What John Gould taught Stephen King

I have not written a blog since December 14th. Hard to find the time when shopping for gifts and stuffing myself with Christmas cookies, cupcakes, candies, assorted treats, ham dinner, and New Years Eve Kahlua. There are other excuses, but we won’t go there.

Let’s begin the new year with what John Gould, editor of Lisbon, Maine’s, newspaper, who, according to Stephen  King, taught him the most valuable lesson on writing. King writes about it in his book “On Writing,” a book every aspiring writer should read.

What Gould said was, “When you write a story, your telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” The advice is simple and makes sense. The first sentence about writing the story for yourself tells me to write it the way you want to, using anything that comes to mind; forget editing, let your mind go and worry about everything else later. You are writing for yourself. The second sentence is when you have to let go. When you rewrite you are telling the story to the reader. You must ask yourself if every scene, every bit of dialogue, every scene, helps the reader.

In my first e-novel, “Loonies in the Dugout,” I cut out an entire dream sequence near the end of the book. There was nothing bad about the writing, but the scene did not advance the story, did not enlighten in any way, did not reveal anything about the character we did not know, and I asked myself why in the world do I have a dream sequence when I hate dream sequences. Out you go. I deleted the scene into cyberspace where it floats for eternity with no place to go. Good riddance.

You can not fall in love with your story when you rewrite and edit. That is why it is set aside for a period time long enough for you to approach with some degree of objectivity, looking at through the eyes, not of an author, but through the eyes of a reader.

My Amazon author’s page. http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38

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Filed under dalies, e-book publishing, Uncategorized, writing

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