I’m sitting at my desk in the cubicle farm at work. The phone isn’t ringing and I have time to look around. The walls and floors are brown, and the lights are fluorescent in this metal building with no windows. 3 ten hour shifts a week here pushes the limits of my tolerance for voluntary submission to oppression.
I finished Stephen King’s book, On Writing. I love it. I’m sorry it ended. King wrote it 15 years ago yet it is still fresh and relevant. For me, it is revolutionary.
Earworms chanting “it is impossible to write without plotting,” had set up residence in my brain. Trouble is; I can’t plot. King wrote, “Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort and the dullard’s first choice.” I stared at the page, open-mouthed, as those words stomped through my brain, smashing earworms.
I almost threw out my prose pen because I wasn’t writing; paralyzed by my inability to plot.
Plot be damned.
King opts instead to put characters in situations. I can do that all day. Per King’s wisdom, I’m going to do it every day. I’m relieved because what would I do with all these characters in my head otherwise?
On Writing, is like warm oil on my paralyzed joints. I feel free to move my writing muscles again.
King’s thoughts on plotting are not the only revolutionary things in this book. I could write pages about what resonated with me or taught me something new. Instead, I urge you to read the book yourself.
I will pick up my prose pen and answer the question: What if the woman who stacks rocks found a severed head in her rock pile one morning? It sounds like a situation in a horror story but I doubt it will finish as a novel ala Stephen King since his fiction usually ends up in my nightmares.
I will face the severed head, though, because King assures me, a writer’s “…job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ‘til noon or seven ‘til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up, chomping his cigar and making his magic.”
Note to self: buy an ashtray.