Writing Tips From Stephen King On His Birthday

If you want to be writer you must do two things above all others.  Read  a  lot and write a lot.

Stories consist of three parts.

  • Narration – which moves the story from end to other end
  • Description – which creates a intuitional reality for the reader
  • Dialogue – which brings characters to life through their speech

The situations come first. The characters and where to begin with comes next.

The best stories  always end up with the characters not with the events.

Description begins in the writer’s imagination but end in the reader’s.

The most interesting situations can be expressed as a “what-if” question.

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.

Set a daily writing goal.  It would be best to set this low at first. Slowly increase the word count daily.

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Ultimately you should be happy.

Never use ‘Emolument’ when you mean ‘tip’.

Call that one person you write for ‘Ideal Reader’. He or she is going to be in your writing room all the time.

There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.

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If you can do it for joy, you can do it for ever.


Quotes from Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft


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