Advice from the Masters: Stephen King II

Oct 15, 2014 | Better Writing

Stephen King is a fountain of great advice for writers. I’ve used his advice here before, describing what should be in your writing cave. I recommend his book, On Writing, to anyone who wants to learn more about the craft. Other writers often share their favorite bits of King’s wisdom, too.

Josh Jones wrote a post like that over at the Open Culture blog, titled “Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers.” The post has pointers to other sources of good advice, too. It’s worth a read. One item on the list of twenty jumped out at me when I read the post.

“Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

If you write for business, you may tempted to characterize this advice as some of that mystical writer stuff that fiction writers seem to throw out from time to time. Don’t.

Stories are the way that human beings communicate best. Whether you’re a fiction writers dredging up a story from the netherworld of your psyche or a business book writer, telling the story of a historical business event, getting the story right takes work.

You will be tempted to take the first version you find of a business story and use it. Resist temptation. Dig for other versions and facts. Check the facts. Then assemble the bits into a compelling story.

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts

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