Is it just me, or has this week been all about (the wonderful) Stephen King? He seems to be everywhere at the moment, one would almost think he had a book coming out. Here he is talking to the BBC.
Writing tips from Stephen King
This entire article is full of awesomeness. It’s hard to pick just one bit of advice, but I’d say that tip number four – writing is work – is resonating with me at the moment.
“… stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.” ~ Stephen King
Mitch Horowitz gives an interesting piece of writing advice over on The Huffington Post. He advises writers to identify a passage of writing that they admire and copy it down by hand. He says that:
“You will gain a new perspective on how the writer says things, how he deploys evidence and examples, and how his sentences are designed to introduce details or withhold them for later.”
It’s an interesting bit of advice, and makes me think of a recent grammar webinar I attended. The trainer used a passage from The Lord of the Rings to highlight how you can break the rules of grammar – if you need to. Tolkien used a mixture of commas and conjunctions to pace a passage of text, to deliver maximum emotional impact.
Horowitz isn’t advocating trying to replicate another writers voice. He’s arguing that we can improve our own writing by analysing the writing of others. I’ve not tried this yet, but I might give it a go.
10 rules for writing first drafts