Writing Thoughts from Stephen King!
Writing romance, horror or practitioner research, there are connections as writers we can embrace. Stephen King (2000, pp. 163-167) shares his thoughts about mining the story:
Stories aren't souvenir tee-shirts or GameBoys. Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer's job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible. Sometimes the fossil you discover is small; a seashell. Sometimes enormous, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, with all those gigantic ribs and grinning teeth. Either way...the techniques of excavation remain basically the same.
No matter how good you are, no matter how much experience you have, it's probably impossible to get the entire fossil out of the ground without a few breaks and losses. To get even most of it, the shovel must give way to more delicate tools: airhose, palm-pick, perhaps even a toothbrush....You can liberate a fossil from hard ground with a jackhammer, no argument there, but you know as well as I do that the jackhammer is going to break almost as much stuff as it liberates. It's clumsy, mechanical, anticreative....The story which results from is apt to fee artificial and labored.
King continues about the involvement of characters in the storyline:
I often have an idea of what the outcome may be, but I never demanded of a set of characters that they do things my way. On the contrary, I want them to do things their way. In some instances, the outcome is what I visualized. In most, however, it's something I never expected....Why be such a control freak? Sooner or later every story comes out somewhere.
King relays how he came upon the initial story concept for his book, Misery:
The actual story did not as then exist (well, it did, but as a relic buried--except for sixteen handwritten pages, that is--in the earth), but knowing the story wasn't necessary for me to begin work. I had located the fossil; the rest, I knew, would consist of careful excavation.
King, S. (2000). On writing: A memoir on the craft. New York: Scribner.
Posted by unm-farmington
at 2:50 PM MST
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 3:54 PM MST