Here are just a few bits of advice on writing from Stephen King. Most of these 22 tips for writers are excerpted from Stephen’s book On Writing.
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
The scariest moment is always just before you start.
You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.
Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic.
If the stuff that you’re writing is not for yourself, it won’t work.
Stories consist of three parts: narration, description, and dialogue.
The situation comes first. The characters—always flat and unfeatured to begin with—come next.
The most interesting situations can usually be expressed as a what-if question.
Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like The Lord of the Rings, the work is always accomplished one word at a time.
The best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event.
Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.
A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar,
Talk, whether ugly or beautiful, is an index of character.
Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.
Avoid the passive tense.
The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
Never use “emolument” when you mean “tip.”
Set a daily writing goal. I suggest a thousand words a day.
Write enough stories and every shadow on the floor looks like a footprint; every line in the dirt like a secret message.
Call that one person you write for Ideal Reader. He or she is going to be in your writing room all the time.
If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.
When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat.
Excerpted from Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2sHVmuT
About John Kremer
John Kremer is author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, the Relationships Matter Marketing program, and many other books and reports on book marketing, Internet marketing, social media, and book publicity. -- John Kremer on Book Marketing.
It makes good sense – to write good material, you must have read a lot of good material to know what looks good.
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