The following is in response to Stephen King’s On Writing, King’s Rage, and Joseph Garrett’s Stampy’s Lovely Book.
The eighteenth book that I read this year was On Writing by Mr. Stephen King. The book is in part autobiographical and in part about the craft of writing. You will find out how King came up with some of his books, like Graveyard Shift and Carrie, and the inspirations behind them—I won’t spoil it for you, you’ll have to read it to find out. Some of the key things as far as writing goes that I picked up are that in the way of grammar the best book to use is The Elements of Style by Shrunk and White. King suggests that to be serious about what you’re doing you will probably have to write at least one thousand words a day for six days a week, though he admits that when he is working on a novel he often works everyday no matter what. Through Christmas, in the background of birthdays, in between festivities on Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t matter—write until you’ve finished a first draft without looking back and then take a few weeks off before the second draft. Another thing that King harps on is avoid using passive verbs and adverbs and unnecessary adjectives.
The nineteenth book I read this year was Stephen King’s book entitled Rage. I read rage on my Kindle and all quotes will include the location of the words. This book is just as it is described on the front cover: “His [Charlie Decker, a Maine high school student] twisted mind turned a quiet classroom into a dangerous world of terror.” There was some great imagery in this book: “The words echoed gently in my head, as if at great depths. They were shark words at deep fathoms, jaws words come to gobble me. Words with teeth and eyes. (228-235)” “Pictures whirled in front of my eyes, hundreds of them, fragments from dreams, fragments from reality. It was impossible to separate one from the other. Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore. (2493-2499)” Also, the entire chapter ten is a hell of a monologue about sanity, chance and death. The main character Charlie is hard to figure out because he is in an introspective state of real raw rage. This is indicative in the passage: “Read my dreams, Sigmund. Squirt ’em with the sperm of symbols and make ’em grow. Show me how we’re different from, say, rabid dogs or old tigers full of bad blood. Show me the man hiding between my wet dreams.”
The twentieth book that I read this year was a kid’s book by Joseph Garrett called Stampy’s Lovely Book. Garrett is a youtube sensation that typically makes Let’s Play Videos on Minecraft. I know this is a kid’s book—his primary audience is kids—but he is my favorite youtuber and I just had to get a copy when I heard about it. The book includes trivia about his Minecraft world, games and other cool things that kids, a big kids like me, enjoy.