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Substitute.....

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Never bear....

Paul Whybrow

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“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

Mark Twain

iu
 

Jonny

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I have only read one book on writing craft. King's On Writing. I found it inspiring, entertaining, informative and indeed to some extent, my own writing process affirming.

It was also pretty non preachy or rulesbound. So many online articles I read are just that. My own view is that outside the basics of grammar, spelling and good presentation, if we all follow these "rules" then we all write the same book. Begs the question - what price authorial voice or unfettered creativity?

Would recommend On Writing to to anyone. Mind, I have still only read one of his novels - The Green Mile - I found it utterly compelling.
 

RK Capps

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I have only read one book on writing craft. King's On Writing. I found it inspiring, entertaining, informative and indeed to some extent, my own writing process affirming.

It was also pretty non preachy or rulesbound. So many online articles I read are just that. My own view is that outside the basics of grammar, spelling and good presentation, if we all follow these "rules" then we all write the same book. Begs the question - what price authorial voice or unfettered creativity?

Would recommend On Writing to to anyone. Mind, I have still only read one of his novels - The Green Mile - I found it utterly compelling.

I've only read those at It. That scared me away from his books for a long while...
 

Steve C

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TBH I found King's book a bit dull and not that helpfull. However when I first started writing only a couple of years ago I discovered this gem.
Techniques of a Selling Writer
Below is the first para which says it all for me.

"You need to know only four things in order to write a solid story:

How to group words into motivation-reaction units

How to group MR units into scenes and sequels

How to group scenes and sequels into story pattern

How to create the kind of characters that give a story life."

This is all stuff we can all learn and helped me so much. It is simply craftsmanship and doesn't dent creativity at all. A carpenter learns to use saws and screwdrivers etc but still creates his own furniture in his own style. Same with a painter or sculptor with their brushes and chisels we just need to learn how to use words effectively. Some may have a unique talent that needs no nurturing but the vast majority I think need some help.
 

Jonny

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Interesting, Steve.

I've heard of this book before and had a look on Amazon. Looks to be worth a punt, particularly as number five on his reason why people fail in their goal to write a good story is: They attempt to write by rules. :)

Interesting too that it was written in 1965, and seems to eschew (if several reviews I have read are correct) the rigid rules so beloved by the crafters of today's creative writing courses.

I'm off now to hunt it down - hopefully at a bargain price.
 

RK Capps

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Interesting, Steve.

I've heard of this book before and had a look on Amazon. Looks to be worth a punt, particularly as number five on his reason why people fail in their goal to write a good story is: They attempt to write by rules. :)

Interesting too that it was written in 1965, and seems to eschew (if several reviews I have read are correct) the rigid rules so beloved by the crafters of today's creative writing courses.

I'm off now to hunt it down - hopefully at a bargain price.

You won't be disappointed! Funnily enough, Westerns were still in vogue when it was written :) I often go back to it, especially when critiquing. If a sentence feels off, the motivation/reaction can be off, and I pop something from his book in my comments.
 

Steve C

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Rich (where did he go?) first put me on to it. Written over 50 years ago he reckoned all subsequent books on writing said the same things but not as well or so simply. In other words he'd not found anyone saying anything new in all that time. It is probably the only book someone wanting to learn the craft needs.
 

Hannah F

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I've photocopied bits of it, written notes on the photocopies, and keep them on my desk at all times.
 

Steve C

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I've photocopied bits of it, written notes on the photocopies, and keep them on my desk at all times.
Ha :) Same here. It's always been the way learn. Condense everything into a few notes and write them down. Writing stuff out seems to fix it somehow.
 

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