Everything I learned about Writing by Reading Stephen King

4 years ago

I have to tell you, my all time favorite author and my "mentor" is Stephen King. I have read and re-read so much of his work that it has taught me nearly everything I know about writing. Every writer should have his book ON WRITING sitting on their desktop or close at hand.


  • Show the story.
  • Use the reader's imagination.
  • Give few details, let the reader fill in the rest.
  • Streamline your story.
  • Always leave your readers wanting more.


Show the Story:

It doesn't get more straightforward than this. Show vs. Tell is a topic every writer should be aware of and must understand the basics before they can write. Use action verbs. Stay away from adverbs. Be flawless in your writing and the readers will notice.


For example, I received this quote for my latest book, GOOD INTENTIONS.


"Flawlessly written and heartbreaking, you won't soon forget this story."

Sammie Callahan

Use the Reader's Imagination:

Draw a vivid image inside the reader's imagination using the words you create. Let the reader free flow along with you as you create your story. Use your words to give the reader the chance to see the images in their mind and create the "movie" inside their head.


Give few details, let the reader fill in the rest:

Don't go overboard on description and background information. Don't fill pages with words the reader will probably skip over, anyway. Stephen King is the master at this. He uses a few words, a bit of detail and all of a sudden, you, the reader have the entire description inside your head. It may not be the same for the next reader, but that's okay. It works for you. It works for them. Make it work in your next writing project.


Streamline your story:

Keep your story lines fluent and easy to follow. Don't get all convoluted and try to be tricky. Write a good story and your readers will appreciate you for it.


For example, I received this quote for NOT WITHOUT ANNA.


Ms. Taylor's writing style is clear, without frills, and so streamlined that her story flows and flows and flows, without taking a break, to its satisfying conclusion. ”Maeve of Tara 


Always leaving your readers wanting more:

End your stories with a bit of a question still floating in the reader's mind. Give the reader only what you want, never more. Have them come back to you and ask, "Yes, it ended, but what about...?" That's the sign of a good story. Always leaving the reader wanting more.


For example, I received these quotes for my novel FOREVER UNTIL WE MEET.


It is one of those stories that you just want to keep going and going - even after the last page has been reached. ”Kristie Leigh Maguire  
I look forward to seeing more of this author's writings. ”Linda Strong    

"The art of a good storyteller is giving the reader what they want and knowing what not to give the reader so they can use their imagination." -- Vicki M. Taylor




Vicki M. Taylor

Vicki M. Taylor Website

Vicki's Blog


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