So I finished Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing.
It’s a book with lots of valuable tips about writing but for me these were the most instructive:
1. Read Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. Thoroughly. Let each lesson impose an effect on your writing.
2. Second draft = First draft – 10%. Tight writing is what your after.
3. You can become a good writer if you start out being a competent one. But if your aspiring to become great – fuggedaboutit.
Of course, in my book, this shouldn’t stop you from aiming high. Very high.
4. Read as much as you can. Write at least as much.
Stephen King said it a bit differently. According to him a writer needs to read a lot and write a lot. I already read a lot. My personal lesson is to write at least as much as I read.
5. Have an Ideal Reader. In simpler terms, know who your writing for. Have one person in mind that you’re aiming to delight.
I’ll mention here that I found Stephen King’s account of writing for his ideal reader – his wife – very touching.
6. Forget about plot. I know, I already mentioned this one in my previous blog post. But this is really important. A book is driven by situations. Put your characters in a situation and record how they get out of it, using narration, dialogue and description.
Now get to it. Writing is a big job.