Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 15 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|In "On Writing", King includes part of a short story he wrote in its raw form, and then shows how he would alter it for his second draft. Why is the story eventually retitled 1408?||In Depth "On Writing"
It's a thirteenth floor ghost story. King titled it "The Hotel Story" for the first draft, since it takes place in a hotel. He renamed it "1408" because it's a thirteenth-floor horror type story; many buildings call their 13th floor the 14th floor just to avoid the superstitious connotations, so even though the first two digits of "1408" are "14", it's supposed to show that the room is on the 13th floor. He also chose that number because 1+4+0+8 adds up to 13. Not overly subtle, but subtle enough.
|In 1999 Stephen King was almost killed when a van whose driver wasn't paying attention rammed into him at the crest of a hill. A portion of the book is devoted to the accident and his recovery. King had to undergo what's commonly referred to as P.T. for a long time - what does King say P.T. really stands for, if you've ever had to do it?||In Depth "On Writing"
Pain and Torture. The physician who did the primary treatment on King after the accident told him he was lucky to be alive. If his head had hit the steel support beam of the truck's windshield instead of the windshield itself, he'd have been killed instantly. He missed it by 2 inches. The physical therapy (the supposed TRUE meaning of P.T.) and rehabilitation lasted for months. Happily for Stephen and his family and all his fans (me included), he pulled through somehow.
There aren't any. Unfortunately, King knows they don't exist, as do most writers who've done any significant amount of writing. It would be nice to have a magic quill pen or a psychic word processor, but it doesn't work that way. The only secret (and it's not much of one) is to take whatever amount of talent you have and work at it. No matter how much skill you have as a writer, if you don't write anything, it's useless. So write something man!
He slid down a snowy embankment behind a gas station in Pennsylvania. King's brother Dave features prominently in the first part of "On Writing" in which Stephen describes his childhood, but after that there's not much mention of him. The full story behind King's idea for "From a Buick Eight" is that after he fell down the embankment and barely stopped himself from sliding right into a stream and being carried away, he started to wonder how long it would be before someone called the cops if his brand new SUV just sat at the pumps with no one coming to claim it.
|King had a habit of putting rejection slips from magazines he had submitted stories to on a nail on his wall. How old was he when he had so many slips that the nail couldn't support the weight, and he had to replace it with a larger spike?||In Depth "On Writing"
14. The first story King ever submitted for publication was to "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine." He got a small personal scribble on the generalized rejection slip which read: "Don't staple manuscripts. Loose pages plus paperclip equal correct way to submit copy." It was the only personal scribble he ever got from AHMM. King was 16 when he started getting a lot more of the "personal" scribbles on his rejection slips. The first was from Algis Budrys at "Fantasy and Science Fiction" magazine, and read, "This is good. Not for us, but good. You have talent. Submit again." King credits that note with brightening an otherwise difficult winter.
|The title of the first main section of the book is "C.V." - what does this stand for?||In Depth "On Writing"
Curriculum vitae. He describes the book itself as a kind of "curriculum vitae" (C.V. means "academic or work history") rather than a mere autobiography. In his words, "How one writer was formed," not "how one writer was made". He believes much of the "equipment" for writing is in place at birth, and it's a matter of whether or not that equipment was nurtured, as to whether a person with the raw material will ever become a writer or not.
3. All written by King himself. In addition to the 3 forewards, there is a humorous "Author's Note" and two opening quotes:
"Honesty's the best policy." -Miguel de Cervantes
"Liars prosper." -Anonymous
|Stephen King dedicated this book to a fellow author, because he felt that she was the one who told him in a "very simple and direct way that it was okay to write it." Who was she?||In Depth "On Writing"
Amy Tan. King inquired of Tan what one question was she was never asked during the question period after she gave a seminar. She responded, after lengthy deliberation, "No one ever asks about the language." King took that as her approval to write a book he'd been considering for some time; a book on the mechanics of writing with a splash of autobiography thrown in. "On Writing" is what emerged. Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Barbara Kingsolver are other members of the celebrity band, "The Rock Bottom Remainders", which King is a part of.