Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quotation of the Week: Stephen King and Writing



As I continue to read (slowly, as in just renewed it from the library for the second time) On Writing by Stephen King, I am discovering some insightful passages that I easily see myself jotting down in my Quotations Journal. I share his two pet peeves in writing (although I could add quite a few more than merely *two*): 1) use of passive voice and 2) adverbs, especially in dialog attributions. Although I'm only on page 133, I'm going to post a couple of the really great sentences and passages I've come across so far, ones that (yes, I confess) I underlined in my library copy. (IN PENCIL, mind you. Well, mostly in pencil....)

"I'm convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing." (page 127)

"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair--the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page" [emphasis his]. (page 106)

"Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around." (page 101)
If you are indeed serious about writing, I do recommend On Writing--with the caveat that he drops the f-bomb and other assorted colorful language almost as much as my extended family does (which is really, really saying something). But if you are as immune to foul language as I am (as long as it isn't directed in anger), you will gain some wisdom and quite a few quotations to jot down about the art of writing.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I LOVE this book - I own it, thanks to our dear Linda Albertson, and I've read it several times now. Stephen King is my favorite living author and I love that "On Writing" is also a little bit of a biography. So glad you're liking this book so far!

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