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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
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On Writing Quotes (showing 31-60 of 198)
“Almost everyone can remember losing his or her virginity, and most writers can remember the first book he/she put down thinking: I can do better than this. Hell, I am doing better than this! What could be more encouraging to the struggling writer than to realize his/her work is unquestionably better than that of someone who actually got paid for his/her stuff?”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot if difference. They don't have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement kind of guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you. Do you think it’s fair? I think it’s fair. He may not be much to look at, that muse-guy, and he may not be much of a conversationalist, but he’s got inspiration. It’s right that you should do all the work and burn all the mid-night oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic. There’s stuff in there that can change your life. Believe me, I know.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“A boy who once wiped his ass with poison ivy probably doesn't belong in a smart people's club.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
tags: humor
“Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. ...this book...is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.
Drink and be filled up.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“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.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“It's hard for me to believe that people who read very little (or not at all in some cases) should presume to write and expect people to like what they have written.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Let me say it again: You must not come lightly to the blank page.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Some of this book—perhaps too much—has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it—and perhaps the best of it—is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up. ”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“All I ask is that you do as well as you can, and remember that, while to write adverbs is human, to write he said or she said is divine.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair ... Come to it any way but lightly.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they're like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day... fifty the day after that... and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it's—GASP!!—too late.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“But it's writing, damn it, not washing the car or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can't or won't, it's time for you to close the book and do something else.

Wash the car, maybe.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill,one of the prime reasons you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It's not just a question of how-to, you see; it's a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“At the time we’re stuck in it, like hostages locked in a Turkish bath, high school seems the most serious business in the world to just about all of us. It’s not until the second or third class reunion that we start realizing how absurd the whole thing was.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Reading is the creative center of a writer's life." -”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“I’m not particularly keen on writing which exhaustively describes the physical characteristics of the people in the story and what they’re wearing… I can always get a J. Crew catalogue… …So spare me, if you please, the hero’s ‘sharply intelligent blue eyes’ and ‘outthrust determined chin’.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“I believe the first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months…Any longer and — for me, at least — the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel, like a dispatch from the Romanian Department of Public Affairs, or something broadcast on high-band shortwave duiring a period of severe sunspot activity.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“And what about those [writers' workshop] critiques, by the way? How valuable are they? Not very, in my experience, sorry. A lot of them are maddeningly vague. I love the feeling of Peter's story, someone may say. It had something... a sense of I don't know... there's a loving kind of you know... I can't exactly describe it....

It seems to occur to few of the attendees that if you have a feeling you just can't describe, you might just be, I don't know, kind of like, my sense of it is, maybe in the wrong fucking class.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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