Thursday, December 08, 2005

Stephen is King

I've been reading On Writing, by Stephen King. I haven't read too many books about writing, having always preferred using that time to write, but today I found out why it's good for writers to read books like that. Not only has he reminded me why I love to write, he solved my story problem.

For weeks I've been wrestling with how my revised WIP will end. I had no clue. Saw no path. And, as always, worried that this time I wouldn't be able to find a way.

Last night I got to the part in SK's book about looking for theme. He claimed it was there and would become visible if you let the story rest and reread it after a few weeks. Eerily, I'd let my story rest for about four weeks and was just coming back to it.

A few minutes ago I got backhanded and the end poured out as if it'd been there all along. All the minor plotpoints suddenly braided into a theme. Just like SK said it would. And the theme illuminated my path.

So much of writing is subconscious. I'd written a sentence a couple of days ago that kept stopping me as I read. It bothered me. I wondered why I wrote it, where it had come from, and I almost removed it because it veered off in a direction I couldn't see having any impact at all on the story. Ultimately I left it in because I've been well-trained to trust my process, and things can be removed any time, but they can't always be easily put back in.

Wouldn't you know that sentence turned out to be of major importance to this ending I've just discovered.

Sometimes, the magic of my job just leaves me breathless, and high, and so totally stoked I can't even find the words to express it.

Thank you, SK!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

“Sometimes, the magic of my job just leaves me breathless, and high, and so totally stoked I can't even find the words to express it.”

I just love this, Ann. What perfect phraseology! You captured the feeling and realization in just that single sentence.

I haven’t read Kings book yet, but it’s definitely on my TBR list. I’ve heard so many good things about it.

December 08, 2005 9:12 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Thank you Daisy! I worried I sounded conceited or something. But this job does often work like magic. The whole story leads to an ending I never would've guessed and didn't even intend the first time I wrote it! Yet the clues have been there forever.

As for SK's book. It's not a magnum opus or anything, in fact at least half of it is about his life. But he had enough gems in there so I got very inspired - especially since he's one of the only champions of *popular* fiction. I'd recommend it!

December 09, 2005 5:34 AM  
Blogger Lyn Cash said...

I love that book by King - gave lots of insight as to "how or why" he is who he is in the first half, and offered tons of information for writers on the back end of the book. The whole thing was well worth the read and money.

CONGRATULATIONS on another great cover for EC!!!

December 12, 2005 6:30 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Thanks, Lyn! I also found alot of confirmation in King's book. The naps, the walks, the insecurities, the thinking, the substance abuse *gg*...

If a multimillionaire writer has the same issues, then, hey. I must be okay. LOL.

December 13, 2005 4:02 PM  

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