Borrowing the title here from Stephen King’s part biography, part writer’s guide, as I’m reading it. I wanted to share a few things on the subject (not the book – I’m not going to write about reading about writing about writing).
One of the pleasures of writing is the path of discovery. By this, I refer to working out the style your writing takes, the nature of the story you have to tell, exercising the ability to turn the faucet to get the creative tap running. An important part of discovery when starting out (I’m told, and believe) is learning what’s in your writer’s ‘toolbox’ (stealing that metaphor Stevie, say thankya), and of course adding to it or occasionally sharpening the tools.
One thing I’ve recently discovered is the importance of research for a story. I would have thought for a work of fiction, with made up people and places, that imagination and memory would be the only tools required. However, getting some deeper knowledge of your subject matter can help improve your understanding of the products of your own imagination, or provoke your mind to flesh out your creation with your new found knowledge. Remember: sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
At first, I thought this was a sign of my imagination failing to embody characters and their relationships. However, I have learned that this is in fact quite common practice. Even if it wasn’t, it was a novel experience to be educating myself in things I found myself to have a genuine interest in. In saying that, it makes perfect sense. You write about the things you like or are interested in, so it makes perfect sense the research can lead to fun places. Not always, but sometimes.
On the topic of ‘turning on the creative tap‘, it’s sometimes brought down to simply winning the battle of the inside voices (or is that just me?), and getting the first sentence down. Once that’s down, you can’t just stop there, can you?! It may trickle out word by word (that is, after all, how all stories are told), or it may gush out quicker than you’re able to contain it and get it on paper/screen. But the important thing to remember is that the water won’t run if the tap’s closed.
Although it may be presumptuous to assume I have any real right to be giving advice on writing with no successful works to back up my claims, I feel as one of many aspiring writers in the making within the WordPress community my findings may be found useful or, if nothing else, encouraging to anyone who has a story to tell or an itch to write. I see plenty of bloggers in The Community Pool asking for pointers, and follow a couple who write stories episodically. As I’ve said before – the right words at the right time have no limit to what they can achieve. In this light, make them positive and empowering, and share.
Listening To: David Bowie – Let’s Dance
Image Source: Google Images
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