Image by: AZRainman
It’s Thursday! I think… My new schedule is really messing with my sense of time. Anyway, today I wanted to talk about Stephen King. He’s one of those authors that I am embarrassed to love. If I need a new book to read, I often turn to one of his. In fact, if I win NaNo I promised myself a copy of his new book, Doctor Sleep.
My reward for dedicating November to NaNo is On Writing: A Memoir to the Craft. I know what you’re thinking “OMG, I can’t believe that you don’t have it already! #whatkindofwriterareyou?!” Well, first of all, let me comment on the fact that you think in hashtags (which is going to be the name of one of my dogs — “#, don’t pee on the floor!”). Second of all, I know. It is one of the most influential books about writing since Writing Down The Bones.
Anyway, Stephen King is known for being extremely prolific. He always comes out with …what? 5000 novels a year?? Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit. None the less, he writes a lot. So what are his big secrets?
1) He dives in the deep end.
He’s a pantser. I don’t know about you but I got kind of gitty writing that down. One of the most prolific writers of modern day horror is a pantser. I think I just swooned again.
Okay, so I have to admit, I’m not a pantser. Of course, I’m not a planner either. I am a mixture of both. But King doesn’t write outlines. He doesn’t make detailed histories on all of his characters. He just writes. I mean, I’m sure he jots down some notes but…well, I think that he might consider even ME a little anal and meticulous about my notes.
2) He comes up with amazing deadlines for himself.
I read that he gives himself three months to come up with a first draft. Of course, this is one of the reasons why I love NaNo so much. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a great way to force a deadline on yourself.
Some of us really need that deadline to force ourselves to get to work. Otherwise, we would just spend our entire dedicated “writing time” on Facebook, looking at food porn, and complaining to our friends about:
“How come I haven’t been discovered yet? Why won’t publishers publish my book? Maybe I should write it first…”
3) He stays true to his first draft.
I’m hoping that my boyfriend won’t read this because I’m always telling him that you need to get that first draft done. Don’t worry about making it perfect because it’s just a first draft, you can fix it later. You can rewrite it later if you need to. Ha, so apparently Mr. King may edit his first draft and revise this or that but for the most part, he stays true to his first draft.
He says that if you have to do a major rewrite, then why not just start a different story? Because if you have to do a major rewrite, then there’s probably no saving that story.
4) Also stays true to his style
One of the reasons why I consider Stephen King to be one of my favorite authors yet I don’t tell a lot of people about it (ignore the fact that I just blabbed about it all over the internet) is because his style is a tad…strange.
He doesn’t write literary pieces that change the course of history. Professors don’t use his books in their classrooms. That’s okay though. Let me explain why by using a couple examples…
I loved reading Langoliers. I really got into the story. I remember reading it in one of my mom’s big easy chairs. I started out reading it in the afternoon and by the time I got done it had gone dark and had to listen to my mom lecture me about reading in the dark.
However, when I watched the movie I realized that I (apparently) thoroughly enjoyed a story about a bunch of giant tribbles with teeth that eat …well, time.
I also liked Dreamcatcher but after watching the movie, my boyfriend and I now refer to the story as:
“the one about angry buttworms”
You know what? I still read his stuff. So no matter what people say about his stories, they’re still entertaining and he continues to break the bank every time he jots anything down.
5) What if…?
His stories are all answers to the question, “What if…?”
What if that girl that you always pick on could make you pay for what you’ve done?
What if you had that one crazy fan that…? (Could give Joy nightmares for years after she saw the movie?)
What if that sweet lovable puppy went crazy?
His stories are fantastical and amazing. They bring out guttural reactions out of his fans. We feel for his poor characters (oh my gosh, why are you trapped in that scary, scary world?)
So let that summarize why Stephen King makes me feel like I’m not worthy. Of course, that feeling also makes me want to try harder. One of my writing goals is to, one day, find out that Stephen King read one of my stories…and that he liked it. Does that mean that I have to write about angry butt worms? Hmm…that’s totally doable.