005: In Which I Disagree With Stephen King About Everything, Part 1

Trying something a little different (and fun) this week. I’m reading through an article from The Independent called “22 Lessons from Stephen King on How to Be a Great Writer” and giving my own, off-the-cuff opinions of his writing advice. Do I actually disagree with him about everything? There’s only one way to find out…

Some of the questions answered in this episode:

  • Is TV really unhealthy for writers?
  • Should you write primarily for yourself?
  • Do you have to be “disconnected from the world” in order to write?
  • Is there such a thing as too much description?

Also, my response to The Great Adverb Imbroglio.

Part 2 of this episode will be released next Wednesday (2/28/18)!

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Comments (10)

ABSOLUTELY yes to watching/not watching TV. Any sort of medium that includes storytelling techniques is quite important for writers of all kinds of genres.

Also totally agree with needing to be polite in the public sphere, even if the subjects/discussions get tough or negative. It’s been my experience that some authors receive a really good rep as a person AND a writer (for example, Neil Gaiman, Maggie Stiefvater), versus others that develop a rep as “their books are cool but don’t you dare cross them on social media”. I know I’d much rather be included in the former camp.

A lot of the others I generally disagreed with Mr King, too. No offense to him, but I’ve found that his style and way of doing things, in terms of writing and reading, don’t click with mine in a lot of ways, haha.

Thanks! Yeah, I think that on the whole, King’s advice is a little dated, TBH. Plus, given what I know of his writing, I’d say he has a fairly…unusual mind. I’m not sure there are a great many people who track with his particular way of thinking. So advice from him should be carefully weighed, not treated as gospel.

Such an interesting discussion! I haven’t actually had an opportunity to listen to your podcast yet, but feel free to consider me your newest fan. 🙂

I hear so much contradictory writing advice, and sometimes it seems like it can be super harsh on purpose (i. e. turn off your TV permanently and never watch any more again if you want to be a good writer!), so it’s super refreshing to hear your more balanced take on King’s writing tips. I haven’t read any of King’s works myself, but I get the idea that he’s sort of considered the last word on writing in many circles, and I don’t think that’s very good, because everyone has their own methods and what works for them. You can’t impose your own ‘rules’ on everybody else just because they work for you.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this podcast, and I’ll be looking forward to next week’s installment! (And hopefully I’ll try to catch up on some previous episodes as well.)

Thanks so much!! I really appreciate it! I’m glad to hear you found my comments inspiring. I agree, it’s important for people to feel that they’re not locked into any one authority’s “rules” for writing. It stifles creativity. Very happy you’re enjoying the podcast!

Although I do have to say I disagreed with your response to the idea of not using a pen name, unless it was to try to diversfy in different genres. (I know, you weren’t saying don’t use a pen name at all, but to not hide behind a pseudonym by fearing failure.) And to a point, I do see the issue with wanting to hide from the possible pitfalls of a publishing/public writing endeavor going south. But I publish/blog/social media under a pen name, and for very good reason — I’ve had a rather unfortunate past, and there were too many people in one time period who had seriously threatened me, one way or another, so I honestly don’t feel safe going public under my given name, or even my married name. There are lots of reasons people use pen names; in my case the need for security.

Oh yeah, I can totally relate to that. Really, the only case in which I’m not OK with using pen names is when people do it out of fear of criticism or failure. But there are many scenarios in which it’s sensible and even advisable.

Haven’t listened to this yet, but the title makes me laugh — particularly the “part one” at the end. XD

XD XD Yeah, this needed more time than I had initially expected, LOL.

I saw the header and thought, that’s a bit of a cheek, disagreeing with such a successful author. But I was intrigued, and tuned in…Actually, yes, you make some very good points. An enjoyable listen!

Ha ha, thanks. I think this title was particularly helpful in “grabbing” listeners. XD

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