Stephen King? I need some advice on writing.
For my current work on ENCOUNTERS, I need to describe a school.
I know schools, I’ve been steeped in them, up to my neck.When I visualised the school I was downed by details.
I love description, perhaps a little bit too much.
When deciding what to include, I went back to Stephen King, "On Writing" and started reading at page 201.
“Thin description leaves the reader bewildered and near-sighted . Over description buries him in details and images.”
I need to find a happy medium.
Stephen King says find a few, well chosen details:
- dark corners
- scratched graffiti everywhere the pen and painted tags haven’t got to yet
- jagged, kicked in locker doors
- cigarette smell masking the stench of stale urine in the toilets
The blotchy walls and the peeling metal window frames had been the school’s best face, Saxebergh Secondary School saved the worst for behind its locked door. Ethan had reduced his enhanced perception to the basic human senses but these were acute enough. Past the Headteacher’s office, the ghosts of scrawled black tags greyed the cream walls but the graffiti gouged into the plaster had proved even harder to remove. One of the damaged lockers, door folded into a jagged, non-mathematical shape, had the same number as the ticket he'd been given in the office. Further along the corridor cigarette smoke rolled over smell of stale urine that pointed out the location of the toilets. And, in the dark well under the staircase, two badge-wearing prefects were discussing their homework with the thin boy they'd pinned against the wall.
I want this school to be the Carrie White of the county's educational institutions.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SCHOOL WITH A LITTLE INSPIRATION FROM A NOVEL?