Writer's corner: Stephen King on writing

9:38 AM

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot." - Stephen King

Despite being terrified of Stephen King's books*, I need to buy a copy of his On writing urgently. I can't tell you how many times I have seen authors and bloggers recommending it. i'm not a big fan of horror stories but we must admit he is an extremely successful writer.

In this post, Jon Morrow highlights some of King's tips about writing and connects them to blogging. I found all of them very helpful.

*Granted, I've never read any of his books, only seen (a lot of) the movie adaptations and they scare me straight.

Do you like Stephen King's books? What did you think of his tips?

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  1. There's one movie based on Stephen King's story that is not scary at all: Shawshank Redemption. One of the most wonderful prison movies I have ever saw. And a poster I wanted on my wall. There's A great scene: when Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) locks himself on the director's room and play an aria from The Magic Flute. No fear at all!
    (missing you! write to us!!)

  2. I definitely need to watch this movie again. I've only seen parts of it and always confuse it with the Green Mile. But hearing it labeled as "prison movie" is somewhat off-putting - prison movies are incredibly scary! lol But I see your point and I'll give it another try, it's in my Netflix queue now. (I miss you guys too, a letter is on its way!)

  3. YAY!!!!!!! I don't like prison movies myself, but this one is a must! Andy Dufresne is one of my favorite characters at the movies. (Ok, Judah Ben Hur is another one, but this is another story ...)

  4. Hi Paula: I have to tell you that you're missing a great deal of good writing if you simply avoid Stephen King's writing as "horror."

    I'm not sure whether it's violence, supernatural content, or monsters that turn you off, but here are a few things to try:
    * 11/22/63 - a time-travel novel that is equal parts political thriller and love story
    * "The last rung on the ladder" and "The woman in the room" - early short stories from King, found in his collection "Night Shift"
    * Rest Stop, Things They Left Behind, Graduation Afternoon, New York Times at Special Bargain Rates, Mute, A Very Tight Place - stories from a recent collection, "Just After Sunset"
    * All that you love will be carried away, Luckey Quarter - from "Everything's Eventual"

    Sadly, there are so many terrible movie adaptations out there of SK books that I fear you've been missing out on some great written work.

    Bob LeDrew
    Host, The Kingcast

  5. Hi Bob, thanks so much for the recommendations. I'll definitely look them up.

    What I didn't like in the adaptations was partly the horror content (like "The Shining") but partly some disappointing stories (like "The Mist" and "The Dreamcatcher"). However, it might be the movie adaptations that are poorly made not Stephen King's stories themselves.

    Thanks again for the suggestions, have a great weekend!

  6. I have heard that Shawshank Redemption is brilliant, and I should probably see that. Overall though, I don't really "do horror", at least when it's highly supernatural/violent like King's tends to be. I've heard a lot about what a good writer he is, but occasionally I just don't want to go there. Although, I do remember reading a Sherlock Holmes short story that he wrote years ago, which was pretty good...

  7. I really want to watch Shawshank Redemption now, specially since it's not a horror movie. (I cannot even think about The Shining, I get too scared).

    But King does have a very good reputation as a writer and it's a surprise to me that he writes so much outside the horror genre. xx


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