October 28, 2022•Writing
Writing advice from Stephen King
I stumbled upon this advice from a book by Stephen King called "Stephen King on Writing". Here is a recap of the best pieces of advice from the man himself:
- If you want to be a writer, read and write a lot.
- Stories consist of three parts:
- Narration: moves the story from point A to B
- Description: creates sensory reality for the reader
- Dialog: brings characters to life through speech
- The situation comes first - the characters unfeatured to start with come next
- 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 most interesting situation can usually be expressed as a "what-if" question.
- The best stories always end up being about people rather than the event
- With a passive verb, something is being done to the subject of the sentence. The subject is just letting it happen. You should avoid passive tense.
- Talk, whether ugly or beautiful, is an index of character.
- Description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's.
- The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
- Use simple words - never use "emolument" when you mean "tip"
- Set a daily writing goal - as with physical exercise, it would be best to set the goal low at first. I suggest a thousand words a day.
- 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 if for joy, you can do it for ever.