Hey folks! I’m Zach Godin – web designer by day, writer by night. For those of you who know me, thanks for putting up with “HEY READ THIS” every few weeks. For those who don’t, why not get to know me (as a writer) through the magic of Tumblr-styled quizzes:
01: When did you first start writing?
I’ve honestly enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. What really kicked the passion into overdrive was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I saw the movie with my dad when it came out since he loved the books as a kid. After the movie, I started reading the books and coming up with my own universe (admittedly a very obvious HHGTTG rip-off, nonetheless).
02: What was your favorite book growing up?
Aside from the obvious Hitchhiker’s Guide, I was very much into Harry Potter. I was also a huge fan of manga growing up, which shaped a lot of my storytelling (negatively, admittedly – I will address this in a later post).
03: Are you an avid reader?
I try to be. I currently work two jobs (web design at an agency and freelance design), so when I can, I read as much as I can.
04: Have you ever thrown a book across the room?
I can’t say I have.
05: Did you take writing courses in school/college?
I took Writer’s Craft in high school. It was a fantastic course, but I was always encouraged to write stories that weren’t sci-fi or fantasy, which admittedly didn’t work for me at the time.
06: Have you read any writing-advice books?
Books, no. I wholly recommend any writers of any experience listen to Writing Excuses though. Absolutely fantastic podcast.
07: Have you ever been part of a critique group?
I joined a local writing group, but I had a few issues with it and never went back.
08: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
Not feedback per se, but I had a short story get published in a nationwide student anthology for short stories. I didn’t win the contest, but it was validating to me. It made me happy to know I might be onto something with writing.
09: What’s the worst piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
“Needs work” Like…okay, but what specifically needs work?
10: What’s your biggest writer pet-peeve?
Realizing your own plotholes 3000 words into a writing session. Nothing kills your motivation like writing a few thousand words only to realize this entire scene was negated by a conversation four chapters back.
11: What’s your favorite book cover?
Haruki Murakami’s Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage
12: Who is your favorite author?
I always find this to be an unfair question, so I’m going to give my top 6: Haruki Murakami, Douglas Adams, Philip K. Dick, China Mieville, Douglas Coupland, and Diana Wynne Jones.
13: What’s your favorite writing quote?
“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway
14: What’s your favorite writing blog?
I don’t have a blog I frequent, unless /r/writing, /r/fantasywriting and /r/writingprompts on reddit count.
15: What would you say has inspired you the most?
The stories I write tend to inspire me to write more. I also enjoy the notion that one day I’ll wake up and instead of go to the office, go to my computer and write all day.
16: How do you feel about movies based on books?
Perfectly fine if done right.
17: Would you like your books to be turned into TV shows, movies, video games, or none?
I’ve obviously thought about it, but I have too many conditions for it to ever work.
18: How do you feel about love triangles?
Lazy plot filler.
19: Do you prefer writing on a computer or longhand?
Computer. I can get my thoughts out faster.
20: What’s your favorite writing program?
Typora. It’s bullshit free.
21: Do you outline?
I give myself a general outline and write as I go.
22: Do you start with characters or plot?
Plot. I find the characters tend to create themselves from it.
23: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of making characters?
Favourite: Seeing how they evolve naturally. I’ve written a few characters that have surprised me.
Least Favourite: Working on making them all individual. Sometimes I feel like I write the same character 8 times.
24: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of plotting?
Favourite: Building a world around the plot
Least Favourite: Writing plotholes
25: What advice would you give to young writers?
Know the risks. You’ll be inside your head a lot. If you’re not willing to lose your mind a little, you’re not ready to write.
26: Which do you enjoy reading the most: physical, ebook, or both?
27: Which is your favorite genre to write?
Science Fiction, because of how broad of a genre it is.
28: Which do you find hardest: the beginning, the middle, or the end?
29: Which do you find easiest: writing or editing?
Editing, since I come to realize how little ends up being usable.
30: Have you ever written fan-fiction?
Yes, tons of Naruto and Pokemon fanfiction as a kid.
31: Have you ever been published?
32: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?
Friends read my work all the time. Relatives not so much.
33: Are you interested in having your work published?
Is the Space Pope reptilian?
34: Describe your writing space.
It shifts between the bus, my desk or the bathtub.
35: What’s your favorite time of day for writing?
Early morning before anyone is awake. Especially if I’m still waking up.
36: Do you listen to music when you write?
Yes, it keeps me focused.
37: What’s your oldest WIP?
Liberateurs du Ciel.
38: What’s your current WIP?
I have a few, but the primary one I’m writing is Slaked his Mind Became.
39: What’s the weirdest story idea you’ve ever had?
My stories are, by nature, weird.
40: Which is your favorite original character, and why?
Grail Claw from Those Who Loan Spells. I can’t say why though. That will come in time.
41: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline?
Change the outline, though I never outline too far ahead anyway.
42: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?
Who doesn’t like pushing their characters to the end?
43: Have you ever killed a main character?
44: What’s the weirdest character concept you’ve ever come up with?
A crane that’s a time-travelling loan shark.
45: What’s your favorite character name?
46: Describe your perfect writing space.
47: If you could steal one character from another author and make then yours, who would it be and why?
I’m honestly not sure.
48: If you could write the next book of any series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?
I don’t think I’d be qualified to do this, so I won’t answer now.
49: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?
China Mieville without a doubt.
50: If you could live in any fictional world, which would it be?
Besźel from The City and The City by China Mieville.