One thing we didn’t report in our round up of this week’s meeting was the short discussion about Stephen King‘s book Stephen King on Writing. One of the reasons for this was so we could do a more in depth at the advice of one of America’s greatest living writers here. We have his Top 20 Rules for Writers from Open Culture and a short five minute interview he did with Borders Bookshop a few years ago.
Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules For Writers
- First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience
- Don’t use passive voice
- Avoid adverbs
- Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”
- But don’t obsess over perfect grammar
- The magic is in you
- Read, read, read
- Don’t worry about making other people happy
- Turn off the TV
- You have three months
- There are two secrets to success
- Write one word at a time
- Eliminate distraction
- Stick to your own style
- Take a break
- Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings
- The research shouldn’t overshadow the story
- You become a writer simply by reading and writing
- Writing is about getting happy
As always we encourage you to look at the original article on Open Culture which is especially true this time as Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers opens with a couple of paragraphs discussing the importance of your opening line and revision – something which he called divine!
Stephen King Talking About Short Story Writing
As well as writing many, many novels Stephen King has also written a number of short stories. Here he is talking about short stories to Borders Bookshop in 2008 just before his new collection Just After Sunset was published. Thank you to Aerogramme Writers’ Studio for posting this video on their website for us to spot and share with you.