Stephen King on Writing Quotes: A Must Read Collection

stephen king quotes on writing
by CJ McDaniel // March 21 // 0 Comments

If there’s a writer that many horror or thriller readers recognize, the name Stephen King will most likely win the poll. Many call him the “Master of Fear” as his works display the right mix of epic and frightening, that readers find themselves engrossed until the final page. Moreover, some of his books become movie and television adaptations, proving his undeniable skill as a storyteller. His impact as the king of thrills and chills doesn’t end there. Many writers look up to Stephen King as an incredible author whose influence goes beyond his works—his quotes on writing are as valuable as his contribution in the field.

American author Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. Stephen specializes in writing horror fiction, yet not limiting himself to other genres. Within his more than 40-year writing career, the prolific novelist and short-story writer released over 60 books, all of which achieved the best-selling status. Some of his works turned into movie includes his first novel, Carrie, The Shining, It, and Children of the Corn. His ability to create compelling characters based on everyday-life people plays a crucial role in his success. Moreover, the stories themselves reflect real-life horrors faced by ordinary people, enough for readers to read ’til the end.

With over 350 million copies worldwide and numerous television and film adaptations, it’s easy to recognize King’s success over the years. On top of that, this success inspires aspiring and professional writers today and undeniably even the future generation. Learning Stephen King’s passion for his craft, reading his written pieces, and studying his writing style are among the ways writers can use to achieve their goals. Meanwhile, they can also start by using Stephen King’s quotes on writing as a motivation.

Stephen King Quotes About Writing

American writer Stephen King remains one of the most successful authors worldwide. His novels usually fall under horror, suspense, fantasy, or supernatural fiction, but that doesn’t stop non-horror fans from reading his works. His writing style involves using familiar descriptions of life, making it easy for readers to digest his tales and even relate to them at some point. Hence, if one aspires to learn a great deal about writing, Stephen King’s quotes are a great place to go.

If you would like to see Stephen King’s quotes about writing, scroll over to see the list below.

Kids, fiction is the truth inside the lie, and the truth of this fiction is simple enough: the magic exists.

Stephen King

Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.

Stephen King

Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.

Stephen King

There are all sorts of theories and ideas about what constitutes a good opening line. It’s tricky thing, and tough to talk about because I don’t think conceptually while I work on a first draft — I just write. To get scientific about it is a little like trying to catch moonbeams in a jar. But there’s one thing I’m sure about. An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.

Stephen King

I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.

Stephen King

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.

Stephen King

He would write it for the reason he felt that all great literature, fiction and nonfiction, was written: truth comes out, in the end it always comes out. He would write it because he felt he had to.

Stephen King

The scariest moment is always just before you start.

Stephen King

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.

Stephen King

In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives.

Stephen King

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.

Stephen King

I hated school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something really wrong with you.

Stephen King

Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Stephen King

Fiction is the truth inside the lie.

Stephen King

People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy… and I keep it in a jar on my desk.

Stephen King

You must not come lightly to the blank page.

Stephen King

When you write, you want to get rid of the world, don’t you? Of course, you do. When you’re writing, you’re creating your own worlds.

Stephen King

When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time.’

Stephen King

It’s hard for me to believe that people who read very little (or not at all in some cases) should presume to write and expect people to like what they have written.

Stephen King

Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work… Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.

Stephen King

Try any goddam thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, toss it. Toss it even if you love it.

Stephen King

A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.

Stephen King

When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.

Stephen King

Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.

Stephen King

As with all other aspects of the narrative art, you will improve with practice, but practice will never make you perfect. Why should it? What fun would that be?

Stephen King

If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.

Stephen King

If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered.

Stephen King

Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.

Stephen King

Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.

Stephen King

The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.

Stephen King

It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.

Stephen King

I see things, that’s all. Write enough stories and every shadow on the floor looks like a footprint; every line in the dirt like a secret message.

Stephen King

If the stuff you’re writing is not for yourself, it won’t work.

Stephen King

Bad writing is more than a matter of (expletive deleted) syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.

Stephen King

The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.

Stephen King

To write is human, to edit is divine.

Stephen King

Read a lot, write a lot is the great commandment.

Stephen King

The unconscious mind writes poetry if it’s left alone.

Stephen King

The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease & intimacy with the process of writing… It also offers you a constantly growing knowledge of what has been done and what hasn’t, what is trite and what is fresh, what works and what lies there dying (or dead) on the page. The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.

Stephen King

Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.

Stephen King

When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction.

Stephen King

I have never felt like I was creating anything. For me, writing is like walking through a desert and all at once, poking up through the hardpan, I see the top of a chimney. I know there’s a house under there, and I’m pretty sure that I can dig it up if I want. That’s how I feel. It’s like the stories are already there. What they pay me for is the leap of faith that says: ‘If I sit down and do this, everything will come out okay.’

Stephen King

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.

Stephen King

When asked, “How do you write?” I invariably answer, “One word at a time,” and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see that motherfucker from space without a telescope.

Stephen King

I can remember being home from school with tonsillitis and writing stories in bed to pass the time.

Stephen King

Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right — as right as you can, anyway — it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.

Stephen King

Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.

Stephen King

When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story,” he said. “When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.

Stephen King

The idea that creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time.

Stephen King

I’m one of those people who doesn’t really know what he thinks until he writes it down.

Stephen King

I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing. Dumbo got airborne with the help of a magic feather; you may feel the urge to grasp a passive verb or one of those nasty adverbs for the same reason. Just remember before you do that Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him.

Stephen King

You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.

Stephen King

I was in enough to get along with people. I was never socially inarticulate. Not a loner. And that saved my life, saved my sanity. That and the writing. But to this day I distrust anybody who thought school was a good time. Anybody.

Stephen King

Sometimes stories cry out to be told in such loud voices that you write them just to shut them up.

Stephen King

By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.

Stephen King

Say what you mean. Say what you see. Make a photograph, if you can, for the reader.

Stephen King

Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?

Stephen King

No, it’s not a very good story – its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside.

Stephen King

At its most basic we are discussing a learned skill (writing), but do we not agree that sometimes the most basic skills can create things far beyond our expectations? We are talking about tools and carpentry, about words and style… but as we move along, you’d do well to remember that we are also talking about magic.

Stephen King

If I can get it down on paper without puking all over the word processor, then as far as I’m concerned, it’s fit to see the light of day.

Stephen King

I just write about what I feel I want to write about. I’m like a kid. I get an idea, and it’s like a kid’s toy that you push and tug around the room. It’s fun, it’s bright, it’s pretty and maybe it’ll go clack-clack or whiz-whiz, whatever it happens to do. I like to make believe.

Stephen King

For me, good description usually consists of a few well-chosen details that will stand for everything else.

Stephen King

I started to submit when I was twelve, and obviously at that time they weren’t good enough, and I suppose in my heart of hearts I knew it. But you have to start sooner or later, you have to dig in.

Stephen King

I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.

Stephen King

I write to find out what I think.

Stephen King

Calling it a simple schoolgirl crush was like saying a Rolls-Royce was a vehicle with four wheels, something like a hay-wagon. She did not giggle wildly and blush when she saw him, nor did she chalk his name on trees or write it on the walls of the Kissing Bridge. She simply lived with his face in her heart all the time, a kind of sweet, hurtful ache. She would have died for him.

Stephen King

As with all other aspects of fiction, the key to writing good dialogue is honesty.

Stephen King

The important question has nothing to do with whether the talk in your story is sacred or profane; the only question is how it rings on the page and in your ear. If you expect it to ring true, then you must talk yourself. Even more important, you must shut up and listen to others talk.

Stephen King

Writing good dialogue is art as well as craft.

Stephen King

When you write you tell yourself a story. When you rewrite you take out everything that is NOT the story.

Stephen King

The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story…. Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction.

Stephen King

Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot if difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.

Stephen King

You learned to accept, or you ended up in a small room writing letters home with Crayolas.

Stephen King

You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair … Come to it any way but lightly.

Stephen King

When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.

Stephen King

All I ask is that you do as well as you can, and remember that, while to write adverbs is human, to write he said or she said is divine.

Stephen King

I’m not a big fan of psychoanalysis: I think if you have mental problems what you need are good pills. But I do think that if you have thinks that bother you, things that are unresolved, the more that you talk about them, write about them, the less serious they become.

Stephen King

I’m not particularly keen on writing which exhaustively describes the physical characteristics of the people in the story and what they’re wearing… I can always get a J. Crew catalogue… …So spare me, if you please, the hero’s ‘sharply intelligent blue eyes’ and ‘outthrust determined chin’.

Stephen King

Writing’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.

Stephen King

I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit.

Stephen King

A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. James, what’s wrong?’ the friend asked. ‘Is it the work?’ Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? How many words did you get today?’ the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): ‘Seven.’ Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.’ Yes,’ Joyce said, finally looking up. ‘I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in!

Stephen King

You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.

Stephen King

As always, the blessed relief of starting, a feeling that was like falling into a hole filled with bright light. As always, the glum knowledge that he would not write as well as he wanted to write. As always the terror of not being able to finish, of accelerating into a brick wall. As always, the marvelous joyful nervy feeling of journey begun.

Stephen King

Like anything else that happens on its own, the act of writing is beyond currency. Money is great stuff to have, but when it comes to the act of creation, the best thing is not to think of money too much. It constipates the whole process.

Stephen King

Wherever you write is supposed to be a little bit of a refuge, a place where you can get away from the world. The more closed in you are, the more you’re forced back on your own imagination.

Stephen King

What is writing? Writing is telepathy.

Stephen King

I’m still in love with what I do, with the idea of making things up, so hours when I write always feel like very blessed hours to me.

Stephen King

We either learn to accept or we end up writing letters home with crayons.

Stephen King

You know,” King said, “I’m not much good at telling stories. That sounds like a paradox, but it’s not; it’s the reason I write them down.

Stephen King

The only way to get better at writing is to write. And read.

Stephen King

You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair – the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.

Stephen King

Constant reading will pull you into a place – a mind-set, if you like the phrase – where you can write eagerly and without self-consciousness.

Stephen King

I wanted to write a balls-to-the-wall supernatural horror story, something I haven’t done in a long time.

Stephen King

I still think that of all the people doing top fiction today, John D. MacDonald is the best.He was my model as a kid. If there are people out there that want to write, all you need to do is read 20 of his stories to get an idea what it takes to make a story kick over.

Stephen King

If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway… You must be prepared to do some serious turning inward toward the life of the imagination, and that means, I’m afraid, that Geraldo, Keith Obermann, and Jay Leno must go. Reading takes time, and the glass teat takes too much of it.

Stephen King

If you can remember all the accessories that go with your best outfit, the contents of your purse, the starting lineup of the New York Yankees or the Houston Oilers, or what label “Hang On Sloopy” by The McCoys was on, you are capable of remembering the differences between a gerund (verb form used as a noun) and a participle (verb form used as an adjective).

Stephen King

Remember that ‘plumber in space’ is not such a bad setup for a story.

Stephen King

Let’s talk, you and I. Let’s talk about fear. The house is empty as I write this; a cold February rain is falling outside. It’s night. Sometimes when the wind blows the way it’s blowing now, we lose the power. But for now it’s on, and so let’s talk very honestly about fear. Let’s talk very rationally about moving to the rim of madnessand… and perhaps over the edge.

Stephen King

There are lots of guys out there who write a better prose line than I do and who have a better understanding of what people are really like and what humanity is supposed to mean – hell, I know that.

Stephen King

I think of fear as a survival function, and in the stories that I write, the only thing that I’ve tried to do is provide people with nightmares which are really safe places to put those fears for a while because you can say afterwards that uh, that, that well it was all just make-believe anyway, so I just took my emotions for a walk.

Stephen King

There’s a saying – “Write what you know.” It’s bad advice if you take it as an unbreakable rule, but good advice if you use it as a foundation.

Stephen King

Semi-facetiously, when people ask me why I write these kinds of stories, I simply say that I was warped as a child. And, there is some truth to that.

Stephen King

I did a couple of writing seminars in Canada with high school kids. These were the bright kids; they all have computers, but they can’t spell. Because spell-check won’t [help] you if you don’t know through from threw. I told them, “If you can read in the 21st century, you own the world.” Because you learn to write from reading.

Stephen King

The sort of strenuous reading and writing program I advocate – four to six hours a day, every day – will not seem strenuous if you really enjoy doing these things and have an aptitude for them.

Stephen King

If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.

Stephen King

When it comes to rock music, I’m not much of a player, but I do have entry-level chops. I’m more knowledgeable as a listener, and Revival gave me a way to write about rock and roll without being preachy or boring.

Stephen King

I don’t really get philosophical, but I believe that nice people are strong and usually in my horror stories, I don’t like to write about the old standard where some rotten guy gets chased by a mean spirit that gets him in the end.I’d rather write about nice people that are menaced from outside by some sort of evil power and who sort of slug it out.

Stephen King

Hemingway sucks. If I set out to write that way, it would have been been hollow and lifeless because it wasn’t me.

Stephen King

Not writing would be like going the rest of your life without having dreams.

Stephen King

…writing fiction…is no job for intellectual cowards.

Stephen King

Rewrite formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%.

Stephen King

Writing is like being in a dream state or under self-directed hypnosis. It induces a state of recall that – while not perfect – is pretty spooky.

Stephen King

I don’t spend the day writing. I’ll maybe write fresh copy for two hours, and then I’ll go back and revise some of it and print what I like and then turn it off.

Stephen King

The great thing about writing is that…you can do all these antisocial things and you get paid for them and nobody ever arrests you because they’re all make-believe. Then that way if you were actually ever driven to do any of those things, the pressure’s off because you’d have already written them down. It’s therapy.

Stephen King

Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all …. as long as you tell the truth.

Stephen King

There should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with. If there’s a window, draw the curtains or pull down the shades unless it looks out at a blank wall.

Stephen King

Writing fiction, especially a long work of fiction, can be a difficult, lonely job; it’s like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub. There’s plenty of opportunity for self-doubt.

Stephen King

I don’t really map anything out. I just let it happen [while writing]. But once it happens, it’s always there. If it’s laid, it’s played. If I get to page 300 and it’s not working, I junk it.

Stephen King

When I knew I was going to be able to write full time, I wondered, “What’s going to happen to the relationships within my family?” Are they going to change? Is it going to be the kind of deal where you say, “I can’t take this! Get me out of here! I can’t stand these screaming kids!” The way it turned out was, I was able to change the diapers okay, after I stuck the pin through my fingers a few times. I had a dawning realization that children are not particularly hard to deal with.

Stephen King

I’d like to learn French well enough to write in that language.

Stephen King

I think it is harder to write a story that appeals to the intellect. But, when you tie onto one, you can do it quite deeply. It really depends on the type of idea you have to begin with.

Stephen King

I’m afraid of all kinds of things. I’m afraid of failing at whatever story I’m writing – that it won’t come up for me, or that I won’t be able to finish it.

Stephen King

People seem to think there’s a magic formula to writing, i just write 1 word at a time.

Stephen King

That’s something that is almost accidental at the beginning of a career, but the more you write, the more trained you are to recognize the little signals.

Stephen King

Writing is like a little hole in reality that you can go through and you can get out and you can be someplace else for a while.

Stephen King

There’s one novel, Cujo, that I barely remember writing at all.

Stephen King

When I gave up dope and alcohol, my immediate feeling was ‘I’ve saved my life, but there’ll be a price because I’ll have nothing that buzzes me any more’. But I enjoyed my kids. My wife loved me and I loved her. And eventually the writing came back and I discovered that the writing was enough. Stupid thing is that probably it always had been.

Stephen King

Anywhere in New York, anywhere in the country, somewhere there’s going to be a Coke sign. People identify with Coke. You can write a novel about New York and people from the country will read it if they feel that you’ve made them familiar with New York.

Stephen King

I started writing seriously when I was about 12. I am always in the mood.

Stephen King

I write about rats because they scare the hell out of me. I think we tend to write out our phobias.

Stephen King

I’m seen as somebody who writes for adults because I’m an older man myself. Some of them find me, and a lot of them don’t.

Stephen King

Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation. Affectation itself, beginning with the need to define some sorts of writing as ‘good’ and other sorts as ‘bad’ is fearful behavior.

Stephen King

I’m convinced that FEAR is at the root, of all bad writing

Stephen King

By writing a horror novel where this inexplicable disorder takes over in our ordered lives, you make order look better by comparison. But below that, there’s a part of us that responds to the Who bashing their instruments to pieces on the stage. There’s a very primitive part that says, “Do it some more.”

Stephen King

I write in the mornings, in the bright daylight. But I get most of my good ideas after the sun has gone down and the dark is on the land.

Stephen King

I want to write about spiders. To me, this is the one theme that cuts right across and scares just about everybody. Spiders, to me, are just about the most horrible, awful things that I can think about. I think everyone is afraid of spiders.

Stephen King

The more fiction you read and write, the more you’ll find your paragraphs forming on their own.

Stephen King

What really scares me is Alzheimer’s or premature senility, losing that ability to read and enjoy and to write. And you do it, and some days maybe aren’t so good, and then some days, you really catch a wave, and it’s as good as it ever was.

Stephen King

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Stephen King Quotes About Books

The prolific author, Stephen King, who gained loyal readers throughout his literary career, was also a voracious reader. Despite his obligations, he finds time to read books, sources even saying he reads about 80 books every year. Hence, if there’s a need for quotes about books, Stephen King will save you.

Check out the collection below to read his words and thoughts about books.

The age of the book is not over. No way… But maybe the age of some books is over. People say to me sometimes ‘Steve, are you ever going to write a straight novel, a serious novel’ and by that they mean a novel about college professors who are having impotence problems or something like that. And I have to say those things just don’t interest me. Why? I don’t know. But it took me about twenty years to get over that question, and not be kind of ashamed about what I do, of the books I write.

Stephen King

Not every book has to be loaded with symbolism, irony, or musical language, but it seems to me that every book-at least every one worth reading-is about something.

Stephen King

But it’s writing, damn it, not washing the car or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to close the book and do something else. Wash the car, maybe.

Stephen King

The idea for each of the stories in this book came in a moment of belief and was written in a burst of faith, happiness, and optimism. Those positive feelings have their dark analogues, however, and the fear of failure is a long way from the worst of them. The worst – for me, at least – is the gnawing speculation that I may have already said everything that I have to say, and am now only listening to the steady quacking of my own voice because the silence when it stops is just too spooky.

Stephen King

Some of this book—perhaps too much—has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it—and perhaps the best of it—is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.

Stephen King

This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit.

Stephen King

When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.

Stephen King

There are books full of great writing that don’t have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story… don’t be like the book-snobs who won’t do that. Read sometimes for the words–the language. Don’t be like the play-it-safers who won’t do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.

Stephen King

Books are a uniquely portable magic.

Stephen King

JK Rowling created seven Horcruxes. She put a part of her soul in every book and now her books will live forever

Stephen King

Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.

Stephen King

Speaking personally, you can have my gun, but you’ll take my book when you pry my cold, dead fingers off of the binding.

Stephen King

People think that I must be a very strange person. This is not correct. I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk.

Stephen King

I’m a slow reader, but I usually get through seventy or eighty books a year, most fiction. I don’t read in order to study the craft; I read because I like to read

Stephen King

You want to remember that while you’re judging the book, the book is also judging you.

Stephen King

Once I fell in love with books, I fell in love completely.

Stephen King

Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different.

Stephen King

The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.

Stephen King

Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.

Stephen King

I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to 2,000 words. That’s 180,000 words over a three-month span, a goodish length for a book — something in which the reader can get happily lost, if the tale is done well and stays fresh.

Stephen King

Without story books is like a person with no soul.

Stephen King

I believe the first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months…Any longer and — for me, at least — the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel, like a dispatch from the Romanian Department of Public Affairs, or something broadcast on high-band shortwave duiring a period of severe sunspot activity.

Stephen King

Only library books speak with such wordless eloquence of the power good stories hold over us.

Stephen King

Good books are for consideration after, too.

Stephen King

The books are always there, just the way you wrote them. The plays often don`t turn out the way you wanted them to because in the theater, you`re always involved with collaborators and they don`t always see the work the way you do.

Stephen King

The advantage of horror books is to take the reader and cut him out of the pack and work on him one on one. It has its advantages because the people that are there in the movie theater really are a mob. If you get one guy alone you can do a more efficient job of scaring him.

Stephen King

…book-buyers aren’t attracted, by and large, by the literary merits of a novel: book-buyers want a good story…something that will first fascinate them, then pull them in and keep them turning the pages.

Stephen King

Whenever I publish a book, I feel like a trapper caught by the Iroquois. They’re all lined up with Tomahawks, and the idea is to run through with your head down, and everybody gets to take a swing. They hit you in the head, the back, the ass, and the balls.

Stephen King

I have an idea of how the book will finish up, but it very rarely finishes up the way that I think it’s going to.

Stephen King

Not every book has to be loaded with symbolism, irony, or musical language, but it seems to me that every book-at least every one worth reading-is about something.

Stephen King

You have to go where the book leads you.

Stephen King

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Quotes About Being a Writer

Stephen King’s passion for writing paved the way for the writer he became today. His unique writing style, paired with his powerful imagination, helped him produce bestsellers that many fans find drawn to re-read all over again. Of course, he wasn’t safe from hardships, so it’s safe to say he understands and relates with what most writers feel about their craft.

If you’re a writer looking for motivation to pursue or continue your craft, enjoy the pool of Stephen King quotes about being a writer below.

Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.

Stephen King

Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.

Stephen King

‎If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.

Stephen King

The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.

Stephen King

If you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.

Stephen King

Outlines are the last resource of bad fiction writers who wish to God they were writing masters’ theses.

Stephen King

Must you write complete sentences each time, every time? Perish the thought. If your work consists only of fragments and floating clauses, the Grammar Police aren’t going to come and take you away. Even William Strunk, that Mussolini of rhetoric, recognized the delicious pliability of language. “It is an old observation,” he writes, “that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric.” Yet he goes on to add this thought, which I urge you to consider: “Unless he is certain of doing well, [the writer] will probably do best to follow the rules.”

Stephen King

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.

Stephen King

Part of my function as a writer is to dream awake. And that usually happens. If I sit down to write in the morning, in the beginning of that writing session and the ending of that session, I’m aware that I’m writing. I’m aware of my surroundings. It’s like shallow sleep on both ends, when you go to bed and when you wake up. But in the middle, the world is gone and I’m able to see better.

Stephen King

I’m a salami writer. I try to write good salami, but salami is salami.

Stephen King

If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.

Stephen King

Upon being asked by a fan how to become a writer, Stephen King replied, “Write.

Stephen King

The idea that the creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time. Substance abusing writers are just substance abusers — common garden variety drunks and druggies, in other words. Any claims that the drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull a finer sensibility are just the usual self-serving bullshit. I’ve heard alcoholic snowplow drivers make the same claim, that they drink to still the demons.

Stephen King

I don’t want to speak too disparagingly of my generation (actually I do, we had a chance to change the world and opted for the Home Shopping Network instead), but there was a view among the student writers I knew at that time that good writing came spontaneously, in an uprush of feeling that had to be caught at once; when you were building that all-important stairway to heaven, you couldn’t just stand around with your hammer in your hand.

Stephen King

I like to write short stories more because I never met a writer who wasn’t lazy. And a short story is, by its very definition, short. It is something that generally you can turn out in a week to two weeks depending on how well it goes for you. But, at the same time, it gives the same satisfaction of creating a complete world.

Stephen King

Writers write. That’s all it is. It is as simple, and as complex, as that.

Stephen King

I don’t take notes; I don’t outline, I don’t do anything like that. I just flail away at the goddamn thing. I’m a salami writer. I try to write good salami, but salami is salami. You can’t sell it as caviar.

Stephen King

I feel better in my mind because I’m doing what God made me to do. He said, ‘Go write books, Steve, and you’ll be happy.’ I’m happy now, and that has had an effect on my life and my relationship with my wife and kids and even my friends. I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

Stephen King

I’m a situational writer. You give me a situation, like a writer gets in a car crash, breaks his leg, is kidnapped by his number-one fan, and is kept in a cabin and forced to write a book – everything else springs from there. You really don’t have to work once you’ve had the idea. All you have to do is kind of take dictation from something inside.

Stephen King

Most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do—not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.

Stephen King

Readers have a loyalty that cannot be matched anywhere else in the creative arts, which explains why so many writers who have run out of gas can keep coasting anyway, propelled on to the bestseller lists by the magic words AUTHOR OF on the covers of their books.

Stephen King

If a writer knows what he or she is doing, I’ll go along for the ride. If he or she doesn’t… well, I’m in my fifties now, and there are a lot of books out there. I don’t have time to waste with the poorly written ones.

Stephen King

How does it happen that a writer who’s not even very good – and I can say that, I’ve read four or five of his books – gets to be in charge of the world’s destiny? Or of the entire universe’s?” If he’s not very good, why didn’t you stop at one?” Mrs. Tassenbaum smiled. “Touché. He is readable, I’ll give him that – tells a good story.

Stephen King

I think the best writers are voracious readers who pick up the cadences and the feel of narration through a number of different books. And you begin by maybe copying the style of writers that really knocked you out.

Stephen King

I’m not the first person to have said this – no writer ever feels that the execution of a book lives up to the idea for that book. The execution always falls short.

Stephen King

I want to engage the reader. I’m an emotional writer, in the sense that I would be happy if you re-read a book for the intellectual or the mental part of it, but, the first time, I just like to reach out and grab you, pull you in.

Stephen King

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Stephen King Quotes About Talent

No one can deny Stephen King’s talent in his craft. If someone needs inspiration, particularly when conflicted with which talent to pursue, Stephen King’s words can become a valuable tool. Stephen King’s quotes about talent are not only about literature or creative writing, as many can apply it to other fields.

If you need a little push to pursue your craft or improve your talent, see the list of quotes below.

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

Stephen King

Discipline and constant work are the whetstones upon which the dull knife of talent is honed until it becomes sharp enough, hopefully, to cut through even the toughest meat and gristle.

Stephen King

Talent is never static. It’s always growing or dying.

Stephen King

The book is not the important part. The book is the delivery system. The important part is the story and the talent.

Stephen King

We like to think about how smart we are. But I think talent as a writer is hard-wired in, it’s all there, at least the basic elements of it. You can’t change it any more than you can choose whether to be right handed or left handed.

Stephen King

You know what talent is? The curse of expectation. As a kid you have to deal with that, beat it somehow. If you can write, you think God put you on earth to blow Shakespeare away. Or if you can paint, maybe you think–I did–that God put you on earth to blow your father away.

Stephen King

Artistic talent is far more common than the talent to nurture artistic talent.

Stephen King

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When you find something at which you have talent, you do that thing (what ever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes pop out of your head.

Stephen King

Talent is a dreadfully cheap commodity, cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work and study; a constant process of honing. Talent is a dull knife that will cut nothing unless it is wielded with great force.

Stephen King

There’s nothing as human as hunger. There’s no creation without talent, I give you that, but talent is cheap. Talent goes begging. Hunger is the piston of art.

Stephen King

Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic.

Stephen King

Belief in the supernatural or belief in wild talents like precognition and telepathy and telekinesis and things like that, it seems to me that belief in those things is just very, very freeing.

Stephen King

I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.

Stephen King

Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won’t carry a quitter.

Stephen King

Writers remember everything…especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the ability to remember the story of every scar. Art consists of the persistence of memory.

Stephen King

A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.

Stephen King

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Quotes About Character

There are many things readers and writers can commend about Stephen King when it comes to his masterpieces. However, the best of it would be how he crafts his characters. Over the years, he consistently created characters that many people can relate to since he based them on ordinary people. They’re flawed humans with backstories helping them achieve an end goal.

Are you a writer who wants to know Stephen’s formula in writing characters? The list below features his quotes, something you can find of extreme value.

I identify with the characters very closely. At the same time that I`m outside, writing, I`m also inside, experiencing, and it can be very unsettling.

Stephen King

Once I start work on a project, I don’t stop and I don’t slow down unless I absolutely have to. If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind – they begin to seem like characters instead of real people. The tale’s narrative cutting edge starts to rust and I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace. Worst of all, the excitement of spinning something new begins to fade. The work starts to feel like work, and for most writers that is the smooch of death.

Stephen King

The story is the only thing that’s important. Everything else will take care of itself. It’s like what bowlers say. You hear writers talk about character or theme or mood or mode or tense or person. But bowlers say, if you make the spares, the strikes will take care of themselves. If you can tell a story, everything else becomes possible. But without story, nothing is possible, because nobody wants to hear about your sensitive characters if there’s nothing happening in the story. And the same is true with mood. Story is the only thing that’s important.

Stephen King

It’s dialogue that gives your cast their voices, and is crucial in defining their characters.

Stephen King

When you start, it’s very cold, an impossible task. But then maybe the characters start to take on a little bit of life, or the story takes a turn that you don’t expect … With me that happens a lot because I don’t outline, I just have a vague notion. So it’s always felt like less of a made thing and more of a found thing. That’s exciting. That’s a thrill.

Stephen King

I would say plotting is the most difficult thing for me. Characterization is only hard because sometimes I feel I get so interested in it that I want to talk too much about the characters and that slows the story down. So I say, “Hey, people want to find out what’s going to happen next, they don’t want to listen to you spout off about this or that person.” But I think even the bad guy deserves to tell his side of the story.

Stephen King

Most gothics are overplotted novels whose success or failure hinges on the author’s ability to make you believe in the characters and partake of the mood.

Stephen King

Poe was the first writer to write about main characters who were bad guys or who were mad guys, and those are some of my favorite stories.

Stephen King

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.

Stephen King

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King’s writing career spans more than 40 years, and he continues to deliver his excellence through his works of fiction. His writing style, character choice, and master storyteller techniques make his content fascinating and compelling. Furthermore, his influence goes beyond his literary pieces—Stephen King quotes on writing are some of the most sought-after words today.

Need more inspiration on writing other than these quotes of Stephen King? Check out our collection of quotes on writing from other authors here.

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!