Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

On Writing

A great read, but the memoir is better than the writing advice I think although (0r perhaps because) those recollections also feel riddled with tall-tales, which are I suppose in their own ways more interesting and revealing than the truth is likely to be.

The writing advice is great but also inevitably seems incredibly personal. Those who have found a way to write consistently and well, have found a way for them to do it, and as with most high level activities, there are too many factors in play for their success to leap contexts easily.

The image that haunts me appears in the early chapters. King keeps Bringing up a nail on the wall that he used to store rejection slips when he was young. It’s a powerful image for a focus and drive that barrels past everything in its way. I don’t have that. Saying “no, because I want this” is a kind of self-assertion that is not really in my repertoire of non-work skills.

Overall, King comes across as a pretty nice guy here but that nail and his stories about the sources for Carrie give me a pretty sure sense that we wouldn’t connect if we ever found ourselves chatting over dinner. It’s an odd reaction because I don’t typically read biographical works in those terms, but in this case, it’s where my mind went.

Posted June 23, 2015