October 28, 2022Writing

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:

  1. If you want to be a writer, read and write a lot.
  2. Stories consist of three parts:
    1. Narration: moves the story from point A to B
    2. Description: creates sensory reality for the reader
    3. Dialog: brings characters to life through speech
  3. The situation comes first - the characters unfeatured to start with come next
  4. 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
  5. The most interesting situation can usually be expressed as a "what-if" question.
  6. The best stories always end up being about 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. You should avoid passive tense.
  8. Talk, whether ugly or beautiful, is an index of 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. Use simple words - never use "emolument" when you mean "tip"
  12. 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.
  13. Call that one person you write for "ideal reader". He or she is going to be in your writing room all the time.
  14. If you can do if for joy, you can do it for ever.
Share post: