Writers: Required Reading...

by Steven Fullman 30 replies
Hi,

Quick, simple..and no doubt a cliche among the 'pro's'...

Stephen King, "On Writing".

Priceless.

Steve
#main internet marketing discussion forum #reading #required #writers
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark McWilliams
    (I'm not even going to ask what may sound like a daft question!)

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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
      Originally Posted by Mark McWilliams View Post

      (I'm not even going to ask what may sound like a daft question!)

      Go on, Mark....
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  • Profile picture of the author roley
    thats a great book.. read it
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark McWilliams
    What are you talking about mate, now maybe my age doesn't help, but I'm puzzled.

    Care to possibly explain it?

    Thanks
    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    Really Steve?

    I hated it. Maybe my expectations were too high though.
    I loved Writing Down the Bones - it's a staple for me.

    Jimmy Brown actually taught me how to write for an online audience. He just did it personally with me via Elance so I could write in the style he wanted. Turns out that was a very in-demand style. lol I owe him oh...a whole chunk of my career online as far as content goes.

    Have you read that one? Writing Down the Bones I mean?
    Tiff
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

      Really Steve?

      I hated it. Maybe my expectations were too high though.
      People should know that On Writing isn't really a how to on writing, but more of a why to. I don't know that I learned a blessed thing from it but it always makes me want to write. King's enthusiasm for writing is really infectious, so it's handy for those times wher you just don't want to apply butt to chair.
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    • Profile picture of the author DeePower
      "On Writing" was Okay. I think a better title would have been "How Stephen King Writes."

      Dee
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      • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
        Originally Posted by DeePower View Post

        "On Writing" was Okay. I think a better title would have been "How Stephen King Writes."

        Dee
        Heh, every writing book I've ever read was basically how to write like the author. But if you're* looking to learn to write, there's always Elements of Style.




        *The general you, not you Dee.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
      Tiff,

      I'm afraid I haven't.

      All I know is...between thirteen and now, aged 36...in the race to the local bookstore, it was King I was chasing. Not James Joyce, not Homer. Not Dickens.

      SK is the best selling fiction author of the 20th century. I think he speaks with authority..

      I'll check out "...Bones". Anything that'll turn my mediocre ramblings into meaningful prose is worth studying.

      Kindest regards, and I was sorely tempted to join your challenge...except for my inability to write more than 7 purposeful words per day.

      ...let alone a whole article.

      Steve

      Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

      Really Steve?

      I hated it. Maybe my expectations were too high though.
      I loved Writing Down the Bones - it's a staple for me.

      Jimmy Brown actually taught me how to write for an online audience. He just did it personally with me via Elance so I could write in the style he wanted. Turns out that was a very in-demand style. lol I owe him oh...a whole chunk of my career online as far as content goes.

      Have you read that one? Writing Down the Bones I mean?
      Tiff
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      • Profile picture of the author David Reed
        Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

        SK is the best selling fiction author of the 20th century.

        Steve
        Steve I think you'll find that honour (according to Wikipedia) falls to a certain Barbara Cartland! (723 books)

        Anyone here want to admit to reading one of her books?

        David
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    • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
      Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

      I loved Writing Down the Bones.
      Tiff, you're the first person I've met who also read Writing Down the Bones. I love it too. What a great style!
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      • Profile picture of the author Anna Johnson
        I LOVED 'On Writing' as well. I don't actually read Stephen King's books (except for Carrie many, many moons ago) but I thought On Writing was great. I highly recommend it as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark McWilliams
    ...So this is some kind of book? :confused:

    No need to explain now Steve!

    Thanks
    mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    my favourite writing book of all time?
    The Renegade Writer

    simply magic!
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  • Profile picture of the author erinwrites
    I never really liked reading Stephen King's fiction but I LOVED On Writing. It sits on my shelf right next to Elements of Style and The Renegade Writer. I also really enjoyed The Well Fed Writer (and its sequel).
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
      Originally Posted by erinwrites View Post

      I never really liked reading Stephen King's fiction but I LOVED On Writing. It sits on my shelf right next to Elements of Style and The Renegade Writer. I also really enjoyed The Well Fed Writer (and its sequel).
      [interested] Was it the genre, the style or something else you disliked?

      Steve

      P.S. I Know...Answer: Yes, it was one of those things.
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      • Profile picture of the author CSwrite
        You know, that's probably the one SK book I haven't read. Will have to go check it out. I was the same way Steve, once I discovered his writing at like 9 (way too young for some of those stories btw - wooo nightmares) I couldn't get enough of it.

        Cary
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
          Originally Posted by CSwrite View Post

          You know, that's probably the one SK book I haven't read. Will have to go check it out. I was the same way Steve, once I discovered his writing at like 9 (way too young for some of those stories btw - wooo nightmares) I couldn't get enough of it.

          Cary
          Opinion: King is VASTLY underrated...there's a snobbery which says "schlock horror writer".

          The man is a skilled writer. Reminds me A LOT of Paul Myers.

          Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author CSwrite
            Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

            Opinion: King is VASTLY underrated...there's a snobbery which says "schlock horror writer".

            The man is a skilled writer. Reminds me A LOT of Paul Myers.

            Steve
            You've got it.

            Anytime a writer can create something and have it resonate with you years after you've read it (ie, I still can't see a clown without thinking of Pennywise *shudder* ) that is the mark of someone that is truly talented. No matter what genre you're in - if you can hook them that well, you've got it made.
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
              Originally Posted by CSwrite View Post

              (ie, I still can't see a clown without thinking of Pennywise *shudder*
              Uuurgh, Pennywise, from IT. Still makes me shake with fear.

              Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
            Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

            Opinion: King is VASTLY underrated...there's a snobbery which says "schlock horror writer".

            The man is a skilled writer. Reminds me A LOT of Paul Myers.

            Steve
            I agree - he is very skilled as a writer. I don't even consider him Horror if you look at his overall works.

            But maybe I just didn't appreciate his writing about writing. lol
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          • Profile picture of the author Nicolaas Theron
            Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

            Opinion: King is VASTLY underrated...there's a snobbery which says "schlock horror writer".

            The man is a skilled writer. Reminds me A LOT of Paul Myers.

            Steve
            I'm not sure if he's underrated, but then I don't really bother with reading press or reviews about authors.

            But, I fully agree with you. Taking a book like IT for example...just the story, the setting, the characters was phenomenal. I like horror but I'm not a big fan of overly supernatural themes so I had a little trouble sometimes with suspending my disbelief when it came to Pennywise (and once you have to fight to believe the scariness goes out the window), but the story and the characters just had me so hooked I couldn't stop reading. King can tell a story like few people can.

            He has written some books I just couldn't get into as well, like Tommyknockers (I tried to get past the halfway mark on that twice, couldn't do it).

            The Stand remains my favorite, but there's a lot I haven't read yet. I enjoyed On Writing as well.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
          Originally Posted by CSwrite View Post

          You know, that's probably the one SK book I haven't read. Will have to go check it out. I was the same way Steve, once I discovered his writing at like 9 (way too young for some of those stories btw - wooo nightmares) I couldn't get enough of it.

          Cary
          Lol, Cary -- reading Salem's Lot @ 9 brought demons...

          Except...then I read Dead Zone" aged 10...

          ...Then "Carrie" etc

          It wasn't worth reading unless I was s#it-scared!

          Nice one, Cary
          Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author erinwrites
        Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

        [interested] Was it the genre, the style or something else you disliked?

        Steve

        P.S. I Know...Answer: Yes, it was one of those things.
        For me, it was the genre. I respect his writing tremendously and love his sense of humor (watch the Making of Stand by Me featurette that's on the DVD) but the horror genre and I don't really jive. That isn't a dig for people who do enjoy the genre, it just isn't my thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    I have read "Writing Down The Bones" too. Excellent book
    for people who want to write.

    I haven't read the King book yet. I've been thinking about picking
    it up though.
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  • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
    The Stand and The Talisman still haunt me, in a good way. It's amazing how he brings characters to life. Still can't get through Dark Tower 1 or Salem's Lot, though my husband says I need to

    I've read Writing Down the Bones, but need to dig it out.

    I have not read SK's On Writing, I'll have to check that out!
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  • Profile picture of the author SullyUI
    Just got this book at the library, thanks for confirming it was a good pickup
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Steve,
      The man is a skilled writer. Reminds me A LOT of Paul Myers.
      I haven't read any of his stuff, so I don't know which one of us should be flattered.

      Know why Steven King writes horror stories? He's a Red Sox fan.

      I've read a lot of books on writing, but the best training exercise I've ever found is to just pick someone's style that I like and write something original in it. It forces you to be aware of sentence construction, choice of words, tone and voice, and all the other elements of the craft.

      Want to have a challenging afternoon that will teach you more than any book on the subject? Do that exercise with a Dave Barry column, and then switch to imitating the style of Frank Herbert.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author SullyUI
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Steve,I haven't read any of his stuff, so I don't know which one of us should be flattered.

        Know why Steven King writes horror stories? He's a Red Sox fan.

        I've read a lot of books on writing, but the best training exercise I've ever found is to just pick someone's style that I like and write something original in it. It forces you to be aware of sentence construction, choice of words, tone and voice, and all the other elements of the craft.

        Want to have a challenging afternoon that will teach you more than any book on the subject? Do that exercise with a Dave Barry column, and then switch to imitating the style of Frank Herbert.


        Paul
        I will give that exercise a shot tomorrow afternoon, thank you.
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