Tag Archives: Stephen King On Writing

Say What? – Why These Are My Favorite Books About Writing

There are many books out there that give you information about writing or publishing. But these are some of my favorites: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott; On Writing: A Memoir of Craft by Stephen King; The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner; Second Sight by Cheryl Klein.

I like these particular books for the same reason I like most of the books that I like:  the VOICE.


The authors give their tidbits of information, or share their stories, or proffer their advice, and I can hear who they are when they do it. I aspire to maintain my voice when I blog, and sometimes I achieve that and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m too brash; other times I’m much nicer than I actually am. Ultimately it all feels like a persona anyway, not really an authentic representation of who I am.

Of course its different when you’re writing fiction, because then the voice of your characters is what you’re going for. That’s equally important, but different still.

How do you think your voice measures up in your writing? When you write fiction does it feel authentically you? Do the voices of your fictional characters sound the way you thought they would? What do you think about books on writing? 


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Guest Post: Paper Fear

As you all know, I don’t read or represent horror. I’m just not one of those people who enjoys that anxious, scared feeling, knowing something terrible is going to happen when you turn the page. I mean, the only Stephen King book I’ve ever read is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, which you should all go out and buy right this second.  But scary? Not for me… Well, except for anything written by my client Damien Walters Grintalis! Damien is such a master of all things dark yet literary that I can’t help but read her work. I get through the scariness because I just love what she does with words. Look for Damien’s debut novel, INK, in December of 2012. But for now, listen to what Damien has to say about writing scary stories…

I never set out to write about all things dark and scary. In truth, I would say I’m a writer first, a writer of horror second. Horror is not the only thing I write, but most of my writing is kissed with a touch of darkness.

But what is scary? In the real world, it’s a sound in the night where there should be silence. Pacing a hole in the rug when your child is late and your phone calls go unanswered. The lump in your throat when you find out your company is downsizing and half the employees will be out of a job by week’s end.

My horror is usually of the supernatural variety. Cursed tattoos, haunted photo albums, hands that can heal, but at a great cost. I don’t write what I know. I write what I can imagine.

Except fear. Fear is universal. Although my characters might have to face something otherworldly, I try to ground their fear in reality – a small sound in the quiet, an absence where someone should be (or a presence where solitude should reign), that unsettling feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Loss of control, a shattered sense of self, a fear of the sickness inside. My characters experience these things in ways that are impossible in the real world, but they are all common fears from the human experience that anyone can relate to, even if they’ve never encountered a monster or a ghost.

Sometimes fear is easier to face when it’s fictional.

What emotions do you try to invoke in or evoke from your work?


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Query Critique Contest Plus My Favorite Books on Writing for You!

When I sit down to blog I usually try to put something useful up. Sometimes I just bitch and moan though, I know that. But rather than complain, you, my awesome blog followers, commiserate with me. Great word, by the way! Commiserate!

Prefix of the word is COM = with, suffix is ATE = together, root of the thing = MISERY resulting in: with misery together! Love that.

Ahem! But, as I was saying… I usually try to put something useful up. I so appreciate when people comment, too. Even if I don’t respond to your comment, it’s very rewarding to know folks are actively engaged in this conversation about writing and getting published.

So in appreciation for being my lovelies, for reading and following and commenting and coming back again and again, I have a little gifty for three of you! I have three favorite books about writing and I’m giving away one of each. But that’s not all! If you order now you also get this Ginsu knife! I’m just kidding, no Ginsu. But, each winner will also get a query critique from me. That means you will send me your query, I will read it, and I will give you feedback about what is working and what is not working. Private feedback, for your eyes only. This is the only catch: you have to be following my blog to be eligible for any of this!

Here’s what you need to do: In the comments section after this post just tell me why you write (in less than 20 words). I will pick three lucky people. As long as you’re following my blog I’ll be able to e-mail you to let you know you’ve won. You can then e-mail me your query to critique and I’ll snail-mail you your book and the query critique! Easy peasy.

So, go! Make sure you’re following the blog and tell me why you write! (Remember, in under 20 words…)

This contest is open from 12:01am EST Saturday, February 18th to 11:59pm EST Sunday, February 19th. Winners will be posted Monday morning at around 9am.


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