One of this Generation’s Best Writers on Writing

“Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”

“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story…When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.”

“I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe. Imagine if you like, Frankenstein’s monster on its slab. Here comes lightening, not from the sky but from a humble paragraph of English words. Maybe it’s the first really good paragraph you wrote, something so fragile and yet full of possibility that you are frightened. You feel as Victor Frankenstein must have when the dead conglomeration of sewn-together spare parts suddenly opened its watery yellow eyes. Oh my God, it’s breathing, you realize. Maybe it’s even thinking. What in hell’s name do I do next?”

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. …If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. …Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”

“Some of this book—perhaps too much—has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it—and perhaps the best of it—is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”

“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair–the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.”

~Quotes from Stephen King, in his book, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”

Source: Wikiquote

Posted on June 5, 2009, in Authors, Creativity, Details, Humor, Mystery, Relevance, Story and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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