Writing Advice from Stephen King

February 20, 2015 by 1 Comment

Writing Advice from Stephen KingOne 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

We are starting today’s post with Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers from the Open Culture Website. They are:

  1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience
  2. Don’t use passive voice
  3. Avoid adverbs
  4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”
  5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar
  6. The magic is in you
  7. Read, read, read
  8. Don’t worry about making other people happy
  9. Turn off the TV
  10. You have three months
  11. There are two secrets to success
  12. Write one word at a time
  13. Eliminate distraction
  14. Stick to your own style
  15. Dig
  16. Take a break
  17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings
  18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story
  19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing
  20. 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.

What is your favourite piece of Stephen King advice? Tell us below in the comments!

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