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MAY
01

Murder Your Darlings

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I finished the Stephen King book, and I really enjoyed it. The beginning section could have been longer (I loved reading about his early writer-life and how it all came together for him...fascinating), but I really did appreciate the guts of the book, particularly the sections focused on revising. King spoke quite a bit about his own processes once he's got a first manuscript draft, and considering that's what I've got right now, a first draft, I'm looking at it a bit differently.

More to the point, I'm trying to cut more out. To murder my darlings, as they say. And it's hard. It's hard when you really like a certain paragraph or page to admit that it doesn't fit. But thanks in part to Stephen King's book, I'm trying to be more generous with my red pen, and believe it or not, what I feel as I slash through various words and lines isn't panic or sadness, it's clarity, liberation even. Never would have guessed that, but there you have it. Murdering my darlings like a pro. And realizing that this book will be shorter than my last one.

APR
24

A Few Words About Genre Fiction

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It's a funny thing, genre fiction. I always stayed away due to an assumption that it would be crappily written, and certainly beneath me and my English major tastes. Then one of my roommates in college gave me a John Grisham book, and I read it. Yes, I stooped that low. Here's the thing though...I loved it. I read several more JG books after that, and while nothing like the kind of depth and meaning that settles over me after reading a classic piece of literature, they were damn good reads. Hello, crow. Welcome.

Stephen King though is another matter entirely, because despite any (probably incorrect) assumptions I have about the writing itself, the bigger hurdle for me is that I do not enjoy anything in the realm of horror. I don't like feeling scared or disturbed or grossed out any more than I have to in this world, so the likes of Carrie and The Shining have never appealed to me in the slightest.

Even when given On Writing as a gift (a memoir-ish look at King's writer past as well as his writing processes and advice), I stalled for several months before reading it. Not being a fiction writer (and having never read a single word of any of his books), what could I possibly glean from his advice on writing? The answer is plenty, and I'll share a few gems once I've finished the book. In the meantime, go get yourself a copy of Grisham's The Partner.

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