Finished the first pass at my kid’s pirate novel two days ago. Giant fun. Nothing like spinning a tale and winding it up. Now on to prepping for meetings in Hollywood next month. Was talking to a friend in New York, Rob, who knows what’s what, and I was on a cloud because I’d just written “The End” and he said he’d, that day, been reading On Writing by Stephen King. King suggests that when you finish something, you should put it away for six weeks so it will go cold. King’s line of reasoning, I believe, was that after that time it becomes an alien being.
I then did two things… I put the book away until November 1. And I picked up On Writing and started re-reading it. WHAT A GREAT BOOK.
Well, I started re-reading the second half, the stuff about writing. I’ve never read the first part, which is his bio. I wanted to know how to write!
Mr. King’s book is common sense advice that it doesn’t hurt to re-hear every once in a while. One thing is that you have to do it every day. Fail that, and doom ensues. I have been out of the “write every morning if it kills you” mindset for precisely two days and I can tell my creative life is slipping away. If you allow “work” or “family” or any other foolishness to get in the way, you are screwed blue and tattooed.
He has a lot to say about situation vs. plotting… stick two people in a room, follow them down a path and see where it goes.
On my pirate novel, I had a detailed outline… but the writing got better when I deviated from said outline, spread my tiny wings, and flew. It felt better and showed better on the page. I think I was actually pretty amusing on paper when I sort of revved up and let go. We’ll find out on November first, won’t we?
If you have not read the second half of On Writing, I highly recommend it. The book is $25, expensive as hell, but still worth it even if you skip the front end. The good junk is in the trunk.