I have read Stephen King’s memoir, which is about the craft of writing. I love it from start to end. It’s like listening to a piece of good music. Melodic, beautiful, and entertaining. I cherry-pick 3 quotes from the book, to sum up On Writing for you to have a quick read.
Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work.
The practice is invaluable (and should feel good, really not like practice at all) and that honesty is indispensable. Skills in the description, dialogue, and character development all boil down to seeing or hearing clearly and then transcribing what you see or hear with equal clarity (and without using a lot of tiresome, unnecessary adverbs).
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.
Show the story: narration, description, and dialogue
I have jotted down the points to note, for you to keep in mind while writing a story. These are the writing tips from Stephen King and his ways of writing fictions.
Ask “what if” to build the narrative
The good description usually consists of a few well-chosen details that will stand for everything else
The use of simile and other figurative language is one of the chief delights
You must tell the truth if your dialogue is to have resonance and realism
The basic rule of vocabulary is to use the first word that comes to your mind if it is appropriate and colorful
Use active voice instead of passive voice
Leave it for at least 6 weeks before editing
Check the spellings, unclear pronouns
Look for what you meant and reinforce that meaning
Add metaphors or similes like a pro
I enjoy reading Stephen’s unique metaphors or similes, which he is good at using so as to enrich his writing. Here’re some examples:
Writers are carpenters; writing skills are tools
As your mind and body grow accustomed to a certain amount of sleep each night so can you train your waking mind to sleep creatively and work out the vividly imagined waking dreams which are successful works of fiction
I believe stories are found things, like fossils
How do you like it if I show you a metaphor source which you can access online and get many good references? Dr. Mardy has created one for us, for free!
If you’re wondering how to write funny or you’re getting stuck on writing, go through the quick summary from Writing Comedy, which may help you break out of the prison in your mind:
Start writing what you want to write, what amuses you. Then learn to modify and improve it to reach a bigger audience.
Work with other people
Stay up to date with popular culture
Have an opinion on everything
Be a comedy consumer (watch sitcoms, comedy movies)
Keep note of funny materials
Anarchy: let yourself be anarchic and childlike, have crazy ideas like “The modest proposal” by Jonathan Swift (a satirical essay suggesting that problem of famine in Ireland could be solved by poor people selling their babies to rich landlords to eat.)
Negative emotions like frustrations of everyday life, which are great materials
Gather comedy materials from socializing with friends, family, and all sorts of media
Networking (find publisher, editor)
Opposites (funerals and weddings; big and small)
Misdirection (a twist in the end)
Rule of three
Punchline (the surprise)
Create comedy characters:
Fish out of water/neurotic
What’s the characteristics and desires of characters?
Give the character some sort of conflict—inner conflict, conflict with other people and conflict with society
Give crisis and obstacles to characters
Set time aside for writing
Show in a comedic way, don’t tell
Get personal (insults, embarrassment)
Use specific vocabulary
Don’t be too direct
Read your work out loud to feel the rhythm (pause before punchline)
Edit the draft
Mark the laughs
Fine-tune the ending
In short, entertain yourself first, get the joke done, and laugh out loud.
If you would like to craft your writing, reading The Element of Styleby William Stunk Jr. and E.b. White is a must. This September, I have been reading books about the craft of writing. I would like to recommend The Elements of Style. This is a good book about grammar rules and the style of writing, even Stephen King has highly recommended it as a good one without bullshit.
I’ll tell you right now that every aspiring writer should read The Elements of Style.
— Stephen King
Here are some of the suggestions, for helping writers or bloggers to develop their own style:
write in a way that comes naturally
write with nouns and verbs, not with adjective and adverb
revise and rewrite
For more tips on how to craft, check it out and dive in.
The writing style of great writers
Ernest Hemingway’s simple and succinct writing style is the opposite of James Joyce’ complex and stream-of-consciousness writing. Style is like beauty. It’s subjective and has various ways. Writing style is your identity. It’s a part of you. So the takeaway point here is to write what you know and be yourself. That’s what Hemingway and Joyce did.