One of my favorite books on writing is, well, On Writing by Stephen King. I’ve never actually read it, only listened to it. I first heard the audio version in 2002 and ever since I have listened to it at least once a year, usually right at the beginning of the fall semester, as a sort of rejuvenation of my writing spirit. King reads the book himself and it’s a great presentation. I’ve heard it so many times – and enjoy it so much, to be honest – that listening to it at the end of September, I had fun seeing how many times I could say the lines right along with Stephen. Surprisingly, or perhaps not-so surprisingly, it happened pretty frequently. I guess you could say I’m a King convert when it comes to many of his ideas about writing. I have close to ten copies of the book in its print form, by the way, and they get loaned out to friends on occasion (and were used by the Ron Book Team last week for the October book club discussion) if you’re in the area and we’re on first-name basis.
I’m writing today to bring forth one of King’s great ideas, one he cribbed from a newspaper editor he worked with in high school: