TOPIC 1: "ON WRITING” -- After reading the first 50 pages of Stephen King's "On Writing”:
1. What is your favorite anecdote and quote so far from the book?
2. Summarize the anecdote.
3. Why did the anecdote resonate with you? In other words, why did you like it?
4. Write out the quote.
5. Explain why the quote stood out to you.
I think my favorite anecdote so far in Stephen Kings’ book “On Writing”, while rather simple compared to some of the more wild events, is the most telling of who he still is today.
At age six, he showed his mother a story he had (supposedly) written. She was initially charmed, until she asked and he acknowledged that he copied most of it.
When she declared that he should write one of his own, he tells of feeling immense possibility at the idea. Like endless magic doors that he could open anytime he wanted to.
This inspires Mr. King to write a story about Mr. Rabbit Trick and his three friends who drive around in a car helping kids. His mother genuinely likes it so he writes several more. She pays him a quarter apiece for the four stories. It was his first paid gig in the writing business.
This incident resonated with me because it showed his true nature of wanting, even needing, to write to the point of (unknowingly) plagiarizing. The happiness he said he felt when she said what he had written was good enough to be in a book seems like a good place to start.
I think Stephen is still opening those magic doors.
My favorite quote is the whole Third Foreword. This was the first time I have seen a third foreword in a book and I loved it! Mr. King says, “To write is human, to edit is divine”.
Over the years I have helped edit some of my husband’s writing work. Of course now writing on a computer allows instant spelling and grammar correction but sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes.
Suggestions and ideas that may or may not improve specifics of the writing are still crucial to being open to the possibility of improvement. I also think it is respectful to the reader that the information put down on the page is as concise and accurate as possible.
It also gives me encouragement that whatever I write does not have to be flawless. After all, I am just a simple human. I am sure that I “fall short of editorial perfection”. That takes off some of the self-inflicted pressure!