Made in America

Stephen King’s Tips for Writing

At Dorrance Publishing, we want our blog to be a resource center for our authors, providing helpful information on how to market your book, new techniques to try during the writing process and valuable advice on how to continue to grow as an author.

We recently stumbled upon American horror master Stephen King’s 14 tips on writing and we just had to share some of his top notes.

So today, we took three of his tips and added our insight in hopes of giving you a little more depth of understanding.

Stephen King Tip 1: The best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event.

The Dorrance take: Setting the scene within your plot is an important part of keeping your readers interested in the story that’s unfolding. But the events and the setting are there to support your characters and their developments through the story. How do they handle what’s happening to them? Are they permanently changed? In King’s classic Christine, she wasn’t just a car driving down the road – she was a character all on her own, and that’s what makes the story so terrifyingly memorable.

Stephen King Tip 2: Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.

The Dorrance take: Think of the author as a sculptor. The writer has a vision in mind of what they want the finished product to look like. They’re given a large slab of beautiful stone, a hammer and a chisel, and they begin chipping away at it with their words and descriptions. After some time, the stone beings to morph into something beautiful; it’s at this point that the writer hands over his work for the reader to interpret.

Stephen King Tip 3: If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.

The Dorrance take: In previous blogs, we’ve encouraged authors to set aside time every single day for writing. Whether it’s a few minutes or a designated block of time, we have told writers to make time for their craft. Though this might seem restrictive or a rigid approach to writing, we want it to be anything but that. In fact, we like the idea of setting aside time for writing because it’s important to make time for the things that we really enjoy. Part of being a good writer is enjoying what you do; that’s why we agree with Stephen King when he says, “If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”

As an author, receiving advice from other writers in the industry can help refine your craft and see your book in a whole new light. Keep Stephen King’s tips in mind and see how you can apply them to your work in the future.

Copyright Dorrance Publishing, 2016

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