Awed By Stephen King

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Stephan King Awes Me

standing aEyes flutter.

Gray swallows me up.

Swoon.

.

I just finished reading Stephen King’s On Writing.  And, like everyone else, grave yards and caskets aside, I fell in love with him.  While I don’t know him in any sense of the word, I love his book.

Will you catch me reading his other stuff?

Nope.

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His early years are an incredible story. His wife is incredible.  And his poor mother left me in tears.

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Where did he steal my heart?  He was writing about theme, and went on to talk about how stories come to him, sometimes in dreams, sometimes getting gas.  They do not come in what-if brain-storming.  The original idea just comes to him.  The scene might happen in any of the four parts of the story.  He takes the characters who come from the same place, wind them up, and waits to see what happens.  Then he builds the story, starting at the beginning, and goes all the way to the end.  He even waits until the second draft to find the theme.

I realized that is how my stories come.  Something pops into my mind, and I build a story around it.  For one of my recent stories, The Tavern Girl, I first visualized the bargaining between the stranger and Master Blen-Hart, and built a story around it.  My unposted novel, Forbidden Footsteps, all 53,000 words, started when I visualized two lovers trying desperately to make no noise as they made love in the shadows, just beyond a camp fire, while everyone else roasted marshmallows, completely unaware.

If Stephen King and I start from the same point, a random thought popping into our heads, what of the other things he writes about?  Read, read, read.  Write, write, write.  Build up my vocabulary.  Get rid of passive voice and stop being weak and timid.  Kill all the adverbs.  Be honest with the characters, and trust the readers to know it.  Cut at least 10% between the first and second drafts.

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Am I ready to collect my millions?

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Almost.

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3 thoughts on “Awed By Stephen King

  1. Have you read Tabitha’s work? She is amazing. Truly gifted writer. ONE ON ONE. Read just the first scene. Poetry. I like Stephen, too, but for different reasons. And his sons have both written excellent books.

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