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Highlights

When you’re six, most of your Bingo balls are still floating around in the draw-tank.

Page 28

But TV came relatively late to the King household, and I’m glad. I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit.

Page 34

Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.

Page 77

Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.

Page 102

It’s best to have your tools with you. If you don’t, you’re apt to find something you didn’t expect and get discouraged.”

Page 114

You’ll find you have most of the tools you need already, but I advise you to look at each one again as you load it into your box. Try to see each one new, remind yourself of its function, and if some are rusty (as they may be if you haven’t done this seriously in awhile), clean them off.

Page 114

The simplicity of noun-verb construction is useful—at the very least it can provide a safety net for your writing.

Page 121

The adverb is not your friend.

Page 124

I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.

Page 125

Paragraphs are almost as important for how they look as for what they say; they are maps of intent.

Page 130

Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes.

Page 134

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

Page 147

I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in. The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as in long swallows.

Page 147

Once weaned from the ephemeral craving for TV, most people will find they enjoy the time they spend reading. I’d like to suggest that turning off that endlessly quacking box is apt to improve the quality of your life as well as the quality of your writing.

Page 148

Book-buyers aren’t attracted, by and large, by the literary merits of a novel; book-buyers want a good story to take with them on the airplane, something that will first fascinate them, then pull them in and keep them turning the pages. This happens, I think, when readers recognize the people in a book, their behaviors, their surroundings, and their talk.

Page 160

When the reader hears strong echoes of his or her own life and beliefs, he or she is apt to become more invested in the story.

Page 160

Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.

Page 163

It seems to occur to few of the attendees that if you have a feeling you just can’t describe, you might just be, I don’t know, kind of like, my sense of it is, maybe in the wrong fucking class.

Page 233

The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.

Page 250

The water is free. So drink.

Page 250

Books I’ve read.

Johannes Holmberg

Tiny summaries on books I’ve read. Sorted by latest read. But you can also sort on top recommendations. Highlights and covers are copyright to their respective authors.