Saturday, 2 September 2017

On Writing: by Stephen King

I have been reading more non-fiction books this year and the highlight so far has definitely been On Writing, which I was bought for my birthday. It's a fascinating insight into how one of the greatest writers of our time works and I think it will appeal even to people who don't have an interest in writing fiction. 

The first half is a 'writing CV' which is a mini-memoir of the writing related moments in King's life. I actually ended up enjoying this more than the writing types as it was so interesting. However, the writing tips were also extremely useful and I made a lot of changes to my editing process as a result. In particular, the marked up 'edited chapter' King includes at the end of the book was such an invaluable thing to see. I cut a lot of words out of my WIP after reading it (including a lot - but not all - of the adverbs!)

One of the things I found most fascinating, however, was that King doesn't plan his novels. As someone who has recently completed a Faber course on plot in an attempt to get her head around planning, I found this both interesting and surprising. King likens his writing process to an archaeological excavation; carefully uncovering a story that's already there. 

While I don't think everything King suggests is right for me and my writing process, I've taken away a lot of helpful advice and I can't recommend this novel enough as a result.  

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