Sunday, 24 June, 2001

Taking a Break / Stephen King's On Writing

Well I apologize for the missing entries.  Call it vacation.  I've had a very bad week:  aggravated an old back injury, serious insomnia, and a general reevaluation of my current situation have left me with little inclination to sit down and write.  Except for last night and this morning when, due to the aforementioned sleeping problems, I was able to get started on what I hope to be my first ever piece of fiction.  Why?  Why the heck not?  Fiction is fascinating to read, and I've long tossed around the idea writing it.  I'm not attempting the Great American Novel or anything--just a medium-length short story.

Speaking of writing fiction, I recently picked Stephen King's book On Writing.  I've always liked King's work (his short stories and early novels are the best, in my opinion), and this book ranks right up there with the best.  The first part of the book is a memoir or short autobiography, and the second part gets into some of the mechanics of writing.  The second part could stand on its own, but I think it's much better when viewed through the knowledge gained by reading the first part.  Apart from the writing advice (which rings true to me, but then I don't know much about writing fiction), the best part about the book is the presentation.  King writes as though you're having a little after-dinner discussion, and speaks as a peer rather than some high mucky-muck who knows everything.  He writes in a no-bullshit style with a fair amount of humor and no pretension.  Very enjoyable.