Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On Writing

I'm working my way through Stephen King's On Writing.

The first portion had me laughing out loud.

About half-way through the book (and I'm only slightly farther than that now) some ideas about writing began to sift through to my brain. Not all of them were stunners. I mean, I've heard them before. But the fact that Stephen King said them gives them some kind of ethereal glow.

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot."

Since lunacy grabbed be by the neck a few days ago, I've been fighting with my ├╝ber-ugly writing progress with Nanowrimo. It isn't pretty, but I am writing more than before.

Reading is the easy one for me. Plain and simple, if I don't have something I'm currently reading, and at least a few things waiting to be read . . . well, thankfully that's never happened. I'm afraid I would be sent away for a very, very long time. But hey, as long as they had books. . . .

Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day. Every day. I know of writers who write far more than that, and I'm sitting here watching the words appear on screen of a writer who writes far less than that. (Which would explain why I'm woefully behind with the Nano project.) ". . . but only under dire circumstances do I allow myself to shut down before I get my 2,000 words."

And here is one of my favorite quotes, and one that I'm struggling with learning now, because as King explains it, it pretty much goes against plotting.

The question is, once a writer sets a goal and creates the space to write, what do they write about? King's answer? "Anything at all . . . AS LONG AS YOU TELL THE TRUTH."

Regarding plotting? ". . . I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren't compatible." King tells me that my job as the writer is to give the story the opportunity to grow and reach its full potential. I merely record what I see.

Where can I get some of that magic dust?

You know what I'm reading. You know what I'm working on. That felt like I was writing something along the lines of "I know who you are and I saw what you did."

It's all better with friends.

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