Sinead Moriarty is the author of nine novels and her most recent, Mad About You, came out in August this year. Here she tells Novelicious why Stephen King's On Writing gave her the enthusiasm and hope to keep writing.
Stephen King’s On Writing changed my life. I was struggling with my writing. Starting books that went nowhere and writing novels that no-one wanted to publish. After having my first two novels rejected all over the world, I was feeling very despondent when I came across this book.
I have to admit, I’m not a fan of Stephen King’s novels. They just aren’t a particular genre of writing that I’m into, but this book, On Writing is a gem. I honestly think anyone who wants to write a novel should read this.
Before he became a multi-million selling author, Stephen King was an English teacher and the book is like a lesson in how to write. He doesn’t waffle, he doesn’t go off on tangents, his information is incredibly helpful and to the point. This is a man who believes that less is more. He doesn’t waste words. He gives you his advice and guidance in a succinct and very clear manner.
He gets into the nitty gritty of writing, which is very helpful. I try to write 2,000 words a day, based on his advice and it has stood me well. He hates adverbs and their overuse, which I have taken to heart because I think he’s right.
It’s the practicality of the book and the no-nonsense approach which drew me to it. King doesn’t hold back, he says it as he sees it.
One of his quotes is so apt – “In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it 'got boring,' the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.”
He also believes that reading is as important as writing. He says if you want to be a writer, you need to read a lot as well as write a lot. This is so true, the more you read, the more you absorb, the more ideas come to you, the better you become at writing etc.
This book changed my life because it got me to start writing again. It renewed my enthusiasm and gave me hope. It was that last push I needed to get going on my third novel The Baby Trail. And that was the book that got published. And now I have the great privilege of writing for a living.