Monthly Archives: November 2013

JUST FINISHED: 10 Rules of Writing, On Writing, The Green Mile

Author: Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, Stephen King

Genre: Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Speculative Fiction/Mystery

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, 5 out of 5 stars, 4.5 out of 5 stars

Let’s start off with Leonard’s book, 10 Rules of Writing. I was quite surprised when I opened this book up. Seeing it on the shelf, I was thinking, one to three weeks of time for me to get to it and through it. I picked it up one afternoon and finished it in about ten minutes.  You should give it a try as well (if you’re into writing); I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I thought the tips were great and sketches comical. My favorite pieces of advice were no adverbs, avoiding character descriptions, and skipping the unwanted details. This is a book that I would like to add permanently to my shelf.

Along the same lines, I finished up On Writing by Stephen King. A humorous thought to me was that I was reading a book about writing by an author who I had never read (Hence why The Green Mile was next).  Throwing that thought aside, this nonfiction kept me as entertained as any fiction book might. And that is a definite feat for me.  I thought starting the book off with King’s life story was great background to know. I often think a lot about how authors came about: What gave them these ideas? What was their childhood like? When did they start writing? Does it come naturally? It was interesting to learn King’s background and to know that it is possible to keep on writing, even if it seems like life is telling you otherwise.

The writing advice was also fantastic. Again, no adverbs. And you do not have to describe everything! I also liked the bit on the editing process. So many times I have started to write and then stopped to edit when I come to a pause. And so many times that has just drained the life out of me.

I think some people that read this book might think King comes across as a bit of a know-it-all or ‘uppity’ in a writing sense, but I thoroughly enjoyed his sarcasm and wit. I didn’t find him at all demeaning, but inspiring. He left me with an incredible urge to write. And so I did.

And thus I am led to The Green Mile. I tried to read The Shining before this one but by page five, I just couldn’t get into. I’ve never been one for horror or the supernatural, so it wasn’t appealing to me. It also didn’t help that through The Shining, the movie, I laughed all the way through. Granted, it is horrible to even think a book is in any way like the movie to come after, but it did have an effect on me for this one. The Green Mile was different, though.  Just the fact that it dealt with the death penalty and it’s reality to the accused was enough to keep me engaged. I’m strongly against the death penalty. Nobody deserves it; I find it an appalling and immoral way to serve justice. Maybe I’m too big of a believer in the power of good and the strength of forgiveness, but there is just something inherently wrong with the purposeful hand of our justice system taking lives.

Of f my soapbox, I found The Green Mile engaging. It created strong emotions within me as I read and I felt as though I was there with them on the mile throughout the scenes.  The fact that I rarely even noticed the writing within this book made it an excellent read.

ENDLESS PAGES

The ink bleeds onto these endless pages.

He is spilling on the lines, soaking the paper with his mind.

But he knows, they will open to others,

Places no one has yet to go.

It consumes him night and day, heart and soul.

He cannot stop; the words keep coming.

They swim in his mind until their release.

Not until it is finished,

Will the writer ever find his peace.

THE NOOSE

Dark is the silence that surrounds this room

Deep, deep into the cavernous tomb.

Hold still, my love, we are not through this yet.

Their eyes peer out, gaze stretching towards our souls.

The whites of their eyes give off a luminous shine. But down inside, they are empty.

Hold still my love, we are not through this yet.

I can feel their thoughts cloud my head.

“Bend our way, it is the best.”

They circle us, tightening the noose. “Change or you lose.”

Hold still, my love, we are not through this yet.

I reach for your hand and tighten my grasp.

Together we are stronger. Together we may last.

They cast out their hands and I feel your tremble.

They will not accept us. Our ideas should burn in hot embers.

One deep breathe. One moment longer.

Run, my love, run further.