Secrets of Successful Writing from Stephen King
What can be better for a beginning writer than a wise piece of advice from the master of the writing craft? The recommendation to read and learn from experienced composers is widespread, given to all attempting writers – students, fiction writers, poets, and other types of writing specialists. Stephen King, a world-famous king of horror and mystery books, also shared a portion of his experience in a 2000 book On Writing. Here, he revealed some of his unique approaches and hacks for quick and effective writing, and shared some expertise as to achieving excellence in terms of technique and style.
The writing experts of our professional essay writing service have studied King’s manual for writers from cover to cover and have taken some of the most precious knowledge from King’s recommendations to this article. Read further to learn the writing and polishing process from a true master of his art!
Tip #1 Writing for Yourself
For King, writing is first of all about making the writer happy – even if you are writing to make money, to fulfill your dream, to maintain a persistently high number of followers, your writing will never be superb if it does not make you happy. Thus, in contrast to regular writing advice emphasizing thinking about your audience, King orders you not to – you should think about yourself first, and if you write about what interests you, the audience will surely be interested as well.
Tip #2 Avoiding Distractions
A significant part of the writing process for King is spatial organization and concentration. He recommends never turning on the TV, since it is a major source of distraction and empty information, and working in the quiet atmosphere of a cabinet, thus letting the writing art determine the environment, and not vice versa. King is also against having a phone next to you when writing and eliminating other distractions such as video games – in such a way, you may achieve the full scale of concentration in which the muse will stay with you for long. Such an atmosphere will definitely allow composing excellent stories.
Tip #3 Organizing Your Work
Timelines are vitally important for King; the writer strongly believes that in case you are unable to produce your first decent draft within a season, that is, three months, then the piece of writing may be considered dead. To make this happen and bring your writing plan to life, King recommends focusing on the writing process and not underestimating the power of a single word. Any piece of writing consists of words, and writing it word by word is a valuable approach to achieving successful completion of the writing process.
Tip #4 Grammar Is Important but Not Decisive
Stephen King emphasized the need to think of grammar but not to become obsessed by it. He is a well-known hater of adverbs and passive voice, so according to his recommendations, you should never use these devices in powerful writing. As for other grammar issues, King advises to read much, which develops natural literacy and assists writers in keeping their form of expression intelligent.
Tip #5 Giving Yourself Time
Taking a break is also an important issue in the hard writing process. Once stuck and not able to move in any further direction, you should allow yourself some rest to refresh the mind and get the muse back to your room. Stephen King believes that working on a book day and night may become more of a torture than a pleasure for a writer, so getting away from the draft for several days and changing activities to something substantially different may help to get a new, fresh look of a detached observer. In such a way, things that have been neglected for some time may surface and show what needs to be revised and revisited.
Tip #6 The Opening Line Is King
There is nothing more cherished and appreciated in any writing product by Stephen King than a welcoming, intriguing opening line. In the writer’s opinion, it is the first and only thing that can urge a person to continue reading. It has to promise something, to engage the reader into a story, and start the narrative effectively. However, this should not become your stumbling point from the very start of work’s production. King himself reserves time for making a striking opening line only during the revision of his first draft and never focuses on that at the start of writing.
Tip #7 Taking Care of Yourself
Since writing is what you should love and what should make you happy, King strongly recommends not to sacrifice your life, nerves, and sleep to your book or other writing, no matter what significance it has for you. You should always eat well, have enough sleep, and work only when you feel like doing this and find this pleasurable. All other forms of writing are unlikely to make you happy, and as a result, a piece of poor writing is likely to be produced.
All these pieces of advice are wise and contain much reasonability, especially taking into account that Stephen King is a highly experienced and globally successful author with dozens of bestsellers. So, learn from his daily routines and approaches to writing and get to a new level of compositional process! You will be surprised at how pleasurable and productive your working days may become when following these simple but true-life hacks.