03 June, 2013

Stephen King Gives a Talk at UMASS

I found this on Youtube today and thought I'd better share it with my fellow writers. If you aren't interested in watching Stephen King answer questions about the craft of writing, post your message in the comments section and I will help you find a psychologist.

This is what I do at lunch. I search the internet for online lectures and watch them while I chew. To be honest, most days it's a chess lecture, but yesterday I pretended I was a grown-up and did something pertinent to my work.


I'll add a brief personal note. What Stephen King says about plotting is exactly what made me think I shouldn't do it. I had a notion that the greatest literary minds don't have to plot. If there's one thing I love about King's book, On Writing, it's that it's written as a memoir. It's his experience. I like to believe his implication is that you'll have your own experiences. I've recently discovered that I'm better off plotting, at least for now. Or, at least, I recently admitted it to myself. So what? Tolkien did it. So did Robert E. Howard, Alfred Bester, Iain Banks (and still does) H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell... you get the idea.

I'm giving a word of warning to my younger self here, and anyone who suffers from the same malady. Just because your heroes do things one way doesn't mean that you have to. Every artist has to find their own method. It's just part of working with your own imagination, so be honest with yourself, young Luke! If you get this message back in time four years ago, you'll be a better writer by the time you're my age, and unless Quantum Mechanics theory is correct then I'll be...

I don't feel any different. Either Quantum Mechanics theory is correct, or my time travel experiment didn't work. Either way, I hope you enjoy the video. Maybe I'll notice a difference when I start writing fiction again. I'm going to click "Publish" now and get back to my word processor.

Thanks for the lessons Mr King. You are a ga-zillion kinds of awesome. One day I plan to shake your hand and get you to sign my book. (The likelihood of him reading this is minuscule, but whatever.)

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