Writers listen up: Stephen King has some tips to share with us!
Any writer knows how difficult it can be to start/continue/finish (delete as applicable) a book. Fear no more nights of grinding your teeth and pulling out your hair as the great and prolific writer Mr King has some words of wisdom he’d like to share.
Some may seem obvious but we often need reminding of the simple things we can do to make our writing lives easier.
1. If you want to be a writer you must do two things: READ a lot and WRITE a lot
2. Stories consist of three parts: Narration– moves the story from point to point, Description– creates sensory reality, and Dialogue– brings characters to life.
3. The situation comes first– the characters come second.
4. Whether it is a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like Lord of the Rings– the work is always accomplished one word at a time.
5. The most interesting situations could always be described as a ‘what if..?’ question.
6. The best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event.
7. With a passive verb something is being done to the subject of the sentence- the subject is just letting it happen. Avoid passive tense.
8. Talk, whether ugly or beautiful, is the index of a character
9. Description begins in the writer’s imagination but should finish in the reader’s.
10. The road to hell is paved with adverbs…
11. Never use ’emolument’ when you mean ‘tip’.
12. Set a daily writing goal- as with physical exercise it would be good to set this low at first- I suggest a thousand words a day.
13. Call that one person you write for your Ideal Reader. They will be in your writing room all the time.
14. If you can do it for joy– you can do it forever.