As this is my first blog with The Marshall Democrat-News, I want to share a book that has both inspired and comforted me on the craft of writing. Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft transposes the basic autobiography and reveals elements of fiction writing that many students won't learn in an early creative writing course.
The author's connection to his readers is far more noticeable here than in the bestsellers on bookstore shelves. This is partly due to the attention drawn to the craft of writing, guiding his readers as students of fiction. Such an example is King's nudge for writers to not get hung up on the plot--planning and outlining a story often hinders the creative process. Instead, he encourages his readers to find a space where they cannot be distracted and shoot for a goal. This goal can be uninterrupted writing for a period of time or a certain number of pages per day.
That goal may sound basic. But years ago, when in high school (It was a long time ago. I'm three days younger than water.), my fellow classmates and I were forced to outline everything. I often felt guilty for writing a story first then completing an outline to make the grade. On Writing told me that was okay--finally.
By no means am I intending to downplay the importance of outlines. This is merely an example of how King relates to the reader. In addition to in-depth tips, King's personal life shines through, and brings us closer to his own surprises, joys, and struggles. We get a bird's eye view of his family as well as his past addiction to alcohol. I've read this memoir several times and feel that even if you're not a Stephen King fan, On Writing is a summer read that will motivate you to do, not try.