Evening in the Country...

Evening in the Country...
...a gorgeous view of the WV mountains I get to enjoy everyday. Also the place Bri proposed earlier this year! [Not taken on that day.]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stephen King "On Writing"

     Until On Writing, I have never read a Stephen King book.  I know it is nearly impossible to believe, maybe not to some, but I have gone more than twenty-five and a half years reading hundreds upon hundreds of books, not one has been Mr. King's. 

     Now - I am addicted.  He is a fabulous writer.  His imagination is wild and On Writing showcases how his stories materialize onto paper.  He is honest, direct, and above all, he is extremely smart.  After I closed this book for the last time, I came to the conclusion, and I am being bold here, that Stephen King is the epitome of all writers, past, present, and beyond. 

     I love how King enjoys writing about his three children and his wife.  He holds Tabitha, his wife, to a high degree and sees her, and only her, as his audience.  He loves being married and he loves being a father.  His gratitude for them is loving and makes you appreciate his work even more. 

Here are a few of my fav snippets (it isn't easy to keep it short, it may need a second post):

  • "Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much abotu what they do - not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.  I figured the shorter the book, the less the bullshit."
  • "...my attempt to show how one writer was formed.  Not how one writer was made; I don’t believe writers can be made, either by circumstances or by self-will...The equipment comes with the original package."
  • "...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."
  • "It’s worked.  Our marriage has outlasted all of the world’s leaders except for Castro, and if we keep talking, arguing, making love, and dancing to the Ramones, it’ll probably keep working."
  • "And whenever I see a first novel dedicated to a wife (or husband), I smile and think, There’s someone who knows.  Writing is a lonely job.  Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference.  They don’t have to make speeches.  Just believing is usually enough."
  • "Remember that the basic rule of vocabulary is use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful.  If you hesitate and cogitate, you will come up with another word - but it probably won’t be as good as your first one, or as close to what you really mean."
  • "...sometimes even a monster is no monster.  Sometimes it’s beautiful and we fall in love with all that story, more than any film or TV program could ever hope to provide.  Even after a thousand pages we don’t want to leave the world the writer has made for us, or the make-believe people who live there.  You wouldn’t leave after two thousand pages, if there were two thousand."
  • "In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time.  We are encouraging our minds to unlock form the the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives."
  • "You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot.  The most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself."
  • "Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative one.  The water is free. So drink.
        Drink and be filled up."
     The last quote was a realization for me.  I have been waiting to create some sort of television-inspired magic for years.  All this time it's right at my fingertips, leading up to my brain, where you walk up, down, and all around a million stairs until you reach imagination.  No, Figment is not there, but lots of other things are hanging around.  Ones screaming to be released. 

     That is right now, and later.  Tomorrow I will arrive at the library for one of King's earlier novels, maybe the one about gunslinger, or something from that collection.  Or I could finish one of the other thirty books I already have from the library...

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