Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stephen King's "On Writing"

     In an effort to make my reading more palpable to all of you, I grit my teeth and purchased this memoir/writing aide and have read it cover to cover now. And I have to say... it's not that bad. What I was expecting was a whole lot different than what I got. The lofty author who holds it high above your head just doesn't exist with Stephen.

     The first part of the book tells snippets of his life, from his earliest memory to some of his favorites. He goes through several tidbits on writing as he recounts tales of (mis)deeds past and goes so far as to advise you on how to make sure your writing is three-dimensional.
     Some of his tips I had already been doing, but some of them have wildly revised the way I write. I am in the process now if you haven't noticed, of taking older stories and rewriting them to bb better reads for you. Bookworm Redux was the first to undergo such a treatment, and while it really only received a light brush over, some of my stories will be gutted and redone like the proverbial fish on the docks.
     This will be my fourth year on this blog, generating stories for your amusement. For those of you that have left comments telling me what you like, thank you. For those of you that merely read and move on, thank you as well.
    Now, as for On Writing, if you are a prospective author, really for any genre, you need to get a hold of this book and give it a read. He jokes, he tells stories and he shares secrets. Keep in mind the book was written in 1999, right around the time he was hit by the van (which he actually recounts in the book) so none of his newer stories are mentioned.
     He does go into length about writing Carrie and how he had a hard time connecting with the main character. This I think we can all relate to, and it's refreshing to hear such a kingpin of fictional writing admit such a foible. He does write how he got over it (through several entertaining anecdotes) and tells us how important it is to have emotional support while writing, as it can be a tough game. Like him, I have a wife that is very supportive, and I thank the dark gods that sleep that she came into my life.
     He includes a slice of poetry into the book, something his wife wrote and read when they first met at a gathered writers club at the college they were both attending. It's a heavily metaphorical piece that alludes to many historical facts that would be lost on most listeners. Hell, some of them were lost on me and I have a degree in History! But he goes on to praise her for the style in which she writes, despite it being an unpopular style at the time.
     I can dig that.
     Now, I do believe I've spent enough time waxing on about Stephen King's book and not enough time writing something new for you all to chew on. All these novel chapters, while hopefully fun and all, do not bring the true fear into the picture the way that a short story can. I think we need another short story around here...

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