Opinion: A quick article about writing


A handful of instances over the previous couple of years readers have requested about my course of for writing columns. An extended response could also be within the offing sooner or later, however within the interim I’m together with beneath a letter I wrote Stephen King lately. I can’t advocate his memoir extremely sufficient. KW

July 23, 2022


I lately completed On Writing and thought it was a terrific memoir, to not point out the very best ebook on writing I’ve ever learn. Thanks for sharing your story and method to the craft. Chances are you’ll give up studying right here for those who like (I don’t know how a lot fan mail it’s a must to wade via), however I believed you could be within the backstory of how I got here throughout your ebook and why I felt compelled to jot down you. It’d even make you smile.

On Might 18 I discovered myself on the College of Mississippi campus in Oxford, MS for my youngest son’s faculty orientation. Since this was my fourth little one to attend Ole Miss and I may nearly give the orientation lecture to oldsters myself, I escaped into the bookstore. As I perused the aisles, my eye was caught by this attention-grabbing little ebook by Stephen King on writing.

The primary sentence within the second foreword grabbed my consideration (as did the very fact that there have been a number of forewords). After I learn the reference to Strunk and White’s Parts of Fashion, which my dad gave me after I was in jr. excessive, I used to be hooked. I bought a replica (of On Writing, not The Parts of Fashion), headed out to the Grove, discovered a bench, and sat right down to learn.

I didn’t end your ebook that afternoon – I needed to be a great dad, in spite of everything, and attend a few of the orientation occasions with my son – however bear in mind telling my spouse that evening, “You’re not going to consider the place Stephen King received the inspiration for Carrie!”  

After I received to the “Toolbox” part a number of nights later I received my highlighter out. By the point I completed On Writing in early June I knew I had added a everlasting reference work to my assortment. I’ve since purchased copies for 3 of my buddies (together with my dad). None of them write professionally (though one is an aspiring novelist), however all write the occasional blogs, newspaper columns, and op-eds.  

By coincidence, I completed your ebook about the identical time I returned from a visit to New England and the identical time my spouse and I had been streaming Fortress Rock (which, subconsciously or not, could have been influenced by studying your ebook). Regardless, due to the confluence of occasions I felt compelled to thanks for a job nicely finished.

Lastly, though I’m not a novelist, I write the periodic newspaper column and was struck by the similarities of the method.  Like Tabitha for you, my spouse M’lee is my Perfect Reader. Each column I write goes via her display earlier than I ship it out for print. I additionally consider within the worth of trimming and that much less is extra. (After all, the newspaper format enforces that self-discipline as you recall.)

One factor that strikes me as completely different is that whereas you as a novelist don’t know the place you’ll find yourself however belief the story to take you there, I as a columnist know the place I wish to find yourself however am by no means fairly certain how I’ll get there. I’m together with a replica of a current column referencing my expertise within the Boston Backyard. You possibly can resolve how nicely (or poorly) I adopted your guidelines.

With appreciation in your work,

Kelley Williams is a Northsider.


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