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#157: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft | Notes

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Notes of the book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

  • He wrote his first story about Mr. Rabbit and 4 animals. Earned a quarter piece. He got the advice from his mother to write his own stories instead of copying stories
  • His brother had a high IQ 150+ and created a newspaper where Stephen wrote a continues story
  • He started watching horror movies, started liking them, started writing stories about them and selling them in his school. He sold some, also his first best seller
  • If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all. I’m not editorializing, just trying to give you the facts as I see them
  • Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough
  • Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.
  • He was alcoholic and a drug addict. Hard time to get sober
  • Writing is like Telepathy. The writer teleports his/her thoughts to the reader
  • Bring always your own whole toolbar instead of only one tool. You need it all
  • Don’t dress up your vocabulary. Just use simple words every one understands. talk plain and direct.
  • Basic rule of vocabulary: Use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful.
  • Any noun, with any verb leads to a sentence
  • Use active verbs instead of passive verbs. Instead of “The meeting will be held at 7 o’clock” write “The meeting’s at seven”
  • Avoid adverbs with -ly
  • Paragraphs. Let nature takes it’s course. Also Paragraphs are the beat
  • If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot
  • Every book has it’s own lesson or lessons
  • If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life
  • Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which your are talented, you do it (whatever it is until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to pull out of your head. Even when no on is listening (or reading, or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator is happy. Perhaps even ecstatic
  • Stories and Novels consists of three parts

    • 1 narration: from point A to B to Z
    • 2 description: reality for the reader
    • 3 dialogue: characters through dialogue speech to life
  • Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s
  • Dialogue/Building characters: Paying attention to how real people around you behave and then talking the truth about what you see
  • If you continue to write fiction, every character you create is partly you
  • basics/core ideas of storytelling

    • practice is invaluable
    • honesty is indispensable
  • The flash of insight when you see how everything connects
  • Take 6 weeks off after you finish your first draft and then read it again and edit/change stuff
  • If you send out drafts and some think a part is good and some think a part is shit then it’s a tie and you leave the part as it is
  • If what you hear from the feedback makes sense, then make the changes
  • 2nd draft = 1st Draft -10%
  • You don’t need writing classes or seminars or this book or another book on writing. You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself
  • He don’t do it for money now and never did it for money. He did it for the buzz. The pure joy of the thing and if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever
  • Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.