Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Are you tired of how-to books that share insider secrets about writing the next best-seller? Me too.
On Writing is a different kind of book. It’s by Stephen King. Yes, that Stephen King. I know this book well, as in the early stages of my writing career I made it a point to read it every time I got a rejection. I still read it when I need inspiration, or a laugh.
Yes, a laugh. Stephen King is a funny guy. But more importantly, he talks about the writing process, entertaining us hugely along the way. He doesn’t tell us how to write, but shares with us his background, which explains a lot when you consider where he is today.
I have a favorite passage in the book, where he talks about putting your manuscript away after you finish the first draft.
“How long you let your book rest–sort of like bread dough between kneading–is entirely up to you, but I think it should be a minimum of six weeks. During this time your manuscript will be safely shut away in a desk drawer, aging and (one hopes) mellowing. Your thoughts will turn to it frequently, and you’ll likely be tempted a dozen times or more to take it out, if only to re-read some passage that seems particularly fine in your memory, something you’d like to go back to so you can re-experience what a really excellent writer you are.”
Not only funny, but true. I also like the passage about his wife being his beta reader, but I think you should read that for yourself.
If you want a fresh take on writing, get this book. It’s been out there for a while and it gets better every time I read it.