The inaugural book of the Write Read Watch book club will be Stephen King’s book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. The book, published in 2000, is part memoir and part writing guide. According to Roger Ebert, “On Writing [has] more useful and observant things to say about the craft than any book since Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.” Personally, Stephen King wrote a large number of the books and movies that I have loved from my childhood years up to my current adulthood. Although many people would put his books in the column of junk food fiction, I really do not care.
It was scary, I had never understood why anyone would be scared of clowns until I saw that evil Pennywise. The Shining is quite possibly the best book about alcoholism and writers block that I have ever read and the best movie to boot. In fact, even had you never learned how to read (I am assuming you can read because this is a heavily text based blog) Stephen King’s stories have filtered in to movies and television shows not including the ones based on his books. It is for this reason that I find it so important to see what he has to say about writing. He writes some great books overall and some great horror in particular.
Therefore, the hard stuff, in about 2 weeks from now, on or about October 11, 2011, I’ll talk about the first half of the book somewhere up to about 144 pages in, I haven’t really read the book and I have the ebook version so it makes it hard for me to see where sections begin and end. The second half will be at the end of the month either the last Tuesday in October or the First Tuesday in November.
Buy the book here: On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft
Also, I’m terribly sorry, yesterday was movie Monday and I didn’t write up my review. I am going to post that tomorrow.
In college, the classes I hated the most were ones that began with a scheduled amount of writing. Usually somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes each class time, it seemed so structured and I hated it. I hated it because for me, I felt that writing was like art, like a cool riff that people produce from nowhere. That writers would just walk down the street and suddenly be struck by the writing bug and sit down and write all 200 or so pages of a novel.
It never occurred to me that, Orwell and Hemingway did not have the ability to carry a typewriter with them. Moreover, even if they were just struck with an idea while walking down the road, they probably still spent time just writing because it takes practice.
What finally changed my mind about it was when I had the privilege of hearing Nathan Englander speak to my creative writing class about his writing process. He said that he carved out time in his day to write and to sum up a perfectly awesome and inspiring conversation that he sits there for two hours no matter what and just tries to write something, because maybe after 1 hour and 40 minutes you are struck by inspiration. Nathan Englander is the greatest writer of this century. His short story The Twenty-Seventh Man was inspiring to say the least; I have to listen to him.
Seriously, I have not yet read his Novel The Ministry of Special Cases but his collection of short Stories For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, which contains The Twenty-Seventh Man, is amazing. So amazing that I list my favorite Authors as George Orwell, Earnest Hemingway, and Nathan Englander, if you have not read at least one story by each of these authors I implore you to do so. However, if you have read every single twilight novel and none of the great authors I have listed, I suggest that you remedy that situation and I weep nightly for you.
Now a professor of mine suggested to me once, when I questioned him about how to release myself of my block that I use pictures and images to create a story.
Below are two images: That I hope will inspire you. One should be the beginning picture and the other should be the ending image, I will leave it up to you to choose the order. The Goal is to start the story at one picture and get it to the other. Enjoy!
Look for books by Nathan Englander on Amazon.com (I’m not loving BN right now, I’ll tell you soon.)