August 30, 2013
Stephen King: On Writing- A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King wrote his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft to explain that there’s more to writing than words on a paper. He gives a new perspective to the reader on the process that goes into writing and what he goes through when writing a novel. For example, he mentions that after writing a first draft he’ll put the draft away for six weeks until he starts to edit because it is important to have a break before going back and adding/taking things out. One argument that King discusses in his book is the use of adverbs and how it can ruin the writers thought. According to King, adverbs are “words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.” (King; page 124) Throughout his argument of adverbs he says they can overpower a sentence and can show if the author is scared.
When writing anything intended for others to read there are many thoughts going through your head. The main thing is whether or not the reader will understand what you’re trying to portray. “With adverbs, the writer usually tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly, that he or she is not getting the point or the picture across.” (King; page 124) Usually when a writer is scared they’ll add more adverbs than needed, with more adverbs
comes extra words in the sentence. The example that King gives us is seen on page 125, “He closed the door firmly,” where King questions the context of this sentence. Does firmly really need to be there? Isn’t the point of the sentence to tell us how he closed the door and as King mentions the foregoing prose tells us how he closed it, so therefore firmly is an extra work. Next time you edit a first draft you should pay attention to each sentence and think if there’s a word that doesn’t need to be there because most likely the the sentence will still have the same meaning without that extra word.
Having adverbs in a your writing is not...
Bibliography: Popova, Maria. "The Adverb Is Not Your Friend: Stephen King on Simplicity of Style." Brain Pickings RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2013.
King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000. Print.
"The Online Writing Lab at Purdue (OWL)." Welcome to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL). N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Aug. 2013. .
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