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Stephen King
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Carrie (October 2016) > Stephen King ~ the author

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message 1: by Camille, Mil (new)

Camille Dent (thecamillion) | 90 comments Mod
Stephen King has published 54 novels and nearly 200 short stories, and he is most famous for his publications in horror, suspense, and supernatural fiction. Most of his novels take place in the state that he was born in and currently resides, Maine, though he did live in multiple other states throughout his childhood. He was raised Methodist, and continues to be religious as an adult.

As a child, King apparently witnessed his friend being struck and killed by a train, which many commentators believe altered him psychologically to write so many dark stories. However, King has no conscious memory of his friend's death. King attributes his horror inspiration to H. P. Lovecraft, saying that he discovered a collection of Lovecraft short stories in his father's attic and immediately fell in love.

King originally studied to be a teacher, but he began writing short stories for magazines when he could not find an open teaching position after graduating. He continued to write magazine stories and began working on novel ideas after finding a teaching position at Hampden Academy in Maine. His default advice for developing your skills as a writer is to: "Read and write four to six hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can't expect to become a good writer."

It's obvious that King is an avid reader and lives by his own advice, because he points to multiple authors as his inspirations, such as Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Ray Bradbury, and Richard Matheson.

Do you think that having specific inspirations for writing or art in general, such as King does, is valuable or irrelevant? Why do you think this?


message 2: by Viviana (new)

Viviana (vivi-wanderlust) | 14 comments Wow, I literally didn't know anything about King. The only book I've read by him is 'The Shining'.

About your question, I think having inspirations is incredibly valuable! Of course, you can write and not have an inspiration, but it's something completely different. Sometimes, an inspiration can make you explore yourself, get to know yourself a little bit better. I feel like an inspiration can also help you understand yourself a little bit better, and help you realise what you really want to do, what you really want to write.

For me, if you want to write, you MUST be an avid reader. It's the only way you can train, and learn.


message 3: by Alexandra, Lexy (new)

Alexandra Pedro (alexandracpedro) | 78 comments Mod
I agree with almost everything Vivi wrote.
I believe that we don't create anything from scratch, ever. It took me a while to understand this when someone first expressed this idea but now it's my belief as well. We join pieces together. It's crucial for me, in order to create something, to explore and research. That's the only way I can think of picking up pieces to later join together. It's not copying at all. It's creating something new. But something based in something you already know.
This being said, I don't think you've got to be a reader to be a writer. The way you translate your words into paper depends on what you read, I think. But you can be the type of person who doesn't like reading and prefer spend the time writing and exploring the world instead of reading. In the matter of picking up pieces, exploring the world can be as effective as reading. And practice in writing can be as effective to find your own style as reading, I think.
So, I don't think there's a recipe we need to follow. I love reading and I love writing. I can't say what I like better. But I can say that watching movies gives me as much content to write about as inspiration as to how to write it. Listening to music does exactly the same as watching movies. We may all have different ways to pick pieces and to find our own writing style, I don't think it HAS TO be through reading.


message 4: by Viviana (new)

Viviana (vivi-wanderlust) | 14 comments I totally see your point, Lexy, and there are some points I agree with. I realise that I have a more technical point of view, in a way. You see, I'm training to be a Translator, and when it comes to translation, the only way to write naturally and beautifully (I'm talking about literary translation in this case) is by being an avid reader.
Most of my professors agree in that we can't translate, for example, articles from the English into the Spanish if we do not read articles in both of those languages, and I can totally see that. I've got some classmates who never read, and their translations are not as good as of those who do read more!

Now, I know that creative writing might be a completely different story, but I do still think that you can't just write if you don't know what it's being read in the world (I don't know if I'm explaining it well) and of course, there are exceptions, but you know what they say, the exception proves the rule.

Maybe being an avid reader is not a MUST, but a 'should' (can you say that? haha).


message 5: by Alexandra, Lexy (new)

Alexandra Pedro (alexandracpedro) | 78 comments Mod
I can understand how your background influences your idea on this subject. I agree with the need for research and that's the point where I think anyone would agree, for all the reasons listed already here. I agree that that's a must!


message 6: by Camille, Mil (new)

Camille Dent (thecamillion) | 90 comments Mod
Both of you have such great insights :D I think I am somewhere in the middle (assuming I am understanding you both correctly XD)! I agree with Lexy that we can certainly pick up pieces for our own creations from any source (movies, music, books, real life, etc), but I also think that being an avid reader, like Vivi said, helps us to translate those pieces into pleasant words.

Reading a lot is certainly not necessary to be able to make a story, but I do think that reading will help you actually write that story better. Reading helps us build our vocabulary because we have more time to consider an unfamiliar word (whether we choose to look up the definition or try to decipher it based on context), but in a movie, the unfamiliar word is spoken, and then the film continues on. We also tend to speak a lot differently than we write! So if most of your actual story inspiration come from movies or music, then by reading a lot, you will be more familiar with how to express those thoughts via text rather than just speech!


message 7: by Alexandra, Lexy (new)

Alexandra Pedro (alexandracpedro) | 78 comments Mod
I agree with everything you wrote, Mil :)


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