Stephen King’s Work Habits

One of the oldest battles in the arena of writing technique is the debate over outlining versus writing off the cuff. When I read Stephen King’s book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, I learned he had some unusual ideas about how to get the work done. In fact, his work habits are so different from my own that I took the time to write up a little summary of how he went about things. While I carefully keep notes and create outlines, King just heroically plunges right in. For years, I believed that outlining was the most common approach to writing longer works, but wider experience on the web has taught me that a great many people come at writing in somewhat the same way as the famous horror writer. While King has his detractors, his remarkable output and amazing success indicate that his methods warrant some consideration.

Jean-Leon Gerome's Famous Gladiator Painting (Pollice Verso) of 1872

Outline or extempore? Which writing gladiator do you favour? (Image: Wikimedia)

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