Sunday, June 26, 2011
Stephen King's Advice to Writers
Many great books on writing exist, and we writers have read a lot of them. Some are intensely practical, like Dorothea Brande's Becoming a Writer. Some are more esoteric and amusing, such as Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. And some (or most) are part biography, part bragging-rights, and part actual help, like Stephen King's On Writing.
Stephen King may not be everyone's cup o' tea. He's not necessarily mine. I've read two of his books, both long ago. Salem's Lot scared the bejeebers out of me so badly during my freshman year of college that I refused to walk the campus at night...at all. Even accompanied. Period. For about three months. I liked Skeleton Key much better. A collection of short stories, not all of which were horror, it interested and intrigued me, even if I'm not a great fan of science fiction which was the secondary genre represented.
But King has also written several articles about writing that can be immensely helpful to writers, especially for beginning writers who are seeking to be published for the first time. I ran across such an article and thought you might like to peruse it: "Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully: In Ten Minutes."
I have recently made a promise to an old friend from elementary school with whom I just re-connected on Facebook: he would read the Harry Potter series if I read King's Under the Dome. So I'm adding it to my list of books to read this summer...yes, even though it's King.
And I may pull out my copy of On Writing and give it another read. It's definitely one of the best books out there on writing. King has a gift for telling humorous stories that we rarely see within his usual horror genre, and On Writing is chock-full of such stories.
In writerly friendship,