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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Are you an 'organic' artist? Zackery Humphreys explains...

by

Zackery Humphreys



I consider myself a very organic artist.


Many of my ideas come from dreams or inspirations from other artists: Salvidor Dali, Ray Bradbury and Walt Disney are some good examples. When I get an idea, whether it is a character, an ending, or even just a line, I write it down either in my notebook or on my phone for later use. After that, I think about it quite a bit, usually as I'm lying in bed trying to sleep (which doesn't help my sleep schedule!) until I have a rough outline in my head with a few more ideas, which I, in turn, write down in my notes. After that, it's off to writing. 

Author Zackery Humphreys

I prefer this more organic way of creating as it bleeds into my writing. Each sentence inspires the next, and the next, which can sometimes lead to the creation of more ideas as I go along. It's like stream-of-consciousness with punctuation. I prefer this to a solidified outline I may have already thought about ahead of time. It's more exciting to write organically and it's hopefully more fluid for the reader. 

For the entire process, I continue lying in bed thinking, jotting down notes, and writing until the project is finished and I'm dead tired!

Speaking of “finished,” the question I've been asked probably more than any other is, “How long does it take you to finish a book?” Well, it took me seven years to write Epsilon A.R., from the first word to the final product. Enough time to nearly get through all of high school and college.


This isn't to say I was working on it constantly though. I started the novel as a fourteen-year-old in my sophomore year of high school and finished the first draft about four months later. That one draft sat on my hard-drive for years without a single word changed.


VBT
It took certain things in my life to stop for me to be able to start the project again. From that point, it took another four months to finish the second draft, and about two months more (I’m now twenty-years-old!) to finish the draft I sent out to publishers. 

That being said, I'm half-way through two novels within five months along with a few other finished projects on the side. It took me seven years to finish Epsilon, but expect the sequel much sooner. I'll leave the long waits to George R.R. Martin. Long waits are not usually my thing. I'm impatient and goal-oriented. I like to bunker down and get things done, which is also why I have so many other projects on the side. 

In-between the times I'm writing on my novel, I do smaller writings such as screenplays, plays, short stories and poems, some of which will be included in my next book. Writing Epsilon, however, takes a much different type of focus than anything else I do. When I sit down to do it, I start around midnight after all of my rehearsals. This is when the rest of my life can shut off and I can find peace and quiet to write and not think about anything else. 

I sit at my desk, put in my earbuds (which don't play anything) for added silence, and focus all of my attention on it. No one would know just by looking at the page, but I am a perfectionist when it comes to my work, especially Epsilon. I designate certain line spacing, fonts, and sizes for nearly everything. It needs to be laid out perfectly in order for me to focus solely on the writing. I always tell my friends, "I'm not a perfectionist, but when it comes to my work, it needs to be perfect." 



With that being said, I'll leave you with this one fine word of wisdom and perfection, “ldkfanafdrhgfjdfsfdjukykedbfaafsaof."




EPSILON
it's beautiful here until you're alone.

Hundreds of years into the future, mankind has gone underground to relocate to the beautiful city of Epsilon. 

Epsilon is run by a strong, secretive government that keeps its citizens in check by subtle manipulation and strict schedules. No one questions its authority and no one is unhappy. 




ALN-896, an average man who is just trying to live a normal life, begins to have dreams; something strange and rare in Epsilon. In his dreams, he meets a man named Harry and everything is fine- until Harry dies. 

When ALN-896 wakes up, he shrugs it off as if nothing has happened. It was only a dream. But then the next day, he is suddenly arrested and sent to prison for killing Harry, whom ALN-896 assumed was just a figment of his imagination. 

Now inside prison, ALN-896 begins to learn about everything the government of Epsilon has been doing and he plans on escaping. Not only from prison, but from Epsilon. This one decision turns him against everything he has ever known and forces him to face against centuries of lies. To escape means to live. But what will it cost?

Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a signed copy of Epsilon AR (3)





Something to whet your appetite. An excerpt from Epsilon:

A black-and-white tie...
----
Thoughts froze within his mind. Spit bubbled through his pursed lips.
ALN-896 finally managed to pull away from the exposed wire. He fell to the ground and wiped away the spit dribbling down his cheek. His heart raced, and sweat poured down his body.
That was the most painful sensation he had ever experienced.
I never should have grabbed that wire...
ALN-896 stood up slowly and looked around. No one saw what had just happened. He was alone on the desolate stretch of Simov Street.
Fortunately, I did not get hurt.
Instead of continuing, he decided to get back into his car and let a nice cup of tea calm him.
From the center console of the car, green tea was automatically dispensed into a cup. He let the liquid slide down his throat, easing every muscle that had tensed. He melted into his plush seat as he let his mind come to a halt. Then the silence was interrupted by a robotic voice. “ALN- 896, your vitals are irregular. Is everything all right?”
“Everything is fine. I went to inspect one of the house's trashcans as I was instructed to, but I noticed an exposed wire on the ground. I went to cover it back up when it...”
ALN-896 wasn't quite sure what had actually happened when he touched the wire. He hadn’t been electrocuted, but something strange had occurred. The only thing he could get out of the experience was that he had seen a black-and-white tie floating in the darkness behind his closed eyelids. Nothing surrounded it, but he knew it had been attached to a body. One he hadn’t been able see, but one he knew existed somewhere within the black.
Irrelevant.
“When it...,” ALN-896 stumbled. “When it shocked me,” he lied.
“Your job still needs to be completed. You still need to inspect the trashcans for Monday's workday. After your tea, you need to continue.”
“Yes, I understand.” 


4 comments:

  1. I love the writing process. It's interesting to see how other writers write.

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  2. Thank you for hosting today :-)
    Great Post!!!

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  3. Very nice, great inspiration for writers that are trying to fine tune there own way of writing...I too am one who plots in the head...seeing the images and the story unfold almost as if I am watching a movie...then from there I will go write it down...thanks for your insights, I wish you well with your release:O)

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  4. I hear ya. I can't do outlines. I only do them when I have to layout special steps in the story due to timeline or something. If I do an outline, the entire thing changes anyway.

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