The Master of Horror, Stephen King, knows a thing or two about rejection. He also knows a thing or two about resiliency. Here’s what he has to say on writing.
Stephen King knows a lot about writing. He’s sold over 350 million books and written well over 60. Most of these becoming national bestsellers.
His memoir, “On Writing,” was written right after a near-fatal car accident. And King lays it all out in this book. His battles, his losses, and successes. Here’s some advice he wrote for aspiring writers.
Don’t Write With Fear
King writes that fear is one of the principal causes of bad writing. Specifically, the fear of upsetting people by writing truthfully.
To be a good writer, you need to push that to the side. “Your days as a member of polite society are numbered,” King writes.
The Road to Hell is Paved With Adverbs
Adverbs can kill a story. Leave them out, they aren’t necessary. King urges writers to avoid words ending in ‘ly.’ Sadly, Angrily, Extremely. They don’t need to be there.
Write that “he was sad.” The reader doesn’t need “extremely sad.” The story up until that point should tell you how sad he was. If you need a lot of adverbs, you aren’t writing a compelling story.
Don’t Write Pretentiously
“Don’t search for long words, because you’re ashamed of the small ones,” King writes. This makes you sound pretentious.
You’re telling a story. The idea is to get the reader lost. Nothing brings them out of a dreamworld quicker than misplaced words. Especially long and over-indulgent words.
Write For Yourself First
When you first start writing, just write. Get rid of all other distractions. Get rid of all the things you think should be in your novel.
“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,”Stephen King
Start writing first. Then you can go back and edit the sections that don’t fit.
King also urges writers to turn the TV off. Avoid distraction. Get lost in the world you’re writing about. If you can’t get lost it, your reader won’t be able to.
Good writing comes from within. It comes from writing without fear. It comes from hard work and dedication. Always be reading or writing. These are what make a successful writer.
What’s your favorite writing advice?