Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On Writing...and Stephen King

Right Now: Listening to: Mix 96.5

I'm almost finished with Stephen King's On Writing. I can't tell you how much I have LOVED that book. When you read it, it just feels like he's right there next to you, chatting about his writing experiences, curse words and all. It's...real, ya know?

Whenever I read something like this, something instructional, I always wonder what the message is for me, because there's always a message. Well, I discovered three messages in this book. And here they are.

Message One: King says you should shut your door and just write your book with NO interruptions. Don't ask people for their opinions, don't edit as your write, don't think too much about what you're doing. Just write! Let it flow! Let your story come out! (This is exactly what I did with my book. Hooray!)

Message Two: When you're finished, seek out an independent reader who will give you some meat and potatoes feedback. You know, someone who will give you the nitty gritty, even if it hurts. And then do two edits. Make sure to cut out 10% of what you have. (Again, this is what I did, instinctively.)

I've had a few friends/family read my book, but only two of whom have served as my independent readers. First, to my awesome sister-in-law Liz, thank you for all the grammatical critique! (I really needed it!) Second, to Deborah, thank you for your critique on the story itself and some of the major scenes. You guys have definitely made me a better writer, and I can't thank you enough!!

Message Three: While working on his book, King was struck by a van and almost died. He recovered with the help of an awesome doctor, an incredible wife, and his love of writing. Which brings me to the third message. You need to write because you love it, because you find it fulfilling, because it makes you feel whole. Writing is not about the money or the fame. It's about the passion for doing something you were meant to do.

WOW. When I read that, I knew I was doing the right thing. When I started writing, I felt whole again-- fulfilled even. I felt...young. It's hard to explain, but if you do something that you really love, then you know what I mean. On the flipside, I do hope that someone will fall in love with my characters and my story as much as me. That would just be icing on the cake. But for now, I'm loving writing.

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