Tag Archives: Stephen King

16 Things To Know For ’16

16

  1. It’s great to have lots of Twitter followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn endorsers. But a good credit rating beats all three.
  2. Despite Southwest Airlines’ longtime claim that “your miles never expire,” mine expired last year.
  3. Never ever drive through (or even around) Atlanta if you can avoid it. Ever.
  4. Best media advice I’ve heard lately came from radio meetings in Nashville: “Infuse everything you do with FOMO.” (Fear Of Missing Out.)
  5. An organization that delivers hilariously entertaining TV spots may engage in sleazy business practices. (Sorry for being necessarily vague on this one.)
  6. My number one news source is Twitter.
  7. Using the term “startup” in reference to your business generally gets you attention, even if your business is selling life insurance.
  8. Some people think it’s okay to end a 7-year business relationship via text message.
  9. The adverb is not your friend. (Writing tip from Stephen King.)
  10. A Discover Card ad offering double rewards for new cardholders contained the line “no limits and no catches” but the tag at the end of the spot said, “limitations apply.” So… which is it?
  11. “Inspired by true events” does not make a movie better than one that’s total fiction.
  12. A St. Louis area business that advertised regularly in local print media for three decades ran NO print ads in 2015… and their revenues increased.
  13. A black and white photo often has stronger impact than a color pic.
  14. Whole Foods does not take checks.
  15. Sometimes I’d prefer to READ your story in an online article instead of watching a video about it.
  16. Your strict adherence to political correctness may cause you to shake your head at times, but it beats having to apologize for a communications boner. Um, mistake.

 

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Writing Tips from Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King is a memoir that’s filled with his thoughts about writing. The book, published in 2000, is informative and entertaining.

In the book’s Second Foreword, he writes, “This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit.” He passes along a rule from Strunk & White’s classic The Elements of Style: “Omit needless words.”

King quotes a college professor who counseled him about editing. “When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

I love what King says about using fancy words: “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.”

After expressing a preference for active voice over passive in sentence composition, King issues another caution. He suggests: “The adverb is not your friend. They’re like dandelions. If you have one…it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day…fifty the day after that…and then, brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely and profligately covered with dandelions.” Point made!

Stephen King encourages all of us who write to read. A lot. He says: “It (reading) 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 just lies there dead (or dying) on the page.”

Parts of On Writing are directed primarily to fiction writers, but most of his ideas are useful for all writers. I recommend you read it. You’ll enjoy it and you’ll learn from it.

On Writing is available for download to Kindle, Nook and iPad. Or buy the audiobook from iTunes and have Stephen King himself read it to you!

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