• Post category:Book notes

On Writing – by Stephen King 


Tara’s notes on the book

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Read – Dec 2021

Editing your writing – A lesson learned from John Gould

“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.”

You don’t know what will stick – How Carrie came to be

Stephen had thrown away the first draft of Carrie, his wife picked it out of the trash, read it, and told him he had something. Stephen sent it in, and it had fallen off his radar. Then one Sunday afternoon, he receives a call from his agent telling him the news.

Do the work, put it out there, keep living.

Writing:

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you site 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.”

stories and novels structure

“Narration, which moves the story from point A to point B and finally to point Z; description, which creates a sensory reality for the reader; and dialogue, which brings characters to life through their speech. You may wonder where plot is in all this. The answer – my answer, anyway – is nowhere. […] I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless […] and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible.”

Description

“Description begins with visualisation of what it is you want the reader to experience. It ends with your translating what you see in your mind into words on the page.”

This post is brought to you by my email list subscribe here – The email is a short summary of what has been going on since the previous one. 

What books I’m reading, what podcast I’m listening to and my takeaways. What’s been happening in my life. How I’m feeling and what I’m doing to keep me going. And when something is coming up, you’ll get to know here too.

Sign up HERE to the short email updates, PS. you don’t like it, you can unsub anytime 😉

Character building

“The job boils down to two things: paying attention to how real people around you behave and then telling the truth about what you see.”

“For me, what happens to characters as a story progresses depends solely on what I discover about then as I go along – how they grow, in other words.”

“It’s also important to remember that no one is “the bad guys” or “the best friend” or ” the whore with a heart of gold” in real life; in real life we each of us regard ourselves as the main character.”

Thematic thinking

“I was astounded at how really useful “thematic thinking” turned out to be. […] another handy gadget to keep in the toolbox, this one something like a magnifying glass. […] I have never hesitated to ask myself, either before starting a second draft of a book or while being stuck for an idea in the first draft, just what it is I’m writing about, why I’m spending time when I could be playing guitar […] The answer doesn’t always come right away, but there usually us one, and it’s usually not too hard to find, either.”

“I should disclose this little sermonette with a word of warning – starting with the questions and thematic concerns is a recipe for bad fiction.”

Formula

2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%

omit needless words

Want to read more book notes, there’s a whole category HERE

Happy Reading

Tara xx

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