Tuesday, December 26, 2006

King of Advice

I will be spending a good part of my free time reading now. For a few reasons, the least being all the Barnes & Noble dollars my all-knowing family have bestowed on me this holiday season. The most of which is-- I feel the need for inspiration and guidance right now in my own writing. So, my posts for a while will probably consist of little sparklies I encounter on my dig that I will be moved to share here.

I have started my search for guidance with Stephen King's ON WRITING. Here's a very good piece of advice from it:

(He's talking about things he's learned) "Running a close second was the realization that stopping a piece of work because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it."

Really? I know it gets hard sometimes and you have to push through a scene. I've definitely been there. But, when do you know when to let a story go and when to push on?

Right now I really want to dump my whole story because changing it would be harder than starting over. Do I just want to dump it because it's hard then?

This is the first question I need to answer for myself.


Christian said...

My personal system is:

If a story just isn't "working" - and by that I mean that every single word is like pushing through five feet of wet snow - then I stop writing. My first order of business is to determine whether I'm engaged by the story or if I'm boring myself with it. If that's the situation, then the whole shebang gets scrapped. If I feel the premise is strong and it's something I really want to write, I put it in a folder for 1-3 months to let it "simmer." Sometimes, that distance from it is what it takes to see the problems anew.

Good luck!

Shannon said...

I think the thing I'm having a hard time with is what King stresses in the book I just finished- people just want to read a good story-period. I'm sure that's true for the majority of the population, and if my goal was to become a best-selling commercial fiction writer, I would have to agree with him.

The problem is, I personally read for the prose also. That said, I think King is a great story-teller, but I wouldn't say he's a great writer. He makes a comment about one of my favorite writers-Ayn Rand and how her writing is wooden. I read Atlas Shrugged thirteen times because I love the writing, not just the story.

Difference in taste, I guess.

Yes, putting it away to simmer for a while sounds like a great idea...while I figure out a happy medium between a good story (satisfy the reader) and good prose (satify the writer) :-)