Saturday, January 12, 2008

On Writing

We read Stephen King's On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft at school, and I have to say, only having read half, that it impresses me. (If only I could have read it in English instead; original language ftw!) Much of it is in fact a biography, but as the writer he is, that part too revolves around the written, around horror and the way writing has brought him where he is. (It truly has!) Without wasting breath trying to kiss someone's ass he gives direct examples of good and bad with quotes from different writers, says what he thinks is good writing and makes few compromises. I mean, just such a thing as saying "if you're bad you can never become a reasonable writer, if you're good you can never become amazing, but if you're a reasonable writer you can become good".

It also gave a moment's insight into my own writing; I've perhaps made it a bit too clinical and focused more on what I think is "right" instead of what my heart really wants to do. I've never been ashamed of wanting to write and wanting it to be my career and life, but the type of things I prefer to write, though... I feel it's not always I can present it with a straight face... or to be honest, I always talk my way around presenting it at all. Partly because I feel no genre fits what I do, partly because I know people will not understand if I try to explain; to story must explain itself. Asking me to describe a book is like asking me to describe a description, because that is what it is, the book is a description to convey a certain feeling, state of mind, or just story! This story I wrote, it's the best way to describe what I want to say, and then people want me to sum it up? I want to stand up and wave like a Britting prime minister and shout "Impossible!"

I remember the flow and the emotion I poured into About Love, how it practically wrote itself and how I absolutely loved every moment of writing it, the words never stopping, the thoughts never running away with wondering what people would think about or want from the story. Of course, some authors will say this is silly, that being able to write is a skill like any other, that we can't expect it to flow like this always. But what King says is; let it go. Let it flow, and if you have the skill and the mind and the heart, it will be good. Don't plan ahead too much, you'll kill the joy of writing. But to get that, you have to write, so just start.

Also, I get no inspiration whatsoever from movies. Comics, actually, is my best shot. Books, games, maybe roleplaying works too. Anime is the very last chance. Movies, TV-series... bullcrap. It seems it doesn't translate into the written word. So... I think I'm going to stop watching so much. I'll stick to the ones I just want as entertainment, pure exploding cars, gutting of aliens and handsome celebs, and skip everything else. Bloody waste of time.

And... I miss you.


Rik said...

Translating between various forms of art is difficult, not to say impossible. Some people can make movies out of books, but translating down a movie into a book is even more difficult because a book is, by its very nature, minimalistic. A movie gives you all the details, a picture gives you some of them, a book gives you nearly none. Words are the most subjective medium in existence, which is why I think they make every message unique.

Hence the power of literature.

Do you agree?

Iceye said...

I just read the pages of King where he says the exact same thing. =P

Yes, I agree. We are all, after all, subjective.

And I remember so well when me and Madde discovered a detail in "Pestens Tid" (also by King) that we both had missed, that completely ruined the image we both had of a certain character. Heartbreaking but educational.

Nightflyer said...

Hi... I haven't called you yet... SORRY!!! >_<

I always wanted to read that book, but I honestly didn't think it would be any good so I didn't. Maybe now I will. I could discuss books for ages so I'll just stay out of this one for now. Besides... you and I have already gone through most of them by now.

I really really want to meet you know. We haven't talked for real in a wile now. The very best thing would be if you, me and Jocke met. Some day soon?