On Writing

I dog ear books when I’m reading them. What can I say, my books aren’t souvenirs; they have a lived in quality like a well worn favourite pair of shoes. I dog ear books intending to go back to a fascinating detail that caught my eyes, a detail I want to remember or revisit, maybe use in my review – if I’m planning a review of the book. It just happens, even if the reading is just for fun. I’m currently reading Stephen King’s On Writing, reading it every chance I get actually. And practically every page is dog eared. So that when I go back to read the dog eared pages, it really will be like I’m reading it in full all over again. I can’t say that I mind.  I feel like I’m sitting at the feet of a master storyteller, just me and him; no intrusive traffic, ringing phones, bills to be paid or work to be done to pay said bills. The other day it took me about half an hour to walk the five to 10 minute trek from the bus stop to my house, all because I was dragging my feet, reading this book, oblivious to the world around me. Just soaking up knowledge, losing myself in a good story; see the trick of the book is it just feels like a story not a classroom but in the end the result  is the same – the possibility of becoming a better writer. Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway has been my writing bible since it was required reading in my fiction writing classes during my university years. It breaks down the elements of story and through practice builds you into a better writer. In the years since, I’ve been known to pick up other books on writing, but none has usurped that original tome until King’s memoirish approach in On Writing. And I’m not even done.


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