Stephen King wants you to learn about writing.
How old were you when you first scared Stephen King? I was stupid enough to see the original It at night when I was way too young and haven’t slept properly since. I can still see Tim Curry’s face chasing every waking moment.
King has worked in films, television, and novels for many decades and has published some of the most thoughtful and original stories in the world. I found this video from Outstanding scripts where King gives his ten tips for writing.
I hope you find it useful. Check them out and let’s talk after the jump.
What are Stephen King’s 10 writing tips?
1. If you can’t do that, get a bigger nail
This is a chic way to save that you need to stick with. Do not put all your hopes and dreams in one thing, write many.
2. Write six pages a day
That’s not much for a novelist. For a screenwriter, I think we can tweak this to write a page or two a day. The point is always to hone your craft.
3. Go where history takes you
Sometimes the best plans don’t go your way. Let the story guide you and take your characters where they need to be. Sometimes it can surprise you.
4th The good ideas stay with you
What are the lasting stories that you know are out and about in the world? That make your heart beat faster? These are the ones you should be writing.
5. First you read and copy other authors, then you gradually develop your own style
It’s okay to imitate in the beginning. Learn how someone describes things on the page or how they introduce characters. You will find your own voice through practice and repetition.
6th Writing is self-hypnosis, you need a routine
Are you a morning or night clerk? Do you have a specific time of day that you give yourself to grow? Make sure you do it daily so you don’t have to shake off the rust.
7th Start with short stories and turn them into novels or scripts
We want to say that you should practice by writing sketches or treatments. Really develop the kind of stories and beats you like and then build on them. You can get to scripts later, just learn the structure first.
8th. Learn to write for different media
There are many writing jobs out there, so don’t limit yourself to just film, television, or video games. Be open to exploring many different options and you will have more options to book many different jobs.
9. Look for ideas that you would like to write over a long period of time
In films, we always say to chase an idea that you think is okay for three to five years because that is how long the process of writing, filming, and editing can take. So think about the stories that matter and that stay.
10. Immerse yourself in your writing process until the outside world is gone
So much in writing is going into the zone, locking things out, and chasing a dream. Let yourself sink in and enjoy the process so much that you will want to come back every day.
What else did you learn from King? Tell us in the comments!