The Best Writing Tips From Stephen King

List Rules
Vote up the best advice from the master of horror

Any writer, seasoned or amateur, should pay mind to these Stephen King writing tips. The King of Horror has sold over 350 million books, has over 50 published novels, and has penned over 200 short stories. There is little doubt that the Maine-born bestseller is one of the most prolific writers in the history of literature. And, he’s willing to share his secrets.   

Many of these quotes from Stephen King come from his 2000 bestseller On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. The book serves as both an autobiography and a must-read for any would-be writer. On Writing quotes are a treasure trove of sound advice that will help a writer deal with everything from negative criticism to what hackneyed words to avoid, like "amazing."

Find out why the esteemed novelist has a beef with the word “amazing” and how not to start a paragraph. These 17 sage Stephen King quotes may just help you get past the pain of the empty white page and on your way to finishing the manuscript of your dreams. When you're finished being inspired, be sure to vote up which Steven King quotes about writing are the most helpful. 


  • Reading Is Vital To Writing
    Photo: Stephen King / Facebook
    1
    101 VOTES

    Reading Is Vital To Writing

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

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, 2000

     

  • The Opening Line Is Everything
    Photo: Stephen King / Facebook
    2
    134 VOTES

    The Opening Line Is Everything

    "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."

    The Atlantic, 2013

     

  • Listen To Criticism
    Photo: Stephen King / Facebook
    3
    106 VOTES

    Listen To Criticism

    "Show your piece to a number of people - ten, let us say. Listen carefully to what they tell you. Smile and nod a lot. Then review what was said very carefully. If your critics are all telling you the same thing about some facet of your story - a plot twist that doesn't work, a character who rings false, stilted narrative, or half a dozen other possibles - change that facet. It doesn't matter if you really liked that twist of that character; if a lot of people are telling you something is wrong with you piece, it is. If seven or eight of them are hitting on that same thing, I'd still suggest changing it. But if everyone - or even most everyone - is criticizing something different, you can safely disregard what all of them say."

    Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes, 1989

     

  • Get To The Point
    Photo: Stephen King / Facebook
    4
    71 VOTES

    Get To The Point

    "You want to get up on a soapbox and preach? Fine. Get one and try your local park. You want to write for money? Get to the point. And if you remove all the excess garbage and discover you can't find the point, tear up what you wrote and start all over again . . . or try something new."

    Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes, 1989

  • You Need To Be Able To Edit Yourself
    Photo: Stephen King / Facebook
    5
    69 VOTES

    You Need To Be Able To Edit Yourself

    “(kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, 2000

     

  • Rewriting Is Just As Important As Writing
    Photo: Stephen King / Facebook
    6
    87 VOTES

    Rewriting Is Just As Important As Writing

    "If you haven’t marked up your manuscript a lot, you did a lazy job. Only God gets things right the first time. Don’t be a slob."

    The Writer's Handbook, 1988