You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Stephen King’ tag.

notes-514998_640In his book, On Writing, Stephen King talks about four different types of writers: Great, Good, Competent, and Bad. He also makes the argument that a Bad writer can’t move up to competent, and a Good writer can’t become great. His term is fuhgeddiboudit. Great writers, such as Shakespeare and Faulkner, seem to be born with the divine gift of creating magic from words.

That seems discouraging. Writers should aspire for greatness. If you don’t want to be at the top of your game, why write?

King does feel that Competent writers can with diligence and effort become Good writers. That was his silver lining.

I see an even larger silver lining. If we accept his premise that Good writers can’t be Great writers because Great writers are born that way, there’s still a lot that can be done.

First, how will you discover the greatness within you unless you write? Even Shakespeare had to learn to spell, Faulkner had to practice grammar. So don’t use the excuse that you will never be a Great writer as a reason not to write. Exercise the belief that you will be a great writer, and it just may come true.

Next, even if it doesn’t happen, working at the craft of writing to make it so will definitely improve your writing. King believes that Competent writers can become Good writers. More than that, there just isn’t one type of Good writer. There are lots of different levels within that broad category. Think of it as military rank. There are officers and enlisted men, but within each of those categories, there are varying ranks.

You can move from a Competent writer to a Good writer as King says, but you can also move from a barely Good writer to a very Good writer. You may never reach the level of Great writer, but continually working to develop and hone your skills will allow you to nestle just beneath the level of Great writer.

We should all seek to be the Avis of writers. We’re no. 2, but we try harder.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

KingTypewriterphpHere are Stephen King’s top tips for writers. It all starts with the first line. “An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this,” King said in an interview in The Atlantic.

I’ve included link to the list here. Some of my favorite ones are:

You need to write the story that you want first and then worry about getting it right. He said, “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.”

Turn off your television. It’s a distraction. Your TV can be your reward for when you accomplish your writing goal for the day. Besides, the book is always better than the movie so why have the movie on to be your inspiration while you’re writing. On the flip side, he says, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

King says that a first draft should be written in three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season,” King said. This is where having a good outline will come in handy.

“You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience,” King said. I find this hard to do with the schedule I keep, but it is soooooo worth it. It is like reading your book for the first time. You’ll catch a lot of errors to be fixed and improvements that can be made.

So read through the list and see which ones are gems for you.

Get 3 FREE E-books!

Sign up for my newsletter using the link above and you will get copies of Canawlers, October Mourning, and The Rain Man for FREE.
Follow Whispers in the Wind on WordPress.com

Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,896 other followers