Saturday, April 9, 2011


You've felt it before.  Chances are you feel it all the time, but do you pay attention to it?  Likely you don't especially if you're unsure what to do with it. 
No, I'm not talking about that extra zip in Mayo that makes it miracle whip... I'm talking about the rush or flash of inspiration that enters our mind and sends it on the ubber roller coaster of coolness.  How long the ride lasts and how thrilling the dips and twirls are depends up on our situation, the inspiration and the time we have to stay on.  Regardless of the definition, we all zing.

John Brown
 Author John Brown gives excellent clarity to Zing on his website.  Link here.  I think understanding what Zing is and knowing how to 'hunt' for it will change a new writer forever.  Once you latch on to it, your stories will change for the better.  It is possible to pass your zing on to others.  (Assuming they're compatible to it.)

How does it work?  I don't know, but it does. 
Example:  Trailer Park Elves.
Did that buzz you?  It buzzed me when I read Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International.  When we have a cool idea, it resonates not just in us, but in everyone who's compatible with it.

Larry Correia
 It's taking these idea's and putting them in our writing that takes our stories to a new level.  We all know that the whole point of telling a story is to get an emotional response from the reader. Why?  Because that's why they're reading.  To be emotionally moved.

John Brown suggests listing out all the Zing idea's that we're implementing in our story, then twist them.  Back to our example.  Elves... zing.  Trailer Parks... zing.  Trailer Park Elves... Zing Zing Zing. 

For me, I'm outlining my 2nd quarter novel and I took the idea of sorcerers and energy and I'm twisting them together.  Author Michael Crichton takes technology that Zings his interest, then asks,  "What can make this go wrong/be abused?"

I took Sorcery and Energies and asked, how can science make sorcery real?  It grew from there.

Taking our Zings, twisting/combining them and then asking questions... the obvious or just plain off the wall questions will grow our appeal and magnify the Zing to us and our readers.

I've have a weak novel I'm editing now.  The first one I've ever written.  It has problems... huh, go figure?  I've had to ask my self.  What could make this stronger?  I've decided that I need to go scene by scene and evaluate the Zing it has.  I'm going to review what is there, then twist it and start asking questions.  The deeper it gets (as long as it's not distracting from the story) the better the story will get.  I'm looking at this as re-animating the corpse.  Yeah, it's a body, but does it have a soul?  Is there any life in there?

I'm going to give this a try.  I hope you will as well.

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