Why take Stephen King’s advice?
Stephen King once described himself as the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries. He was wrong. Lee Child, himself no slouch at the good writing game, was bang on the money when he called Stephen King ‘America’s greatest living novelist.’
Stephen King has written more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His total sales are in excess of 350 million copies. According to Forbes, he earns approximately $40 million per year, making him one of the richest writers in the world.
Sales aren’t everything, the literary snob might argue. OK, then. King has also received over ten prestigious literary awards including the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Stephen King is America’s greatest living novelist – which, all things considered, makes him not a bad act to try to follow.
So what is Stephen King’s advice?
First, some advice from us. Buy or download a copy of King’s superb On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Don’t just read it. Digest it. No better guide to writing has ever been published. Within its hallowed pages, Stephen King gives these seven tips to becoming a better writer:
- Get to the point.
- Write a draft. Then let it rest.
- Cut down your text.
- Be relatable and honest.
- Don’t care too much what others may think.
- Read a lot.
- Write a lot.
Watch these videos for more of Stephen King’s indispensable advice for writers:
Every time Stephen King opens his mouth, out tumbles a nugget. If you don’t believe us, try these for size:
- “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
- “Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.”
- “When asked, How do you write? I invariably answer, one word at a time.”
Find out more
Now take a few hours to follow up all the reference links on Stephen King’s Wikipedia page.
Read, for example, this excellent interview where he gives yet more tips to writers.
Or this one in The Paris Review.