Monday, April 06, 2009

Harsh, but fair...

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend Stephen King's book on writing, which in Ronseal fashion is called On Writing. Penned when the horror writer was recovering from a serious accident, it contains a lot of sound advice and some amusing autobiographical stuff too. Rather shamefully, I've only just read it myself, even though it was published at the turn of the century and has been on my radar for a long time.

King is particularly brutal when describing the kind of love-in that tends to happen in writing classes for budding novelists. 'Babbling idiots' explain how much they like their classmates' work, although they often can't articulate their feelings and are - according to the author - 'maddeningly vague'.

King's take on all this well-meaning waffle? He says that if you're studying writing and you have a feeling you can't describe, "you might just be, I don't know, kind of like, my sense of it is, maybe in the wrong f***ing class." Ouch.

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