Let's Make a ZINE!
How to Write a Zine
There's a subtle difference between making a zine, and writing/creating it. If you've read the guide on "how to make a zine (mini magazine)" you'll have plenty of great ideas on how to get started in the zine scene, how to individualize and put it all together, distribute and promote it.
So how do you write a zine? This will come down to your style. If you are producing a text-based zine, the way you write up the content that goes into the zine is vital. Content with substance that offers something of real interest to the reader is going to make your zine stand out from the hundreds of others.
Figure out your style.In a perzine (a predominantly personal zine), the zinester takes pen to paper or types outpourings from their heart in the way of journal entries, poetry or fun personal snippets. Perzines can be a chance to be indulgent, creative and expressive. Or you might be putting together a music, art and fashion zine where you interview a bunch of people who inspire you, who are doing cool things in the world, or locally. Or maybe you're writing a niche theme, on a particular topic such as sport, feminism, love, art n' craft, veganism or chocolate cakes. Maybe Nannas united for knitting, or hardcore fans of jack Russel terriers. So pick a style and go to it!
Now that you have your style, you want to brainstorm all the ideas you have for your zine.Put on some funky music and write whatever springs to mind. Have fun with this process, allow your heart and mind unadulterated creativity and be open.
It's time for picking which subject matter you really want to include in your zine.Try to narrow it down a little so you have enough material for your zine and a basic foundation for all your content.
This is the exciting part.Begin lining up your interviews! Or writing your stories, poems, making your art. Just get started on it and don't worry about making it perfect.
Pick one thing at a time to complete before moving onto the next thing, or if you're great at multi-tasking, work on a couple things simultaneously!This can be great to get the creative juices flowing.
If you've interviewed some people, or been to see some live music/films and are writing reviews, it's now writing time.Be inspired when you write these, let it flow naturally and you can edit later. Use some great 'hook lines' to grab the reader's attention and make sure you don't waffle on too much. Make it interesting!
Be descriptive.Use your senses. How do things look, feel, smell or taste? Get creative and show, don't tell.
So all your material is written up and ready to go.Make sure to proof-read or choose someone with fresh eyes.
Be open to constructive criticism on the content itself.But remember, it's your zine.
When laying out your zine, make it visually appealing in a way that's personal to you.Content, then layout.
It's a good idea to make the cover last.That way the zine is now 'alive' and you'll have a lot of fun designing a cool front cover.
Create the kind of zine you would love to read yourself.Have fun with this, your personal work of art, and remember - zines are powerful! They're a powerful platform from which to express ideas, inspire others or simply a great therapeutic tool for you as the writer. Make your zine count.
- Inspire readers to action, new ways of seeing the world, to feel better about themselves and their lives, to be courageous, alive.
- Inspire readers to own their feelings and get in touch with their imaginations, their power, their love.
- Pick an emotion and write about it. What pisses you off, blesses you out, makes you feel elated or freaked out.
- Stream of consciousness writing - write whatever comes to mind!Don't judge it, just let it flow. This can be wonderful
- Encourage self-expression. What better way than on paper, bundled into a cute, crazy zine?
- Inspire others to make zines!
- Write down your dreams! Then interpret them.
- Be discrete with the use of people's names if you are upset or angry with a person or situation. By all means, express and vent but don't name and shame. Be respectful no matter what.
- Remember your personal boundaries! Pour your heart out but respect yourself as well. Don't give out too much info.
- Never put yourself down in any real way, remember how awesome and beautiful you are.
- Free speech is what zines are all about. But watch out for personal prejudice in your zine. Make sure not to perpetuate small-minded views that may offend and hurt others.
Things You'll Need
Your heart, mind and fingers!
Creativity, dedication, passion and desire
A sprinkling of love
Paper and pens
A computer and printer
someone to proof-read
an animal (or friend) to keep your company whilst writing your zine.
(Optional) some yummy biscuits and drink of your choice.
Video: How To: Zines
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