I’m sure I’m probably one of the first to admit this, but I’m an author who hasn’t read Stephen King’s book On Writing. Okay, that’s not wholly true. I’m about halfway through the book. Truth was, I didn’t want to read another book on how I should write. But being the good little writer that I am, I bought the book to support the King empire about three years ago.
Then this past weekend, we took Oldest for a campus tour of James Madison University (THAT’s a blog in and of itself), I took King along for a read. I figured it was time I do some training. Writer training, sir. Can you say that in your best Bill “STRIPES” Murray voice? So I pull out the book once we’re settled the DVD player is up and running and the DH is settled in at a steady 72mph.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t what I read. Although I’m only half finished with the book, I’ve already learned a lot about myself as a writer and how Stephen King and I would be great friends. Actually, I’m betting his wife would be my BFF and Steve would just be someone we’d raz a lot. LOL This guy is funny.
I’ve always enjoyed his fictional work. I was sold from the first word of Salem’s Lot, which I read with my back to the wall and a knife under my bed (as if THAT’s going to stop a vampire. STOOOPID!) Then came The Stand for me. Characterization is the single most important point about that book. It’s fricking brilliant. Even more impressive is this guy’s talent for creating work that no director can actually translate to film. It’s impossible, no matter how hard they try, it can’t be done. When you try to convert brilliance you get something lack luster and blurred beyond words.
Learning Can Be Fun
But I digress. King’s book, On Writing, is as brilliant as his fiction. He manages to explain things in layman terms and with a sense of humor that ensures you’re not reading the usual, bone-dry, how-to-write book. In fact, I kept laughing out loud and the DH kept telling me to stop because he couldn’t hear his radio (when I laugh, I do it with gusto! LOL). I’m delving deeper into the “tools of the trade” part of the book, and I’m learning more than I thought I would from the book. In fact, I think I need to go back and reread The Stand just so I can better understand characterization so I can improve my own writing. Clearly this King guy speaks to me in ways I should have been listening to a long time ago.
So what book can you think of that’s taught you something new?