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Old 12-01-2016, 08:39 PM   #1
rawsilk
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Stephen King : How to Write

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1. The basics: forget plot, but remember the importance of 'situation'

I won't try to convince you that I've never plotted any more than I'd try to convince you that I've never told a lie, but I do both as infrequently as possible. I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren't compatible.

A strong enough situation renders the whole question of plot moot. The most interesting situations can usually be expressed as a What-if question:
Link to balance of article https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...ntasyandhorror

Interesting to read how successful writers work. This article probably doesn't belong here, but at least it won't get buried in a hurry.

The corpse lies rotting in plain view until time kicks remnants over the body, only to be discovered in years hence by another wandering this path who accidentally stumbles over the hidden secret of Stephen King.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rawsilk View Post
Link to balance of article https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...ntasyandhorror

Interesting to read how successful writers work. This article probably doesn't belong here, but at least it won't get buried in a hurry.

The corpse lies rotting in plain view until time kicks remnants over the body, only to be discovered in years hence by another wandering this path who accidentally stumbles over the hidden secret of Stephen King.

I should go back and re-read his books On Writing and Danse Macbre both of which deal with how to write
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rawsilk View Post

The corpse lies rotting in plain view until time kicks remnants over the body, only to be discovered in years hence by another wandering this path who accidentally stumbles over the hidden secret of Stephen King.
I think I'm in love with you...not really...maybe...
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:49 PM   #4
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22 lessons from Stephen King on how to be a great writer

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/st...o-write-2014-8
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:09 PM   #5
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I think I'm in love with you...not really...maybe...
Make your mind and get in line behind me, I saw her first

Last edited by AverageGary : 12-02-2016 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:32 PM   #6
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8. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs.

As King emphasises several times in his memoir, “the adverb is not your friend.” In fact, he believes that “the road to hell is paved with adverbs” and compares them to dandelions that ruin your lawn. Adverbs are worst after “he said” and “she said” — those phrases are best left unadorned.

You should also pay attention to your paragraphs, so that they flow with the turns and rhythms of your story. “Paragraphs are almost always as important for how they look as for what they say,” says King.
I hope this link doesn't die too soon: Adverbs http://www.english-grammar-revolutio...f-adverbs.html
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:06 PM   #7
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I quickly killed the adverbs, once I shockingly discovered they had horridly invaded my beautifully written words.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:22 PM   #8
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I quickly killed the adverbs, once I shockingly discovered they had horridly invaded my beautifully written words.
"My brilliantly written, exceedingly beautiful story needs to be quickly re-written as it is enormously littered with such pretentiously and prodigiously growing dandelions, in exceedingly long sentences as to make it savagely and sloppily written, thinking it so stylishly written, when in fact it was executed so badly," she gasped, fully realizing the extremely difficult and enormously huge task soon to be in front of her.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rawsilk View Post
"My brilliantly written, exceedingly beautiful story needs to be quickly re-written as it is enormously littered with such pretentiously and prodigiously growing dandelions, in exceedingly long sentences as to make it savagely and sloppily written, thinking it so stylishly written, when in fact it was executed so badly," she gasped, fully realizing the extremely difficult and enormously huge task soon to be in front of her.
I am topped, and accepting sub-space. (not really, but that was pretty damned brilliant.)
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R
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:49 PM   #10
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22 lessons from Stephen King on how to be a great writer

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/st...o-write-2014-8
@ you and OP, seriously thank you!
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:23 PM   #11
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Thank you Rawsilk. I love Stephen King. the simplest advice is always best🙏
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:33 AM   #12
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In his book King talks about 'killing your darlings' as in trimming unnecessary things from the story.

That hypocrite hasn't killed a darling in 25 years. Self indulgent no longer begins to cover it.

Books like this can help with the very basics, but its more important to learn to write your way and not try to imitate a formula created by someone else.

The success of 50 shades of gray which was written at a 13 year old grammar level is proof it doesn't really matter if you get lucky and get that break.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:58 AM   #13
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In his book King talks about 'killing your darlings' as in trimming unnecessary things from the story.

That hypocrite hasn't killed a darling in 25 years. Self indulgent no longer begins to cover it.

Books like this can help with the very basics, but its more important to learn to write your way and not try to imitate a formula created by someone else.

The success of 50 shades of gray which was written at a 13 year old grammar level is proof it doesn't really matter if you get lucky and get that break.
Hey I like what you say about wring in your own way, I'm new to writing, with no experience, and assumed the biggies were the experts.
What book would you reccomend to beginners, I want to at least try my hand at writing, but all I've got right now is a few characters and a a bit of a plot lol
🙏
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by FrozenBlaze View Post
Hey I like what you say about wring in your own way, I'm new to writing, with no experience, and assumed the biggies were the experts.
What book would you reccomend to beginners, I want to at least try my hand at writing, but all I've got right now is a few characters and a a bit of a plot lol
🙏
Beginners should try their hands at poetry first to see if they have A) the basic understanding of what should be communicated to the reader and B) the stamina to write anything longer.

If you can't give readers an entertaining experience in under 250 words that they will in turn recommend their friends and family read at least once, then no amount of wordage is going to help the story(s) you desire to tell.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Magnetron View Post
Beginners should try their hands at poetry first to see if they have A) the basic understanding of what should be communicated to the reader and B) the stamina to write anything longer.

If you can't give readers an entertaining experience in under 250 words that they will in turn recommend their friends and family read at least once, then no amount of wordage is going to help the story(s) you desire to tell.
And there goes my coffee...

Poetry is probably one of the most complex genres – it’s not only the length of the text but also the measurement of words, word-flow, sentence-flow, aesthetics, double, triple and even deeper meanings, …

This advice is like: If you want to drive a car, you need to fly to Australia, find yourself a road-train and take it off-road. If you can drive a road-train off-road, then you are safe to drive a mini on the highway. (I don't think you'll feel comfortable driving your mini through rush-hour in a big city, just because you can handle a road-truck through rough terrain...)

Some people have poetry running through their veins, others may make people laugh or shiver in fear without any effort. Some can write fantastic stories about their own experiences, others have a great fantasy. And some people are just unique, but can't rhyme at all...

Read what you like, and then try to find out why you like it - which part in the style makes you appreciate what you like; short sentences, continuous descriptions of the surroundings, measurements, ... But maybe it's better just to give it a try.

For me, I need to stay close to myself - I will never be able to copy most of the stories that I really like, just because their style doesn't match with who I am.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RubenR View Post
And there goes my coffee...

Poetry is probably one of the most complex genres – it’s not only the length of the text but also the measurement of words, word-flow, sentence-flow, aesthetics, double, triple and even deeper meanings, …

This advice is like: If you want to drive a car, you need to fly to Australia, find yourself a road-train and take it off-road. If you can drive a road-train off-road, then you are safe to drive a mini on the highway. (I don't think you'll feel comfortable driving your mini through rush-hour in a big city, just because you can handle a road-truck through rough terrain...)
Not really.

Songs on the radio lack the structure and punctuation of prose and even the one hit wonders entertain the hell out of millions of people for decades.

Check out these lyrics by Meghan Trainor. This is awful writing, but it is sung in a pleasant voice to a catchy tune and she is banking a fortune from individual downloads.

Take away the singing voice and music and yeah, she would have to up her writing game. A newb need only use words alone to influence readers into singing it themselves.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:03 PM   #17
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If you can't give readers an entertaining experience in under 250 words that they will in turn recommend their friends and family read at least once, then no amount of wordage is going to help the story(s) you desire to tell.
I have never read a piece of poetry that I would recommend to others. In high school I used to dread the poetry sections at the end of the terms. In college I dropped a Lit class because it was all poets.

Granted, I'm sure I'm not the norm but I find the metric "entertaining experience... that they will in turn recommend" to be impossible to achieve in the genre of poetry.

I'm sure I'm in the minority but that's my experience.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:12 PM   #18
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I want to at least try my hand at writing, but all I've got right now is a few characters and a a bit of a plot lol🙏
Just do it, just get the content out where you can work with it.

I sit down in front of my medium and just write (I still first draft in long hand).I can't edit/correct/perfect something that doesn't exist.

Will it into existence and then worry about the details of it.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:22 PM   #19
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In his book King talks about 'killing your darlings' as in trimming unnecessary things from the story.

That hypocrite hasn't killed a darling in 25 years. Self indulgent no longer begins to cover it.
.
I enjoy Stephen King but agree with this 100%. He is terrible at editing himself. Many of his novels could be a lot shorter. Under the Dome, 11/22/63 -- they're based on great ideas, but they go on and on and on.

King's method of not plotting his stories may be a strength, but it's a weakness, too. To me, his novels often give the impression that he had no idea how to end them when he started, and they tend to get very hocusy-pocusy as they draw to a close, I suspect because he doesn't know any other way to finish them.

His short stories are great, precisely because the brevity of the stories trims his tendencies to use too many words and to pile on the improbable things you have to suspend disbelief about.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:47 PM   #20
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I have never read a piece of poetry that I would recommend to others. In high school I used to dread the poetry sections at the end of the terms. In college I dropped a Lit class because it was all poets.

Granted, I'm sure I'm not the norm but I find the metric "entertaining experience... that they will in turn recommend" to be impossible to achieve in the genre of poetry.

I'm sure I'm in the minority but that's my experience.
The inherent problem with your equation is that School and College were involved; other people determined what poetry you were exposed to.

If searched for poetry about a subject you were actually interested in, you might walk away with a different opinion.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:52 PM   #21
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P.S.

I actually have several poems inspired by Stephen King novels linked to in my signature. If you are a King fan, they will likely make sense to you.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:45 PM   #22
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The inherent problem with your equation is that School and College were involved; other people determined what poetry you were exposed to.

If searched for poetry about a subject you were actually interested in, you might walk away with a different opinion.
That is a good point, hadn't considered that before.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:20 PM   #23
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As King emphasises several times in his memoir, “the adverb is not your friend.”
"Not" is an adverb. Just sayin'...
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:59 AM   #24
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Not really.

Songs on the radio lack the structure and punctuation of prose and even the one hit wonders entertain the hell out of millions of people for decades.

Check out these lyrics by Meghan Trainor. This is awful writing, but it is sung in a pleasant voice to a catchy tune and she is banking a fortune from individual downloads.
I’m probably missing your point. I watched the song and I noticed good word- and sentence-flow; apparently you agreed with others that it has a catchy tune; I assume this song is meant sarcastic, so the words were chosen to copy others (multiple layers here). Why isn’t this prose – because you don’t like it to be?
I think the ‘nice’ thing about prose is, that you can be creative – you don’t have to follow the rules.

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Take away the singing voice and music and yeah, she would have to up her writing game.
Exactly; that’s my point! Prose is so much more than just writing a few lines into a story! But to turn it around - good prose isn't necessarily a good story...

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A newb need only use words alone to influence readers into singing it themselves.
You do need catchy-ness for prose, not for NonCon. LW is about swinging, not singing. BDSM is not about hitting the right note.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:21 AM   #25
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Thanks for encouragement...
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