The one and only Stephen King offers advice for those who aspire to the profession he loves.
When I first started seriously reading authors' blogs and working on my own book project, I noticed that people recommend this book more than any other writing guide. It is a how-to book, but it's also a memoir about Stephen King's love affair with writing. He talks about the influences and moments in his life that molded him into a prolific storyteller. This short work is full of readable and relevant advice for those who are learning to be writers.
King describes how he excavates his stories, rather than inventing them. The story is always the most important thing, and he does not usually focus on any themes or symbolism until the second draft. He emphasizes the importance of beta readers and revision, and reminds writers to cut out anything that does not help the story. His useful and often quoted formula is 1st Draft - 10% = 2nd Draft. If you are writing or thinking about writing you must read this book.
King is a master of fiction, and even this non-fiction book has a stylistic flair that makes it engaging as well as useful. He writes with a personable and honest voice, and does not come off as arrogant despite his astronomical success. He talks about his bad ideas just as often as he describes how he came to some of his really good ideas. I have never really felt compelled to write fiction, but when I was about halfway through this book I felt so inspired that I sat down and typed up a 3,000 word beginning to a novel. That is the sort of power that a passionate author can have over a reader.
The very cool website of Stephen King
$12.99 for the Kindle edition
What is the most useful piece of writing advice you have ever received? Can you recommend any other good writing books?