I think most of us who either read or write short stories, and novels would agree that Stephen King is an amazing writer with many of his novels becoming box office smashes, and television miniseries.
I have often wondered while writing myself, what in the world goes on in Mr. King’s mind when he writes. His imagination is superb, describing every little detail, pulling the reader inside the story as if you were a part of what’s happening But for now, I think all of us who wonder what goes on in such a mastermind of writing will have to keep guessing.
But with writing 49 novels, and everyone of them becoming bestsellers, with earnings in the high millions, is quite an accomplishment. Mr. King’s success makes me to try and strive to be the best writer I can. As with any writer, all of us strive to set goals for ourselves, to be the best that we can, and to be able to deliver great readable stories for many to enjoy.
Below is a list of twenty tips, quoted by Stephen King for writers to consider when they write. I hope this information is helpful for those that have not read his book, On Writing.
1. “I’ve written because it fulfilled me. Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side–I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”
2. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.”
3. “You can’t please all of the readers all of the time; you can’t please even some of the readers all of the time, but you really ought to try to please at least some of the readers some of the time.”
4. “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.”
5. “I remember an immense feeling of possibility at the idea, as if I had been ushered into a vast building with closed doors and had been given leave to open any I liked. There were more doors than one person could ever open in a lifetime, I thought (and still think).”
6. “If you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far.”
7. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
8. “Put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”
9. “All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing is the purest distillation.”
10. “Paragraphs are almost always as important for how they look as for what they say; they are maps of intent.”
11. “Writing is refined thinking.”
12. “Write with the door closed, and rewrite with the door open.”
13. “We need to experience the mediocre and the outright rotten; such experience helps us to recognize those things when they begin to creep into our own work, and to steer clear of them.”
14. “This isn’t the Ouija board or the spirit-world we’re talking about here, but just another job like laying pipe or driving long-haul trucks.”
15. “ We've all heard someone say, ‘Man, it was so great (or so horrible/strange/funny) … I just can’t describe it!’ If you want to be a successful writer, you must be able to describe it, and in a way that will cause your reader to prickle with recognition.”
16. “Not a week goes by that I don’t receive at least one pissed-off letter (most weeks there are more) accusing me of being foulmouthed, bigoted, homophobic, murderous, frivolous, or downright psychopathic.”
17. “There are lots of would-be censors out there, and although they may have different agendas, they all want basically the same thing: for you to see the world they see… or to at least shut up about what you do see that’s different. They are the agents of the status quo.”
18. “Try any goddamn thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn't toss it.”
19. “You undoubtedly have your own thoughts, interests, and concerns, and they have arisen, as mine have, from your experiences and adventures as a human being. . . . You should use them in your work.”
20. “While it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one.”