Tag Archives: Zach Hitt

A Reading of “Regretful Memories”

13 Apr

Coffee, Books, and Art by Sarit Yahalomi reviewed Seconds Before Sunrise, and Sarit also posted the review for Minutes Before Sunset right below it, so you can read both. Find out why she said, “Again it was a page turner and full of action, and I couldn’t stop reading until I reached to it’s end.” Click here to read her reviews, and click here to go to Amazon.

covers

As many of you know, I recently started my YouTube Channel – Coffee & Cats and I was supposed to upload a video of myself as I interviewed for The Lurking Voice. But Weebo, my computer, threw a hissy fit, and I lost the video. But you can listen to the podcast by clicking here, so there’s no need for a tiny violin of sadness to start playing.

I’m sure many of you can relate to the horrible frustration of losing an entire document or hour-long video you’ve edited for another hour. It isn’t pleasant, and the hardest part is to accept it and let it go (unlike the time I spent an entire day taking it back and forth between Apple stores only to be told nothing could be done…blood pressure is rising.) So, I’ve learned to move forward when I lose work I’ve started, including novels, but I have been waiting for another opportunity to record another video. Well, I got it.

‘Regretful Memories’ was a poem of mine that was recently published, and I shared it during my last blog post. I hope you all enjoyed reading it because today I am reading it to you. (Special thanks to Zach Hitt, Anthony Stevens, Steven SanchezRaymond Vogel, Jennifer Coissiere, and Angie Neto for their encouragement on my Facebook Author page.) I promise the reading isn’t boring. In fact, I’m surprised I didn’t hurt myself while performing it. I even committed a poetry sin.

Join me on FB, and your name might pop up next!

Join me on FB, and your name might pop up next!

Are you enticed yet? Because I am. 

Watch it below, click this link to watch it on YouTube, and/or click here to read along as I perform my debut reading. You know how social media works. Please like, share, and comment. Wink. Wink.

Hope you enjoyed the reading!

Remember, if you subscribe to my YouTube Channel, you get to watch the videos one day early.

Much love,

~SAT

Guest Post: Zach Hitt: My First Time: From Short Story to Novel

25 Oct

An introduction by Shannon: Zach Hitt hosts the blog, sociallydecrepit: the writing of my first few novels, and I definitely recommend checking this insightful writer out. This post is the perfect example as to how he writes about his experiences as a writer, and I’m glad to have him on here!

My First Time: From Short Story to Novel

I ventured into the world of book writing a few years ago. I’ve had short stories, poetry, and journalistic articles published, but like many people, I only daydreamed the image of people waiting in an autograph line outside a bookstore at midnight in the winter for Zach Hitt’s (my) upcoming bestseller.
It was like my first time, if you get my drift. You would think that as a twenty year old college student from Troy, NY, I would have the confidence to move  mountains, but not so. Even before writing the first sentence, I felt the nerves. However, I still broke out the tool of the trade and took a swing for the fences. It started in a clumsy, messy way. No matter how many people I could show, they’d know that I was green. Sure, I’d tried to write long form before, but nothing I could truly call my own.
But with that, I started a blog called Socially Drecrepit, the goal of which was to keep a record of the transition from short story to full length novel. And hey, I figured, a little publicity never killed anyone. In this post, I’m going to attempt to take the lessons I’ve learned and put them in one place.
1. Stop thinking about the future.
I’ve spoken to a lot of writers who talk and talk and talk and talk about their goals for publication. I’m guilty, too. However, if your fantasising about what your cover art is going to look like, if you’re worried about who you’ll hire as a press contact, you’re not spending time actually writing. Courage2Create put it like this: if you’re thinking about the end product, you’re causing yourself writers block.
Let’s take a look at what we should be doing instead…
2. Write a sentence.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: write a sentence. Don’t put too much thought into the chapter, the part, or the book. Whether this is the first sentence in your outline, or your book, it doesn’t matter. Just get something down on paper.
The first sentence I wrote turned into my hook. I decided that I wanted to outline my book before writing it. One of the biggest problems I faced with my story was understanding how to pace, and how to layout the story. So outlining was my answer, but more on that later.
My point is this: the longer you spend working on your writing style, the better things will end up.
3. Find your comfort zone.
We’ve all heard that annoying cliche, “leave your comfort zone.” When I decided to write a book, that was me leaving the comfort zone. But I soon learned the importance of making things as painless as possible. Take it like this: if you’re going to bungee jump, why would you tie barbed wire around yourself if you have a softer option? Make sense?
As such, I learned to create an environment in which world building became easier. Here’s what it includes: my dog, Freedom (she’s a hyperactive Boarder Collie – Lab who REALLY wants to play!), some music (I like Coheed and Cambria and Falling Up more than anything), and a place either at my dining room table or the front steps.
I’ve learned to write in other places, too, like an air port, or a coffee house, or a library, but I still have my preferences. Find yours.
4. Appreciate the good stuff. Appreciate the bad stuff.
Writing is not a simple game of celebration. No one is completely content with what they write, and I’ve learned that it takes a serious amount of time to improve. On the same end, if you’re spending too much time beating yourself up, you’re not going anywhere.
Find a balance. Anytime you write a bad sentence, figure out how to improve it, and don’t think of yourself as a bad writer. Anytime you write a good sentence, pat yourself on the back.
The first time I wrote something “good” in my first manuscript, called The People Hive, it took until Chapter Five, but I was so excited about the paragraph that I called a bunch of friends and then posted it on Socially Decrepit. Seems a bit overboard, right? Maybe. But it was the first time I felt like I made a major breakthrough.
5. Make Regular Use of the “C Word”
Actually, it’s not what you’re thinking. Early on, I began to realize that it helps to have an extra pair of ears on your work. It is important that you have people around that know how to collaborate, criticize, and corroborate.
Collaboration – a person you can throw ideas around with. I’ve found that it helps to speak out loud about ideas. Others can help you flesh out a plan, or figure out where you might like to throw it. The danger is that you work with a person who does not have a personal boundary between your work and theirs.
Critique – a critic is a person who understands how to politely tell you when something could be executed better. The drawback of this is fairly obvious: if you’re in “writing mode,” and someone is editing you, it may cause writers block. Make sure you finish the chapter first.
Corroboration – a person who sits while you read (aloud) your work to them. Their job is to tell you that they understand or do not understand what you’re trying to say, and that it does or does not make sense.
I’ve found that my family is excellent in all three of these roles. We’ve all sat down for coffee and read something I’ve written. In fact, one particular morning, my brother, father, and I went out for coffee in which I was delivered a particularly ego – shattering speech about the anti climatic climax of my book. As difficult as it was, I attribute my pride in the finished product of my first manuscript to that meeting.
6. Read something
When I read, I do it for enjoyment, but also because I know that a more experienced writer has something to teach me. Additionally, I soon learned that the more I read, the more ability i had to write prose. To learn how to write something horrifying, I read king. To learn how to emotionally connect a character to an audience, I enjoy Conroy. If you want to learn about writing about what’s going on, and nothing fancy, read Karouac.
Bottom line: moving from short to long prose will better your writing. However, it will take time. I speant so long shut away that someone commented after a while that I was Socially Decrepit, which is where the name of the blog comes from. With that, I give you my last piece of advice: get outside and see the sun every once in a while.
Thank you for reading, and I wish you the best on all endeavors.
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Upcoming Guest Posts

19 Oct

First, I want to thank Clinton Book Shop in New Jersey for creating the photo below:

ClintonBookShop

This means a lot to me, because they quoted November Snow, my first published novel, and shared it with their followers on the night of the Hunter’s Moon. It’s always neat to see fellow authors, writers, and readers connect this way, so thank you to Clinton Book Shop and Rob Dougherty for letting me know.

Now–this week’s news: I have an exciting week of guest posts coming! I’ve already read them, and I can’t wait to share them. But here’s a sneak peek at the writers you’ll get to read from:

October 21: Ryan Attard, upcoming author of Firstborn, book one of The Legacy Series. By clicking his linked name, you can check out his website and his books, but here’s his Goodreads link. If you want to read a pre-release of his novel, I am giving away a couple of copies to the lucky few who email shannonathompson@aol.com first 😀 Ryan Attard will be blogging about the always asked question, “Where do you get your inspiration?” It’s a great laugh, and his post is titled The Fleeting Muse.

October 23: Ky Grabowski: upcoming author of The Demons Inside and writer of Welcome to the Inner Workings of my Mind, Ky has been an absolute joy to have on my site (not to mention meet via WordPress.) I would’ve never guessed we’d end up being coworkers and coauthors. This is why surprises are so fantastic! Ky Grabowski will be posting “How Music Influences my Writing.”

October 25: Zach Hitt: host of the blog socially decrepit – I explain the writing of my first novel, Zach Hitt has a fantastic blog about how he thinks, plans, and creates when it comes to writing novels, short stories, and pretty much everything having to do with writing. His post is titled “My First Time: From Short Story to Novel.”

In the meantime, I hope you guys check out these writers, and I can’t wait to see their posts up this week.

~SAT

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