Recently finished Stephen King’s On Writing….fantastic! In his usual way, King captures your attention from page one, line one. This is like no other book on writing I have read, freshly presented and reads like a story. Which in many ways, it is. The first part of the book focuses on King’s life to date, which I found fascinating. I’ve always been a fan of his work, ever since I would sneak his books out of my Dad’s ‘locked’ briefcase. My Dad hated that…but not because I was reading stuff that would scare the crud out of me. My Dad was a s-l-o-w reader and hated the thought of someone else reading his book before he was done. Well, I had little patience for that! How can anyone wait weeks, months (I did mention he was a slow reader, right?) to get her eager little paws on the newest Stephen King Scriller (thriller with maximum scare)?? Yep, I invented that wordfolks. You read it here first. Scriller. Sorry, back to King’s book. Learning more about his upbringing and adventures was great. Helps you get a glimpse of when and maybe how his creative juices started to flow.
Second part of the book – thoughts on writing. Not a strict how-to guide by any means, which is great. There are enough superb books that walk you through dialogue, plot, scene formation…this book simply tells you how to write. Meaning, some ways that have worked for Mr. King. And really, if it works for Stephen King – why wouldn’t you try it?
I tried one suggestion right away. Instead of a five day write week, I moved to a six day write week. He writes every day, every day. He gives beginning writers some wiggle room – you can take a day off if need be. Moving to six days really kept me more focused. I didn’t have to spend the first day or two (after my usual two day break) to get back into character(s). My day “off” – maybe not writing scenes, but certainly still thinking about and jotting notes on the story.
Moral of this post – you may want to pick up King’s book. Nothing too scary in this one, so you won’t lose sleep. But you will gain insight. And that’s never a bad thing.