On Writing - a precious lesson for writers

Discussion in 'On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft' started by Doruntina, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Doruntina
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    Doruntina New Member

    On Writing is the second book by Stephen King I've read, the first being Bag of Bones. I haven't read the others - yet - because of King's reputation for writing some scary ****. I don't usually like scary **** and I read Bag of Bones with my hand on my face half of the time; I was but 16 or so at the time.

    Back to On Writing. The most precious lesson King gave me was this: Simplicity is key. There is one thing I am worried about, though. What if you do not have an IR? Like in my case. How do I hope to judge my work as a reader, not the writer?
    Neesy, Lisey Landon, Chuggs and 5 others like this.
  2. Walter Oobleck
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    Walter Oobleck keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going

    I think King also said treasure the bad...maybe it was in On Writing. Bad writing...and it's out there. Maybe look for some bad writing, see how bad it is, check out reviews of the bad writing...Goodreads.com comes to mind. Or maybe you are already familiar with some bad writing. Some of Koontz's early writing is what I'd call cheesecloth...the fabric is there, but it's not going to keep you warm on a cold cold night. Off the top of my head, that's probably the best example of bad writing...and even there, in his early stuff, it's not necessarily "bad"...but it is thin...there's no sense of place. I'm sure if I tried I could find some more examples, something concrete. Often, the "bad" is only in places, a line or two that is...bad. I've seen some terrible similes, metaphor.

    What is an IR? that some sort of reader I take it? I've read On Writing, try to listen to on audio from time to time...but I'm not sure what an IR is.
  3. Doruntina
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    Doruntina New Member

    Yes, you're absolutely right. I have had the misfortune - or fortune, of reading some really bad writings. Those encouraged me most of the time.
    An IR is a someone who King refers to as an Ideal Reader, someone you know the thoughts of, and know how she/he will react to a certain sentence; someone to write for. Someone every person aspiring to be a writer should have on speed dial (unfortunately for me). I guess I'll just have to use King's other advice: wait for about six weeks before you read the first draft of a novel you've written.

    Thank you for your advice.
  4. FlakeNoir
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    FlakeNoir Beta/Moderator Moderator

    Welcome Doruntina, good to have you here. :)
  5. Dana Jean
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    Dana Jean Beta Tester/Moderator Moderator

    Welcome to the board.
  6. GNTLGNT
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    GNTLGNT Idiot in Situ and Unholy Devourer of Cookies

    ...yes'm he does write some scary bits-however, that is NOT the totality of his work....
    Winter, Neesy, Doruntina and 3 others like this.
  7. king family fan
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    king family fan Prolific member

    Welcome to the SKMB.
  8. kingricefan
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    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Welcome! Perhaps, since you aren't into the oogie-boogie aspects of King's work, you should read Different Seasons (it has the novella that The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me films are based on) and Hearts In Atlantis.
  9. Lisey Landon
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    Lisey Landon Well-Known Member

    Welcome!
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  10. mustangclaire
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    mustangclaire There's petrol runnin' through my veins.

  11. Doruntina
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    Doruntina New Member

    Thanks for the warm welcomes!

    I do intend to read as many of King's books as I can from now on. I think I can handle him now; I'm a big girl :). Thanks for the recommendations Kingricefan.
  12. GNTLGNT
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    GNTLGNT Idiot in Situ and Unholy Devourer of Cookies

    ...try the Green Mile...there's a certain personable rodent there that would love to meet ya!...:howdy:
    Doruntina, king family fan and Neesy like this.
  13. Neesy
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    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    Welcome to the SKMB
    11/22/63 is also very good (or perhaps Duma Key). Neither one is very gory.

    wolf and raven.jpg
    Winter, GNTLGNT and king family fan like this.
  14. prufrock21
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    prufrock21 Well-Known Member

    When in doubt, error on the side of the Constant Reader. Read everything you can by the King.
    And give thanks.
  15. Haunted
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    Haunted My favorite place

  16. Anthea M
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    Anthea M Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Forum ( I'm a newbie too).
    Neesy likes this.
  17. Christine62
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    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    I would recommend From A Buick 8--it's a bit creepy in parts but not scary. As for an IR it depends what you want. You want writer criticism to give you feed back find someone who writes. If you just want general reader response--that can be anyone.
    Neesy likes this.

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