Stephen King, is one of the most phenomenal writers, not only because of the quality of his work but also because he writes books almost mechanically. Everyone has read a Stephen King book because there are just so many of them. His writing style is descriptive and enrapturing, often in first person narrative. While most of his books are horror or thrillers, he has churned out quite a few classics, including “The Shining”, “Cujo”, “The Green Mile” and “The Shawshank Redemption”; almost all of his numerous works make it to the bestsellers list, the classics mentioned above also have movie adaptations. If you are a writer, you know how difficult it is to be consistent with your writing, to have so many ideas that they keep you busy. We asked the writers at best essay writing service, to tell us what is the one most admirable thing in a writer; the responses were varied, but the most common answer was a wealth of ideas and consistency.
Most of King’s books have characters that are writers, who are often suffering from blocks and move to different locations to try and focus on their writing. However, with a long list of bibliography that he has authored, it does not seem that he himself suffers from blocks or bouts of barrenness in terms of ideas. I have been a huge fan of King’s since I read his books, the fact that they can take my sleep away, and I can just get lost in them has made him one of the writers I idealize. Stephen King is a legend, and his name truly does belong in the hall of fame, next to writers like Edgar Allen Poe, Tolkien, and Martin, all these writers who have been able to transport their readers to a world of their own imagination. The strength of expression and the effort that goes into being as consistent as King, does not come easy, and it establishes his status as a master of writing. Before we can dive into the tips from the master himself, let’s take a look at Stephen king’s History and the books he has written thus far.
Stephen Edwin King was born in 1947 and lived through some great financial problems, however, he managed to build a passion for horror after discovering his father’s horror collections in the attic. He started his writing in school and would write stories for his brother’s newspaper and would even write some based on a movie he saw which he would sell to his friends. After graduating from the University of Maine with a BA English Degree, he got his teaching license but since he could not find a job, he started selling his stories to magazines. He continued to sell stories even after he got a teaching job and published “Carrie” in 1974, which was the fourth novel he ever wrote but the first one to get published. Carrie became responsible for kicking off King’s career, and bringing him to his next novel “Salem’s Lot”. After becoming a well-established author of The Dark Tower series, King also started writing for movies and musicians. His diverse range in writing shows what an agile thinker he is. His latest book, “Sleeping Beauties” came out in 2017, co-authored by his younger son Owen King, and there are still projects he is working on. Since he got into an accident in 1999, King felt that he could not write as much, but has been involved in several projects since. Many of his works have been adapted into movies, the most recent of which was “It”.
So, now that you know what King is known for, and his humble beginnings you can get rid of the fear within you, anyone can write, if they dedicate themselves to it and give it some time. And now the tips from Stephen King:
1. Dedicate Time
According to King if you are going to make it as a writer, you need to dedicate time to it. He prescribes 6 – 7 hours a day if you want to get any good at writing. He believes that either you make this time for writing, or you go get yourself a different job. This is one of those daily writing tips, that most young writers need to hear. This is the kind of motivation you need, to give 6-7 hours every day so that you can become a good writer. This is one of the most quoted of Stephen King writing tips.
2. Read Vastly
King believes that if you want to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. You can only write if you read, so when you are giving time to it, you should be reading as much as you can and from all types of topics as you can. This will help you create and insight on your own work as well as the work of other writers. It will also open your mind to possibilities, ideas, and inspiration. This tip uses the same logic you use when you look for college essay writing tips. Reading vastly is going to help you increase your knowledge and strengthen your expression and style as a writer.
3. Don’t Let Fear Get In The Way
Fear is the greatest barrier for most young writers, they are too afraid to write something that doesn’t follow the conventions and norms. King says “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing. Dumbo got airborne with the help of a magic feather; you may feel the urge to grasp a passive verb or one of those nasty adverbs for the same reason. Just remember before you do that Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him.” This seems to be classic advice for people looking for creative writing tips, believe in yourself before you believe in any of the things people tell you. If you start listening to what people have to say, you will definitely lose sight of your goal and you might even struggle with finding motivation.
Another informative blog: 7 Tips For Creative Writing Recommended By Experts
4. Don’t Use A Passive Voice
Another piece of classic advice for people looking for story writing tips, King discourages using passive voice, his belief as he puts it is “timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.” According to King, writers should not try to control every element of their story, they are merely telling these stories. Hence, they should not be under any pressure to feel like as the writer their job is to know, it is simply to tell. So whenever you feel like giving in to the urge of the passive voice, fight it as hard as you can and defy your own logic.
5. Don’t Be Too Obsessed With Grammar
While Grammar is an important element of writing, one of the many creative writing tips that Stephen King has managed to give his followers is this – “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story… to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all.” The primary focus should be on telling a good story and you can always sort all the grammar issues you face later on. When you focus on writing a good story, you can see yourself prioritizing the storyline before anything else, and this will help you make a good story for your readers to read.
6. Don’t Be Too Focused On Your Audience
One piece of advice that is quite unusual for the list of creative writing tips is, that King encourages writers to first tell the story to themselves. “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. Your stuff starts out being just for you, but then it goes out.” Emphasizing on writing two drafts, the first draft where you establish your storyline, followed by a second draft where you clean up the details and decide which parts are important to mention and which are not.
7. No Screens
When you are trying to write, you need to spend more time amongst your books and screens cannot help you in any way. King discourages everyday use of screen and suggests that absorbing random content should be avoided, and you should focus more on the things you can learn from a book. He believes that if you want to write you need to dedicate your time to it, and screens on TVs and phones, take too much time up. So avoid screens so that you can save your time and invest it in becoming a better writer.
8. No Distractions
When you go into your zone, you need to ensure that there is nothing that is bothering you or distracting. If you want to write, you need to have your creative process completely uninterrupted and this means no distractions. Leave your phone outside, don’t bring a TV to your workspace and if you have a window, draw its curtains. Give yourself no other option than to write something, and let your creative process start working.
9. Keep It Original
The most important thing that you need to do is keep your style your own. You can draw inspirations from other writers, but you cannot copy their style, your readers will know the original from the imitated ones. Creating an original voice might be difficult, but once you have figured it out, you can use the same voice for all your projects. After all, it is your voice that will keep bringing the readers back.
10. Don’t Write A Research Paper
While this is one of the more obvious novel writing tips out there, King has felt the need to say it. So if you are ready to hear it, do not focus too much on research. The reader does not need to know all the unnecessary amounts of information you have probably learned while researching, they are here for the story, so just tell them a story and apply your research. You are not a writer for a thesis writing service, and you are not writing a research paper.
So there you have it, 10 writing tips from Stephen King if you are wondering where we got these from. Most of the quotes are from an interview that he gave to Barnes & Nobles. Hope these help you decide what you need to do to become a better writer.