Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gems From ABOUT WRITING--Stephen King

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite gems I gleamed in Stephen King's ABOUT WRITING. Hope you enjoy:

  • Adverbs, like passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind.
  • The road to hell is paved in adverbs.
  • To write adverbs is human; to write he said she said is divine.
  • Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes.
  • Narration moves the story; description creates sensory reality; dialogue brings characters to life.
  • Plot is the writer's jackhammer.
  • Plot is the good writer's last resort and the dullard's first choice.
  • Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story.
  • Thin description leaves the reader feeling bewildered and nearsighted. Over description buries him in details and images.
  • Locale and texture are much more important to the reader's sense of actually being in the story than any physical description of the players.
  • One of the cardinal rules of good fiction is never tell us a thing if you can show us, instead.
  • Good fiction always begins with story and progresses to theme; it almost never begins with theme and progresses to story.
  • The most important things to remember about back story are – everyone has a history – most of it isn't very interesting. Stick to the parts that are, and don't get carried away with the rest.
  • When you step away from the "write what you know" rule, research becomes inevitable, and it can add a lot to your story. Just don't end up with the tail wagging the dog; remember that you are writing a novel, not a research paper. The story comes first.
Write Every Day!


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