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June 12, 2014 / anthonykzullo

When Life Gets in the Way of Writing

It is the nature of life to become distracted. We often times fight against it, squeezing productivity out of our pores and struggling to be more efficient, but in the end, there’s always something that comes up, whether that be a return to college, an unexpected layoff, or a death in the family. Something will always throw your life in a whirl, and that’s what’s happened to me in writing and why I’ve been away for so long. Thankfully, for me, it wasn’t so drastic.

Just recently, I started a new job as a Web Developer, which is awesome because I love web development, and let’s face it. As much as I want to make money as a successful indie author, it’s not something I should put all my eggs in a basket for. I’ve done that with other endeavors in the past, and it’s scary and risky. I’ve also started school again, returning to get my second degree in Computer Science. I figure, if my dreams of authordom don’t come true, I can always build robots.

As happy as I am, I haven’t had the time to really write or edit in a long time, much less blog and build my author platform, but a lot of that is going to change in the summer. School is out, and I’m ready to start working on my amazing marketing plan. There’s still a little more editing to do in my current novel, The Guardian’s Charge, but it shouldn’t be much longer until my first novel gets published.

It’s been a long time coming, two years since I’ve started writing TGC; sixteen years since I wanted to publish a book.

Now here I am in the middle of the digital age where ebooks are popping up like wildfire, wanting to make a name for myself. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worth achieving ever is. All I know is I’m back and I’ve come back with a vengeance. So to all of my blog readers, which there are currently very few of right now, be ready!

Because The Guardian’s Charge is about to take the world by storm! 

October 15, 2013 / anthonykzullo

Finding an Editor

Recently, I’ve spent some time looking for an editor.  To achieve my goal of publication in April, I would need someone to edit my novel in January/February.  A lot of editors are currently planning their schedules, so it’s always good to look for someone a couple months before you know you’re going to be ready.  Don’t do it too in advance as your novel might take longer than you expect.  Plus, not as many people plan their work schedules longer than a year out.

Finding an editor is not easy. Actually… let me correct myself. “Finding an editor is easy.”

Finding your editor is not easy.

Why isn’t it easy?  This kind of process is similar to dating.  Your co-creating a relationship with another professional.  So you could kind of say an author/editor relationship is like marriage.  It’s a partnership of trust, commitment, and respect, and it creates the mutual goal of developing something successful with compromise on both sides.  Somewhere out there is your author/editor soulmate, waiting for you to sweep them off their feet… Well, maybe not. But there is someone out there who is going to give you the best feedback that will take your story from good to GREAT.

So now how do you find them?

Here are a few tips when I searched for an editor:

  • Make Sure You’re Done With Your Novel

    Don’t waste your money or your time being impatient. Impatience is an enemy of self-published authors. Wait until your draft is shining like a precious diamond, beautiful and nearly perfect. Then you can let your editor tear it to shreds! If you don’t wait, after you finish paying your editor, you will probably still need to edit your book, which would be horrible.

  • Interview A Few Editors

    Find a bunch of different editors. It’s not too difficult to find some. They’re normally hanging around Twitter or WordPress. Just search for editor in either websites search bar, and you’ll have a huge list to go from.

    Search through this list, and find about six or seven different editors you are considering. Contact them and send them a piece of your work and have them edit it. It’s easier if you give them all the same part since you can compare them easier, but personally, I like to give them each different parts and see if they can improve the work. If they’re not willing to do this, drop them like it’s hot. You don’t want anyone who won’t sample their work for you.

    See what they come back with. Swallow your pride, which is another enemy of the self-published author, and see if those tips and copyedits are really helpful. When you finally have two or three different editors you’re deciding on, give them a larger sample to make sure their quality is consistent. This one you’ll probably have to pay for.

  • Try to Find Someone Who Loves their Work and Takes Pride in the Books They Edit

    If you find someone who loves what they do and feels emotionally attached to every piece of work they perform, you’re going to find someone who is amazing and will give you their all. Isn’t that what you want? If you’re self-publishing, you can even tell them you’d like to add their name to the book. This will no doubt motivate them to do their best.

  • Try to Find Someone Who Really Loves Your Novel

    Above all, try your very best to find this person. If an editor loves what you write and loves what they do, then you’re going to have a really successful partnership. They’ll be so happy you’re offering them the chance to work with you and with a project this amazing! It’s tough finding someone who is going to love your work as much as you do, but they are out there. Don’t be fooled by flattery and settle for someone who leaves your work as is. Look for someone who wants to make your work shine.

  • Think Long-Term

    Find someone who matches your personality. This could be the start of a really long relationship, and you don’t want it to be a difficult one. Make sure you like the person.

If you follow all of the advice above and also look for someone professional and as punctual as you are, you’ll find a really great editor. By the way, I’m still in the process of interviewing editors. If you know of any goods one, please, comment below, and I’ll check them out.
 

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.

October 2, 2013 / anthonykzullo

The Greatest Enemies of a Self-Publishing Author

In this post, I wanted to talk about some of the internal things that can cause the self-destruction of  your career as an indie author.
 

1. Impatience

Impatience is the self-publisher’s enemy number one. Don’t try to sell your novel until you are 100% sure that you have something sellable and awesome.  I know this sounds horrible, and you’re probably thinking, “well my book can be decent, right?”  Wrong.  If you’re choosing to self-publish, you’re choosing to go around the many, many gatekeepers of the traditional publishing route, which means you can’t be sure of quality.

If you disagree with me or you just want to share your book without worrying about making a profit, then go right ahead and settle for decent.  Other people will recognize it’s only your average attempt just like you do.  And that is what they will think of you:  an average writer.  Sorry, but readers don’t always purchase books if they think you’re average.  Then instead of being given that opportunity to make a stunning first impression, you’re going to have to fight your way into changing their minds.

Bummer…

Patience is a virtue.  If you’re in this to make your dreams come true, wait.  No matter how long.  The value of a first impression is so important.  It’s already hard enough getting people to actually spend their hard earned money on your book when your as famous as your grandma.  Don’t turn them off by being impatient.

There are a lot of things that go into building a good book.  Here’s a few, but not all of them:

  • Writing Your Book
  • Rewriting Your Book
  • Editing Your Book
  • Getting Beta Readers
  • Getting Your Book Professionally Edited
  • Formatting Your Book
  • Getting a Good Cover
  • Publishing Your Book
  • Marketing Your Book

These aren’t simple things; they take time, effort, and energy.  You want to succeed, right?  Well, be patient and create the very best book that you can create.

How can you tell if it’s ready?  Let your beta readers read it.  Make sure they read the kind of genre your book falls into.  If you get enough positive feedback, it’s ready.

If not… wait.  Even if you’re sick of the story, it’s better to not publish and have something worthwhile than it is to publish something you would have wished you had waited on to begin with.

 

2. Pride

Don’t take reader criticism to heart. Most people don’t intentionally try to hurt your feelings. They just have their own opinion, and their opinion is important to them. And to you. If it helps your writing, don’t dismiss it. If it’s plain rude and mean, don’t reply.

It never looks good of an author to belittle anyway. You are building your online reputation, and you don’t want to be seen as an asshole. Only dildos and dicks like assholes, and sometimes, they don’t even like them. Be the bigger person and say nothing. Even if someone is intentionally trying to hurt your feelings, you shouldn’t give them the satisfaction.

Change your book and improve it.  Make yourself like it more.  You don’t have to necessarily follow everything everyone says, but when a lot of people tell you the same thing, they probably have a point.

And take it from me, sometimes negative criticism can really improve your work.  Really!  That one bit of negative feedback can make you really tighten up your plot.  It has for me.  Honestly, good critiques are awesome for your self-esteem, but not necessarily the best thing for your story.  You can’t improve something unless you know where it’s broken.

Don’t be prideful.  Fix it!
 

3. Procrastination

Or laziness. Self-discipline and passion are the two enemies of procrastination. Fight fire with fire and motivate yourself whenever you can, and when you can’t, just write anyway.  The best way to write and be successful as a writer is to write/edit everyday.  Do it and overcome procrastination.

It’s not an easy feat, but if your passion and your drive are stronger than procrastination, then you’ll accomplish it eventually.  Start out small with 100 words a day, and then next week do 200 words.  Keep going until you reach 1000 words.  Then 2000.  Or however many you feel you can commit to.

The difference between a professional writer and an amateur is that the professional keeps showing up.
 

4. Fear

This is the biggest enemy of all authors. Be brave. Write with all your heart and never look back.  No matter how scary it might be.  No matter what it takes.  Just show up.  Fear is evil.  It stops you from achieving your dreams before you even put pen to paper.  It causes doubt, worry, depression, and self-loathing, but it can always be overcome with will, bravery, and passion.

Believe in your dreams.  They are possible.
 

Here’s my list.  Do you think there are others?  Comment below with your thoughts.
 

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.

September 25, 2013 / anthonykzullo

Please Don’t Self-Publish Your First Draft

When I was younger, I hated the idea of editing. I think this thought probably derived from the fact that it took me so long to finally finish a first draft of something. I was just so happy that I was like, “Editing? I just finished a novel. Screw that!” But alas, editing is important. Because even though it feels awesome to have crossed that threshold of finishing your first draft of your first completed manuscript, remember:  if you want other people to love it too, you should go through a few more drafts.

I’m coming up with a pretty good process for my book, The Guardian’s Charge. So far, it looks like this:

  1. Write First Draft
  2. Rewrite the First Draft
  3. Edit Second Draft
  4. Rewrite Some More
  5. Get Beta Readers
  6. Rewrite Again
  7. Edit Again
  8. Give it to a PROFESSIONAL Editor
  9. Go through the Editor’s Edits
  10. Proofread

I’m currently on Steps 3 & 4.  Editing some parts and rewriting others.  As I go through the process, I’d love to share it with you in future blog posts, so you can hopefully learn from my journey as well.  While this is a time consuming process and not everyone should follow my personal formula for writing books, I feel it is absolutely necessary to do some form of rewriting/editing/proofreading before you self-publish.

In fact, I beg you:  PLEASE, DON’T SELF-PUBLISH YOUR FIRST DRAFT

You’re ruining every other self-published novels’ reputation by publishing your brain vomit before you turn it into art!  Seriously!  Self-published authors already have a bad reputation as it is, don’t be a part of the problem.  When a self-published novel has flimsy plot, weak characters, and multiple unforgivable grammar/spelling/typing mistakes, it reflects on all self-published authors.  Now I’m not saying don’t share it because you can share it.  On your own personal site, on Wattpad and its other similar sites, or on whatever.  Just don’t put it on Amazon and charge money for it until it’s a worthy product.

How can you tell if it’s a worthy product?  Have people read it that are into that genre and see what they tell you.  Not just your mom though.  As much as she loves it, you probably should give it to another pair of eyes.

You’ve spent a good amount of time on your first draft.  Now spend some time turning it into something extraordinary.

 

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.

September 20, 2013 / anthonykzullo

Writing Stories Hurts Your Heart

Fiction writing is a heart-wrenching process. Often, first time attempts at books don’t end up anywhere except for computer storage.

I remember when I first started trying to write them; it was hard every time I couldn’t finish. I would always get to a point in my story where I would lose interest in the characters, or I would write myself into such a humdrum of a plot that I wasn’t able to write myself out of it. These false-starts can hurt your self-esteem. They certainly did mine. It’s tough going. And then, when you finally finish a complete story, you show it to someone, and they don’t absolutely love it… It’s like a knife to the gut.

As writers, we use our minds to craft art from words; as storytellers, we pour our hearts and souls on the pages; and as novelists, we put our precious time into our creations. We put so much of ourselves on these pages and want people to love it, and when they don’t, it’s tough.

But that’s when you have to realize one thing. We are also artists, and it is almost without a doubt that artists struggle to create art. That struggle transforms your art into a magnificent piece of work with wings, but not every artist succeeds. In a worldly sense, anyway. But the artist lives for the art. Not the other way around. And in the face of possible rejection and possible dislike, we push on because it’s our passion.

We are writers, storytellers, novelists, and artists, and because of all those things, we are given a gift that others don’t have. We experience emotion in ways others can’t. We’re the first to enter worlds that no one has been to; we give birth to characters with a life of their own. And we’re a special group of people because of that.

So yes, sometimes novel writing hurts.

But in the end, there is a joy and satisfaction of overcoming those obstacles, and finally, knowing we are creators and masters of our own universe.

September 18, 2013 / anthonykzullo

6 Steps to Rewriting Your Novel

So the other day I did a post about why you should rewrite your novel.  Now I wanted to explain how to rewrite your novel, or at least, how I do it.

1.  The Not-so Obvious Step:  Finish Your Novel

Why is this step not-so obvious?  Well, I and many other aspiring authors, I’m sure, have gotten into the trap of editing or reading your first draft before you finish it.  Then we suddenly get demoralized since our first drafts suck, because they’re really just brain vomit right now; or worse, we give up the novel halfway through because we get sick of the story, or it feels like the story is too overwhelming!  If this hasn’t happened to you, consider yourself very fortunate.

I remember all too well the promising false starts with so much promise turning into absolute mush.  For everyone out there still struggling to finish their first draft, try not to read your story before you finish it.  And definitely, don’t try to rewrite it.

2.  Print Out that Beautiful First Draft

Hurray!  You did it!  Now you can print out that beautiful manuscript.  You have won, but the fun’s not over just yet.  Now comes the part where you turn that word vomit into real art!

3.  Wait!

Give yourself some time before you start the rewrite.  Your brain needs a rest from the work.  I like to give myself a couple months.  During this time, I get huge urges to rewrite it right away and make it sound all pretty, but then I bite my tongue and cheek and like Fat Amy say, “Nah… better not.”

What helped me during this last time was writing this other story that I was thinking about.  It was first person and vulgar, very different than what I was writing.  It was very fun though, and it helped me to pass the time between drafts.

4.  Read the Draft and Write Down Problems

After you’ve let enough time pass, then read your draft and make important comments like:  wrong eye color; bad dialogue; or what was I thinking?  You’re probably going to see some really juicy parts where you think, “Man, I’m a genius!”  It feels awesome.  But then you read those other parts.  The ones that you wouldn’t have been able to see so well if you had tried rewriting immediately.  Those parts make you want to give up and can even hurt your self-esteem as an author.  They make you want to bash your head in the table and say, “I’m never going to get this!”

No, you will!  Just believe!

5.  Retype Everything and Be Malleable

Now starts the rewriting process.  As you slowly make your way through the rewriting pile, all you need to do is go through your work a chunk at a time, then sit at your computer, read, and retype everything.  Give your mind another pass at the story!  Your story will improve because of it.

6.  Rewrite Again

A lot of your story will start to sound pretty decent now, but rewriting your story once won’t fix everything about it.  Now would be a good time to go through and do a quick edit.  Then, if you find passages that you still don’t like, rewrite them again!

Rewriting is an important part to getting the best novel that you need.  Read more about reasons why you should rewrite your first draft.

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.

September 13, 2013 / anthonykzullo

3 Reasons Why You Should Rewrite Your First Draft

After the first draft, some writers turn to editing right away, but for me and a lot of other writers, rewriting is actually a better option.  How so?  You might ask.  Here’s three reasons for you to consider rewriting your first draft before you start editing.

1.  The typical first draft of a novel is usually brain vomit

Yeah, it’s true.  First drafts of novels often are brimming with ugly inconsistencies, poor dialogue,  and brain farts.

Ugly Inconsistencies

This is when that blonde, side character you had in the beginning of the story suddenly becomes a brunette; or when you rename your character halfway through the book; or when your character has an English accent in the beginning and then an Australian accent in the end.  That’s when you’re rooted, mate!

Poor Dialogue

Need I say more?  Sometimes, when an author first writes a story, they struggle to let themselves slip into the character’s thought process, or they don’t really realize who the character is until the end of the book.

Big Tip:  Space travel in your novel?  Fine!  Superheroes saving the world in spandex?  Okay!  Necrophiliac  dark elves… sure, whatever!  But create poor dialogue, and you’ve killed the believability of your novel.  Fix it now.  Before you let it out in the world and kill your baby!

Brain Farts

What are brain farts in writing?  Well, they come in many forms:

  • Clichés

    When someone uses an overused phrase like, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

  • Get Out of Jail Free Card

    When at the end of a novel, a character gets out of a scenario without trying.  Like, “And since luck who have had it, that weird character from the beginning of the book was really Superman in disguise! “

  • Skimping on the Climax

    Don’t do it!  Every readers wants a satisfying climax that is worthy of the build up you created.  They want to be emotionally charged.  Make them laugh.  Make them cry.  Make them want to die.  In the end, just make them feel something that they don’t get to feel everyday.  Don’t just say.  “Then Arthur stabbed the dragon, and everyone was saved and lived happily ever after.”  That’s pathetic!

2.  Rewriting lets your brain fill in the gaps and helps your novel shine

When you read your first draft, don’t despair.  You can really turn that word vomit into art just by rewriting it!  Really!

Rewrites are very important.  They give your brain the chance to really go through each and every word that you’re crafting.  This way you can fix those plot holes and iron out that bad dialogue or poor character description.  Your brain gets another run with it and will do better the second time around.

3.  Some of the best authors rewrite

Garth Nix and Stephen King both rewrite their first drafts.  Learn from the great ones.  Rewriting is powerful!

So you might be wondering why rewrite when you can just edit it.  Editing is different.  The words are kind of stuck a certain way when they sit right in front of you, and often times, you’ll still want to follow the format, sentence structure, or wording that you’ve already created.  Rewriting lets the words be more malleable, and thus, you make them better.  First rewrite, then edit your heart out!

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.

September 11, 2013 / anthonykzullo

3 Tips to Start Writing Again

Get Back on that Horse and Write!

It happens to even the best writers. Maybe they got caught up in work and school. Maybe family priorities had pushed their stories to the wayside. Maybe they were probed and prodded by aliens, then ended up waking up in a hospital bed ten months later…

For whatever the reason, they stopped.

Recently, I took off from writing to pursue my other passion, computer programming. It was an intense two month long coding bootcamp that focused on Ruby and Rails, and though the class was fun, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to succeed in the class and continue writing so I was forced to take a break. That’s actually one of the reasons why I haven’t updated this blog so regularly.

Now, after two months, it’s intimidating to start again. Luckily for me, I’m deep into the editing process for my book, The Guardian’s Charge: Book I of the Bloodborn Series, yet still, there’s an feeling in the back of my mind that tries to prevent me from starting. It’s fear.

Let’s take a step back to when I first started writing this book, back in November 2012. That was my longest break from writing. I hadn’t written a story in eight years, but the interesting thing was that even though I was a bit rusty I wasn’t scared. No, rather it was freeing.

Soon I analyzed what was different between those times and came up with these really great tips that helped me start writing once again.

1. Pretend that You’re Going to Suck

You’re probably questioning my sanity when I say this, but this is actually a really effective tool at starting a project. Yes, really! Think about this. You sit with yourself and you think, “Hmmm… I want to do a good job so everyone will like my work.” Well, now you have all these expectations and desires to want to impress people. Do you really need other people’s approval for you to write a story?

Try changing your thinking to, “Well, this might turn out horribly, but I’m at least going to try my best and have fun with it.” Do you see what happens there? You switch your thoughts, and your desire isn’t with creating something awesome that everyone will like. No, your desire focuses on fulfilling something within yourself and having fun while doing it. Now you have no expectations about quality so you’re free to do anything.

2. Think It Out

If you keep promising yourself that you’re going to write something tomorrow and you never do, stop. For one week, or one month if you can do it, don’t even attempt to do any writing. In fact, forbid it. Just take a step for a moment and DON’T THINK about writing or editing. You’re not allowed to for this first week. Instead, focus on the story and playing with the story in your mind. Think about the plot, the characters, and the setting. Even take time out of your day just to sit and ponder about how everything connects. Eventually, you’ll be thinking about so many different ideas that you won’t be able to help yourself but want to write. From there, just let the story take you to somewhere special.

3. Inspire Yourself

Rather than focusing on writing, start to go out on adventures. Start listening to music and looking at art. Do this while you’re thinking about your story and some amazing ideas will come to mind.

The point of all this is to basically black out the fear in your mind. Don’t worry about what you’re going to create. Just be involved with the story. Let it be something that you love, something that you pour your heart into, and everything else will follow. At least, it did for me, and that’s how I was able to start writing again and now editing.

 

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.

July 29, 2013 / anthonykzullo

3 Tips on How to Become a Better Storyteller

What's your storyIn my last post, What is Art, I talked about how at the heart of any art piece is a story that the audience must either be told or helped to interpret.  In this post, I wanted to give you some tips on how to tell a better story, not just through writing but through any medium.  So here are three steps listed below on how you can improve your piece of art.

1. Know Your Medium

To be a better storyteller, you have to know the ins and outs of the medium that you’re working with. You should understand the intricacies of the craft no matter what that is. For writing, that would mean you need to understand grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary. For music and dance, this could be rhythm, tempo, and harmony. Whatever medium you choose, it is of utmost importance to learn your tool set. Without it, people will be more focused on the flaws versus what is done well.

2. Engage the Senses

In order to tell a better story, you have to show it more, and the only way for you to do that is by engaging your audience’s senses. How do you engage their senses?

Well, it depends on the medium. With music and painting, where the viewer or listener has to interpret the piece, one should use contrast in color and rhythm. This contrast is what the viewer is going to notice. For movies, you also use color, but you also use sound and movement to engage your audience. Now, with novels where you are told the story, you have to use your words to create imagery. Write about her feathery touch that tickled his skin, or the way that the blood on the moon burned against the night, and etc.

3. Engage the Emotions

After you have studied your craft and engaged your readers senses, you now have the skills necessary to conjure different emotions from your audience. Now this is the most powerful thing you can do. It’s the one thing that will set your piece a part from all the rest and will make your piece memorable.

For pictures, you do this through color and through what you focus on in the piece, whether its a gun or someone crying. Movies also rely on color but also use music to set a mood along with a number of other different tools. In writing, you do this through theme, plot, and characterization. You use different characters and different actions to engage your readers’ emotions but only after engaging their senses.
Of course, not everyone will be able to drum someone’s emotions or engage someone’s senses through their first piece, but through continuous practice and persistence, they can get closer and closer. And with every piece they create, they’ll be able to tell a better story.

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.

July 25, 2013 / anthonykzullo

What is Art

TImagehere are so many different pieces of art out there: novels, paintings, movies and more.  All of which are products that are produced with different mediums, like writing, music, and film.  So a thought crossed my mind today.  What connects these different pieces and mediums?  What exactly do they all have that defines them as art?  When does a doodle become a painting and a string of words become a short story?

What is art?

To me, at the heart of all these pieces, is a story.  For novels and movies, it’s clear that the artist wants to take you on a journey, and they do so with words, pictures, or sounds.  For a sculpture or a painting, it’s different.  The artist has created a piece of a story, like a character or some setting, and it’s the job of the viewer to interpret what the story is supposed to be.  Music and poetry can do differing amounts of both.

So what is art?  I would argue that most, if not all, pieces of art are byproducts of a story, and the story is at the heart of every piece.

But then comes the question.  How do you improve a piece of art?  How do you become a better storyteller?  Well, the answer to that question is the topic of my next post:  3 Tips on How to Become a Better Storyteller.

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.