Stephen King’s Rules for Successful Writing
Apr 20, 2018
The kings of horror, Stephen King’s works are sold all over the world with more than 350 million copies. The author’s manual On Writing reveals that although he loves what he is doing, he himself does not always stick to his rules. However, at least knowing them is great for any writer. Here are some kings rules that might help you become a better writer.
- First, write for yourself, and then think about your readers. When you are writing, you are telling the story to yourself. When you edit, you should take out everything that is not the story. It always should start out being just for you, but then it has to go out.
- Perfect grammar should not become your main concern. The language does not necessarily have to be perfect. Your main goal while working on a fictional novel should be making the reader forget, as much as possible, that he or she is reading a story at all. Remember it when you start worrying about grammatical correctness too much.
- Read a lot. You must read widely, constantly perfecting your writing. If you lack time for reading, then you lack time for writing, as well. And that’s for sure – all the writers like Stephen king agree with this.
- Do not worry about how to make others happy. In polite society, people consider reading at meals rude. But if you are questioning how to become a successful author, rudeness has to be the last thing to worry about, as well as the polite society and its expectations.
- Turn Off the TV. The majority of modern exercise facilities are equipped with TV, however, this is actually the last thing a good writer needs. If you have the feeling that you must turn on the TV, then you should ask yourself how serious you are about writing anything worthy. You have to be ready to do dive into the life of the imagination. Reading and writing take time, and the television takes too much of it.
- You have just three months. The first draft of your writing has to be completed in three months. One season is usually enough for making something great.
- Exclude any distractions. There have to be no phone, TV or video games around you to distract you. If you have a window there, pull down the shades.
- There are two great secrets. Every time when I am asked, I say that my personal secrets are the following: I maintained my physical health and my marriage. This answer is great as it makes the question go away and it is truthful. A healthy body in combination with a strong relationship with an amazing woman gives me a chance to work during my entire life. Moreover, I believe that the converse is true: that my writing and the joy I get from it has contributed a lot to the stability of my health and my married life.
- Take a break. It is quite a strange feeling when you read your book after a couple of weeks of layoff. You will recognize it is yours, you will even be able to remember sounds that were in the background when you wrote certain words, and yet it will also feel like reading somebody else’s book. That is exactly the reason you waited for. It hurts less when you have to kill other’s darlings than it is when you kill your own ones.
- Get rid of the boring parts and characters. Most of the writers have to kill our darlings, some characters who are not fitting enough to a certain story and to cut off the entire chapters when they are not exciting enough. And yes, this is the part of Stephen King writing process, just like any other writer’s.
- Make sure your research does not overshadow your story. If you are forced to do a research as certain parts of your story concern things on which you lack knowledge, remember that it is important to know when it is time to stop. Often, writers become entranced with what they are learning about certain unicellular organisms or the I.Q. potential of puppies, but our readers are going to care much more about our stories and characters.
- You become a writer just due to reading and writing. One of Stephen King writing tips is that you do not actually require any writing classes. Many good writers learn the basics of writing while they are doing another job, serving in the army, working as waiters, etc. As for me personally, I learned the most important part of this job when I was working in the laundry. In reality, the best way to learn is reading a lot and writing a lot, as well.
- Writing must make you happy. Please remember, that first of all, it is not about making much money, becoming famous or making new friends. Eventually, it is about simply bringing you joy and making you happy. Writing is as much the water of life as all the other kinds of creative art. The water is free. So drink it. Enjoy the process and you will produce something outstanding in the end.