I have been enjoying reading Stephen King's book "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft". One would wonder how big I am as a fan to him. But I had not been one until I started leafing through the book. I don't like reading horror stories, though watching bloodcurdling movies is frighteningly fun. I don't remember any flick I watched that was based on his novel.
Now, I confess that I am already a big fan to him not because I do appreciate his genre (I feel that it's too late to collect horror books authored by him) but because I identify with his experiences from a naive and restless childhood to being a budding yet non-conformist writer in his teenage.
In the first place, my intent in buying the book was to learn how Steve (do I sound like a close buddy to him?) could help me pursue my love for writing a bit farther and raise my profiency level by ten notches. I'm still on page 47 of the 297-page book (about one-sixth) but I have this inkling that Steve is speaking for people wanting to be great fictionists. Me, with my bread-and-butter work deeply concerned about social realities, wanting to be one?
No can do is my instant response. Although, I remember my elementary school and college years when I thought about trying to write short stories. I did have great writers to emulate, with the likes of Sionil, Kalaw, and Lacaba. Oh, I almost forgot Jose Rizal.
But that thought remained at that, like an egg that never hatched. What I had were tearjerker storylines and titles. One was about a lost child who managed to live and grow a successful man by walking miles, begging and picking up food leftovers. The title was "Pippin" (based on the name of a street in Manila). The other storyline was about a religious family put to trials by God (so I thought), leading to its breaking and eventual regrouping thanks to the efforts of a son turned priest. I forgot the title.
My story ideas were monster different from Steve's. (I learned the "monster" phrase right from the King of Horror Stories. I want to use sportsy terms to describe my words. But using "morbid" terms sounds exciting. I learned that Steve was hired as a sports writer in his sophomore year in high school.)
So far, the book's forty-seventh page taught me one great thing: Write with the door closed. Rewrite with the door opened. You write a story to yourself. You rewrite it so that it becomes a story for the audience.