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Stephen King scared the bejesus out of me when I was a teenager, but these days I see him as more of a mentor.

I’ve just had the pleasure of reading his memoir, ‘On Writing’, which I consider a must read for anyone who wants to get serious about the craft. Described as ‘part biography, part collection of tips for the aspiring writer’, it’s a fabulous resource in developing voice, the art of persistence and finding the story within the story.

A couple of gems to whet your appetite:

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.

and

Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.

Fabulous! My copy came via our local library, but it joins my long list of books on writing that I need to purchase. It’s something I can see myself dipping in and out of and thrusting into word-loving friends hands, telling them not to come back til they’re finished.

And no, they won’t need to leave the light on when it’s time to go to sleep – it’s not that kind of Stephen King book!

PS Image via here.

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