yet a part of something so much bigger, like snowflakes with no two ever the same. How boring would this world be if everyone wrote like Stephen King,  Douglas Clegg, Neil Gaiman, or Joe Slosinger down the street.

I've used these three writers because I'm a fan of their work and they each have something unique to say about honesty in your writing that I want to share here.

In his book On Writing Stephen King returns to the necessity for writers to be honest with themselves and their interests: "Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work."   In a variation of "write what you know" he encourages writers to write what they feel to be true. Using what you know and what is unique will bring an honesty to the character and dialogue. 

The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
Neil Gaiman


One of the tasks of writing is to be honest in your creation, bring that person to life, to breathe in the air, to exist not as a plot device or pushed-and-pulled tool in service to a scene, but as a person who is as rational and irrational as we all are, but from this person’s own unique perspective.
Douglas Clegg

And this all has led to my realization. I am not Stephen King, nor am I  Neil Gaiman, or Douglas Clegg. I am who I am, and it's time I was honest with myself, and my writing.

Winter of Zombie blog tour: Armand Rosamilia

 Your name:  
Armand Rosamilia

Why zombies?
Why the hell not? Zombies are cool. They represent the idealogical and emotional psyche of... nah, zombies are just really cool...

What is your latest zombie release?
Dying Days: Origins 2

Quick description of it:

Dying Days: Origins 2

The prequel tale to David Monsour, featured in Dying Days 2 zombie novella as well as short stories set in the Dying Days world.

Includes two bonus short stories as well! Plus author's notes


Something unique about it:

The character itself is based on an actual person, a huge fan of the series who is a prepper and is ready for the zombie apocalypse when it comes.

Links for people to buy it.




Promo links.

http://armandrosamilia.com

http://dyingdayszombie.com

Your short Bio.

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he's not sleeping.

He's written over 100 stories that are currently available, including a few different series:

"Dying Days" extreme zombie series

"Keyport Cthulhu" horror series

"Flagler Beach Fiction Series" contemporary fiction

"Metal Queens" non-fiction music series

he also loves to talk in third person... because he's really that cool.

He's a proud Active member of HWA as well.

You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!

e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal:

armandrosamilia@gmail.com

Happy Veterans Day


A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve - 
is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to 
"The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including 
THEIR LIFE." 


From all walks of life they came to take an oath.



Young men and women with their entire lives ahead of them




 All gave some


 Some gave all.


 
United States Uniformed Services Oath of Office

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Take a moment today to thank someone for his or her service. 

Nanowrimo, not for me.

And they're off.

Halloween decorations have come down as many peoples thoughts turn to the coming Holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and of course New Years, ripe with the promise of a new beginning.

November is also known as National Novel Writing Month, more commonly referred to as NaNoWriMo. Participants sign up to write a new 50,000 word novel between November 1st and 31st, a feat that requires one to put out at least 1667 words per day to hit the 50,000 word goal. Last year over 310,000 writers participated.


If you're not familiar with NanoWriMo you're not alone. Based on the participation rate it would be safe to say that anywhere from one to two million people know about NaNoWriMo, this is just a guess on my part so please don't ask for my source. When compared to the world's population of 7.12 billion those who know about the November madness is a mere drop in the bucket.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and keep them motivated throughout the process. To ensure this, the website provides participants with tips for writer's block, local places writers participating in NaNoWriMo are meeting, and an online community of support. The idea is to focus on completion instead of perfection. NaNoWriMo focuses on the length of a work rather than the quality, encouraging writers to finish their first draft so that it can later be edited at the author's discretion.

I  tried NaNoWriMo in 2009 and quickly learned it does not mesh well with my writing style. While I'm quite capable of hitting the daily goal of 1667 words, I do it now when I'm in creation mode, I'm the breed of writer that can't blow by a glaring mistake with the intent to come back and fix it later. I agonize over every word, and its placement, and misspellings must be corrected on the spot. 

The biggest thing that turns me off about NaNoWriMo is the participation. When I did it in 2009 my inbox was filled with emails daily from NaNo central, as I came to call them. On top of that were the emails from the state and local groups I had been assigned to when I signed up.

Yeah, I know I could turn off the notifications, but isn't that part of the allure of NaNoWriMo? To hang out with other writers to celebrate your successes and commiserate over your failures?

For me writing is a solitary task, the ultimate form of communication between a writer and the reader. When someone sits down with one of my books, or when I sit down with another writer's book, it's as if the reader and the writer were alone sharing a story that is slowly unfolding on the page.

Unlike a movie where the viewer shares the story with an audience. Reading, and the act of writing, is a one on one experience between two people. There is only the readers imagination, and the words on the page. There is no room for cheering sections, and daily goals, or certificates of completion.

There is only the story being told.