Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft Quotes
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There's an old rule of theater that goes, 'If there's a gun on the mantel in Act I, it must go off in Act III.' The reverse is also true.
The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.
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.
I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven.
Reading takes time, and the glass teat takes too much of it.
It is completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut—it’s the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts.
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.
You try to tell yourself that you've been lucky, most incredibly lucky, and usually that works because it's true. Sometimes it doesn't work, that's all. Then you cry.
If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered.
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.
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.
It's best to have your tools with you. If you don't, you're apt to find something you didn't expect and get discouraged.
For years I dreamed of having the sort of massive oak slab that would dominate a room...
And, instead of pelting these babbling idiots with their own freshly toasted marshmallows, everyone else sitting around the fire is often nodding and smiling and looking solemny thoughtful.
The idea that creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time.
The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
The scariest moment is always just before you start.
you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.
To write is human, to edit is divine.
It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.
Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity.
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.
The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.
By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.
Words have weight.
The truth is that most writers are needy.
It's worked! Our marriage has outlasted all of the world leaders, except for Castro. And if we keep talking, arguing, making love and dancing to the Ramones- it'll probably keep working.
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.
The object of fiction isn't grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.... Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction.
Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.
The word is only a representation of the meaning, even at its best, writing almost always falls short of full meaning.
When you’re still too young to shave, optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.
Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.
The heart also knows things, and so does the imagination. Thank God. If not for heart and imagination, the world of fiction would be a pretty seedy place. It might not even exist at all.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.
What you need to remember is that there’s a difference between lecturing about what you know and using it to enrich the story. The latter is good. The former is not.
You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.
You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair ... Come to it any way but lightly.
Only God gets it right the first time and only a slob says, "Oh well, let it go, that's what copyeditors are for.