Turning King's method on its head

. 2 min read

Last month I wrote about Stephen King's method of writing and my thoughts on it after trying it out for a couple of weeks. Since then, I've finished the book I was writing at the time, using said method, and started another. Only now I'm turning King's method on its head, for reasons that follow.

One. I've never been a huge fan of writing without having an idea of the plot or at least how the story will end. Since the dawn of time (yes) I've come up with the beginning and at least one possible ending for my story before sitting down to write. That's why King's method gave me great anxiety when I was writing my last book - I was so afraid the story wouldn't present itself to me in the process that I often found it hard to just sit down by the computer. So now, with the new book, I figured out the beginning and the general direction of where the story was headed before I started writing. Or rather, I didn't figure out anything. The story and the general direction presented themselves to me beforehand.

Two. Apparently, King suggests you go to a place where you can shut the door to write, and keep the door shut while you write your quota of words for the day. I tried this the first day, and it took so long to get 2000 words out that I absolutely needed to go to the bathroom and have something to eat during the time, so the door wasn't kept shut. Since then I've found that for me, personally, working in a cafe is massively more productive than working in my originally designated room-with-a-shuttable-door. Going to the cafe is almost like going to work: the act of moving gets my mind into creative work mode. So these days I work both at home and at a cafe, but almost never in the shuttable door room.

Three. King mentions a few rules for writing in his book, On Writing, including a rule to use as few adverbs as possible. I tried my best to abide by this rule when writing my previous book, and was quite successful. But somehow I found it extremely restraining, trying to figure out how to express what I wanted to express without them. Nowadays, with the new book, I use adverbs as freely and shamelessly and gorgeously and aptly as my heart desires.

Another thing deserves mentioning. King suggested in the book that once the first draft is complete, you leave it untouched for six weeks before reading it and writing the second draft. I took the advice and haven't touched the story for almost two weeks now. We'll see if my initial loathing attitude towards the finished story will change once I've gained some perspective in the coming four weeks.

How great is life?!