Day 71: Stephen King

Earlier today, I was watching a brief clip of a Stephen King interview from 2009 and he said that he kept track of his 100+ characters on a yellow legal pad and every once in awhile he would go back to check in on one or the other. I just loved that idea – that you can check in with your characters and see what they’ve been up to.

But then Stephen King is awesome.

One of my all-time favorite writing books is Stephen King’s On Writing. It’s intelligent, interesting, and funny. Case in point:

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed (King, 117).

Since I’m on a Stephen King fit tonight, here’s another interview, this one conducted by Neil Gaiman (and don’t tell me you don’t know who Neil Gaiman is; I don’t have time for tears). One of my favorite parts is this:

“When John Coffey goes to jail – he was going to be executed for murdering the two girls. I knew that he didn’t do it , but I didn’t know that the guy who did do it was going to be there, didn’t know anything about how it happened, but when I wrote it, it was all just there for me. You just take it. Everything just fits together like it existed before.”

That’s right: Stephen King didn’t know. I feel better about not knowing.

So that’s all for tonight (today’s word count is only 83 words) except for one very cool quote that WordPress threw up after I posted yesterday’s post: I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them. ~Anne Rice

That’s pretty much it.


About thewritingblues

I'm a writer working on a YA dystopian novel and blogging on my progress - or lack thereof - and other cool writing stuff.
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2 Responses to Day 71: Stephen King

  1. Vivian says:

    Wonderful! I love King and Gaiman; love how he discovers his characters while writing – letting his muse take over. I have an outline for my book, yet each time I sit down and write a character surprises me. Sometimes it’s a good surprise; sometimes it’s a red herring, but always a fruitful journey.

  2. thewritingblues says:

    I do something similar although backwards: I start writing and the start piecing together an outline after I’ve got some written, revising every other week or so. I think it’s good to have an idea of where you’re going but be able to let that go when the story goes somewhere else, better.
    I love those surprises.

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