Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Writing a Novel

Good Saturday Morning,

I have been reading Stephen King's book On Writing. He gets into a lot of personal stuff, and I think it is revealing how candid such a well-known writer can be about his life and work.
One might suppose that a writer of Stephen King's stature might have had a pleasant life. Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact, I have an idea that Mr. King suffered more than a little during on his long and profitable journey. At least, his description of his childhood, the early years of his marriage, and his addictions help me to understand just where the scariness in his book come from.
I wish I could write half as well as Stephen King. I really do. I am trying. King's book On Writing offers a list of skills a writer needs to succeed in his or her craft. He makes it sound easy: Get a vocabulary, learn the rules and simplify.
Of course, simple is a lot more difficult than wordy. The temptation is there. I always want to write too much. Dense writing may be ok for textbooks, but people who buy novels want to sit back and be entertined. So, we have to tell good stories, and we have to tell them well.
When I get an idea, I sit down at the computer and start writing. I keep writing until the tale is told. I listen to the voice in my head. It is almost like taking dictation. Sometimes when I finish a book I am amazed by the story and wonder where it came from. Sometimes I never find out, but it doesn't matter. Something in the universe wants me to be a conduit for the story.
There are more good writers in the world than ever before, and I am glad to be one of them.
That said, I need to get to work. My new novel calls.
Keep on the sunny side,

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