Friday, June 8th, 2007 • 1 Comment on King On Writing, Wright On King
Just a few days ago I mentioned how some writing projects need to be put aside for awhile, maybe forever. If you’re lucky, one day you’ll go back to that unfinished story and discover a gem. More often than not, such unfinished projects never see the light of day because they’re just not meant to be. I know that I’m becoming a better writer with every word I write, but those unfinished, unsatisfactory (and unsold) stories haunt me.
Stephen King (with his alter ego Richard Bachman) is back with one of those old stories that wasn’t quite good enough way-back-when. Older, wiser and (perhaps) with more time on his hands, King unearthed one of his earliest novels Blaze, and decided it was fixable. He shares the details in a fascinating letter to his readers, which explains the writing-is-rewriting process better than most how-to books on the subject. It gave me hope that some of my half-baked ideas might be worth revisting. Someday.
Whatever you think of King’s fiction writing, his nonfiction On Writing is filled with wisdom and practical advice. He may not have struggled long as an unpublished writer (and there are plenty of critics who think success came too easy), but he has suffered for his craft in many other ways. I sometimes think the writing part is easy, it’s the editing (rewriting) that requires genius. Reading his account of rewriting
reminds me how far I’ve come since I started writing—and how far I have to go.