Preparing for class

I want to write. I have stories in my head. I have half-finished conversations between characters. I plot and plan. I get excited and start the first few pages. And then I stop and don’t finish.


This summer I am starting my own private home school course with The School of Writing. My teacher is Stephen King, and my textbooks are On Writing (required) and The Elements of Style (recommended).

My goal this summer is to write a complete story from beginning to end. Whether the writing is good or bad is not my worry for now. All I’m concerned about is starting, staying on task, and finishing. To accomplish this, I will follow this list of guidelines I’ve compiled from On Writing:

  1. Work your ass off.
  2. Read and write a lot.
  3. Write every day.
  4. Aim for 10 pages a day, about 2,000 words.
  5. Create a writing space.
  6. Close the door to the space.
  7. Write one word at a time.
  8. Until you can filter out distractions, do not have any television, radio, video game, open windows, etc.
  9. Don’t wait for the muse. He’ll find you if you are at the same place every day.
  10. Write about anything you want, as long as you tell the truth.
  11. A story has these parts: narration, description, and dialogue.
  12. Plot is not to be trusted. Do it infrequently.
  13. Think of the situation first, then the characters, and finally the narration.
  14. You will create the most interesting situations by asking, “What if…?”
  15. Good description begins with clear seeing and ends with clear writing.
  16. The practice of writing is invaluable and should feel good.

To Mr. King’s guidelines, I will add a few of my own:

  1. I will follow these guidelines for 30 days.
  2. I reserve the right to not write on weekends or travel days.
  3. I will blog on my progress.

Class starts tomorrow. Gulp.


One thought on “Preparing for class

  1. Pingback: Stephen King’s Ascent | The School of Writing

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