teisipäev, 14. jaanuar 2014

Stephen King "On Writing"

Stephen Kingi "On Writing" on tema fännidele ilmselt kohustuslik. Ühelt poolt elulugu, kus ta avab oma tausta ja seda, kuidas temast sai selline kirjanik, nagu ta on. Samuti kirjutab King autoavariist, mis tema elu muutis. Aga teisalt on see ka õpik ja abimees kõigile neile, kes tahavad ise kirjutada. Üsnagi praktiliste näidetega.

Minu probleem oli muidugi see, et pole ühtegi Kingi raamatut lugenud, isegi ühtegi filmi pole läinud. "Carrie't" muidugi tean, olen isegi kakskümmend aastat tagasi filmi avastseeni näinud (millegipärast ei tulnud telekal see hetk häält ja sellepärast ongi see tummstseen mulle meelde jäänud, üsna kriipi oli). "Carrie'st" kirjutab King päris pikalt. Ta kirjeldab põhjalikult kahte tüdrukut oma kooliajast, kes aitasid tal peategelast kujundada ning kirjutamise ja esmateose avaldamise protsessist ka. Aga isegi see, et ma Kingi lugenud pole, ei takistanud seda raamatut huviga lugemast. Neile, kes ise ka kirjutada tahavad, on igatahes hariv lugemine.

Kuna Kindle'i raamatust on tõeline mõnu lõike ära märkida ja neid siis kopeerida ja kleepida, olgu siin natuke pikemalt Kingi "timeless advice'i".
I was ashamed. 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 and 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. I’m not editorializing, just trying to give you the facts as I see them.
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But in my heart I stayed ashamed. I kept hearing Miss Hisler asking why I wanted to waste my talent, why I wanted to waste my time, why I wanted to write junk.
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The most important is that the writer’s original perception of a character or characters may be as erroneous as the reader’s. Running a close second was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.
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I also employed the world-famous Hemingway Defense. Although never clearly articulated (it would not be manly to do so), the Hemingway Defense goes something like this: as a writer, I am a very sensitive fellow, but I am also a man, and real men don’t give in to their sensitivities. Only sissy-men do that. Therefore I drink. How else can I face the existential horror of it all and continue to work? Besides, come on, I can handle it. A real man always can.
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Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.
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Remember that the basic rule of vocabulary is use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful. If you hesitate and cogitate, you will come up with another word – of course you will, there’s always another word – but it probably won’t be as good as your first one, or as close to what you really mean.
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The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story . . . to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all. The single-sentence paragraph more closely resembles talk than writing, and that’s good. 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?
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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.
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John Creasey, a British mystery novelist, wrote five hundred (yes, you read it correctly) novels under ten different names. I’ve written thirty-five or so – some of Trollopian length – and am considered prolific, but I look positively blocked next to Creasey.
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Book-buyers aren’t attracted, by and large, by the literary merits of a novel; book-buyers want a good story to take with them on the airplane, something that will first fascinate them, then pull them in and keep them turning the pages.
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The same things are true of theme. Writing and literature classes can be annoyingly preoccupied by (and pretentious about) theme, approaching it as the most sacred of sacred cows, but (don’t be shocked) it’s really no big deal. If you write a novel, spend weeks and then months catching it word by word, you owe it both to the book and to yourself to lean back (or take a long walk) when you’ve finished and ask yourself why you bothered – why you spent all that time, why it seemed so important. In other words, what’s it all about, Alfie?
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I should close this little sermonette with a word of warning – starting with the questions and thematic concerns is a recipe for bad fiction. Good fiction always begins with story and progresses to theme; it almost never begins with theme and progresses to story. The only possible exceptions to this rule that I can think of are allegories like George Orwell’s Animal Farm (and I have a sneaking suspicion that with Animal Farm the story idea may indeed have come first; if I see Orwell in the afterlife, I mean to ask him). But once your basic story is on paper, you need to think about what it means and enrich your following drafts with your conclusions. To do less is to rob your work (and eventually your readers) of the vision that makes each tale you write uniquely your own.
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Writing fiction, especially a long work of fiction, can be a difficult, lonely job; it’s like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub.
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It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster’s shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters.
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The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.
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3 kommentaari:

  1. Nii tegus jaanuar... Super! Jätka samas vaimus :)

    VastaKustuta
  2. Kena algus aastale!

    Kingi "Miseryt" tasub kindlasti lugeda.

    VastaKustuta
  3. Tegelikult on nii, et avastasin, et ma ei saa aasta kokkuvõtet teha, sest pole loetud raamatutest suurt midagi kirjutanud. See on viimase hetke rabistamine siin :)

    VastaKustuta