Fiction On Writing

Confessions Of A Science Fiction Writer. Confession # 1: Stephen King and I

Today’s post is the beginning of a new series for my Wednesday’s Writer Spider Street Fighter blog. I wanted to call it Confessions, but decided that might be misleading and that my blog might end up on numerous porn sites. But hey, if it sells books…


Then I thought that perhaps individuals who frequent such sites—for some reason other than research—might not read. Not that porn regulars don’t read, but everyone knows it takes two hands to hold a book or eReader.

I decided to call it—well look at the top of the blog.

During this series I will offer confessions famous authors make public and then add one or two of my own. And I’d love it if you also added yours. (To be clear, confessions in regards to your writing habits.)

A Confession Is?

I have to confess, I’m not sure what a confession is. Do we need a priest?

Here is the definition from Webster that most fits what I am trying to do:

An acknowledgment or declaration, especially of one’s faults, misdeeds, or crimes

That’s not quite it. So let’s tweak it to read:
An acknowledgment or declaration by an author of what it takes to be a writer—be it a technique, a style, a philosophy, a drug, a pill, a cookie, booze, a muse…
Not a confession, you say. Yes, but if I called it advice would it be as intriguing?

My Confession

As early as I can remember, I enjoyed inventing stories. While other girls played with their dolls, I stuck feathers in my hair, took my bow and arrows, and scouted a vacant field for buffalo. Being the only girl in the neighbor may have influenced the direction I headed, after all the boys preferred a good buffalo chase to giving Betsy Wetsy a bottle.


The summer before the fifth grade, I was dragged by a cow. ( I know: How in the Hell? Whole other story.) My jaw was broken in three places, so I started a new school year—and new school—with my jaw wired shut. The small town was clicky, especially my peers. I was an outcast. The teacher assigned us to write a story. I couldn’t spell worth a darn and knew nothing about punctuation, but I stood up when the teacher asked for volunteers and read my story about my dog being run over and coming back to life. Kids came up during lunch and told me they liked my story.

I was hooked.


In the eighth grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Stephens, recorded my short story and played it for her other classes.
Senior honors English, Mr. Duff called me, The Writer.


After college, family, and career—when I was finally given the opportunity to write full time—I felt like that little girl in front of the class with her jaw wired shut, who couldn’t spell and couldn’t write, but had a story to tell.Self-doubt. Yes. So much so, I struggled many mornings to get out of bed and begin what I loved more than life. Writing. Counterproductive. You bet.

How Stephen King’s Confession Helped

One of the things I did to study my craft was read. And read. As the gods would have it, they led me to read King’s The Gunslinger.


In a twenty plus page introduction to The Gunslinger, King talks about his writing journey. I found the following confession, wrote it out long hand on a bright green index card, and tacked it to the wall in front of my computer.


My method of attack has always been to plunge in and go as fast as I can, keeping the edge of my narrative blade sharp as possible by constant use and trying to out run the novelist’s most insidious enemy, which is doubt. Looking back prompts too many questions: How believable are my characters? How interesting is my story? How good is this really? Will anyone care? Do I care myself? When my first draft of a novel is done, I put it away, warts and all, to mellow. Some period of time later—six months, a year, two years, it doesn’t really matter—I can come back to it with a cooler (but still loving) eye, and begin the task of revising. 
—Stephen King


Whenever self doubt creeps its way into my thoughts, I reach for King’s confession, read it, and then I write as long and as hard as I possibly can. My self-doubt is put on notice and buried in the deepest, darkest catacombs of my brain.

Side Note on King’s Dark Tower

After reading The Gunslinger, I was obsessed and read the entire Dark Tower collection. About the time I finished, the internet buzzed with news of a movie trilogy/TV series based on King’s books. I was excited and day dreamed about which actor would play the main character, Roland. Renowned film director, Ron Howard, acquired the rights to the adaptation and all seemed set on go.


I became busy writing and didn’t bother to check on the film’s progress. Apparently, sometime in 2011, Universal gave up on the project, and didn’t offer any valid reasons for throwing in the towel. In 2012, Warner opted out of the production also. Yet, The Gunslinger still seems to be an obtainable dream on the horizon as Netflix and others consider the possibilities.


I missed all the news on the Dark Tower’s detours, but discovered the above information while researching for today’s blog. There is an entire website devoted to following the progress of the Dark Tower’s adaptation.


I also discovered that Greg Hill had been hired to be head illustrator for the Dark Tower film during the time Universal was considering the production. (Hill worked on The Amazing Spiderman 2.) Recently Hill updated his portfolio to include eight pieces of concept art he did for film.
If you are a fan of King’s and of the whole Dark Tower’s world, I thought you might enjoy seeing the art. I know I did.

Photo credits for today’s blog:

Top image: Flickr Creative Commons by Eddy Van 3000
Skeleton Confession: Pixabay by Nemo
Girl: Flickr Creative Commons by free parking
The Gunslinger: found on several blog posts

I hope they get Anson Mount from Hell on Wheels to play Roland. How about you? Who would be your choice for Roland?
Or do you have any writing confessions you want to share. I love hearing from you.

To prove I love hearing from you, for those who share a comment, your name will be placed into THE MAGIC JAR. If you comment and link back to my blog from your blog, your name will be placed in the magic jar twice. On December 29, 2014, my alien friend ( or ghost) (or Walk-In) (or whoever is hanging around at the time) will reach into the jar and pull forth a name. That person can claim one of the following:

1. A Wyso/Danny ring handcrafted by my Native American friend, Neal Paquin of Santa Fe, NM, especially designed for my first novella, Wyso and the Other Creepy Kids on Gerard Street. (Picture left.) Sizes for children, women, and men. (Best choice. Simple. Elegant. One of a kind design.)

2. A $20 gift certificate to Amazon via email.

3. My opinion of the first twenty pages of your novel or novella. (Not that my opinion is worth anything, but it is someone else’s opinion. Something I look for every chance I get. Just thought you might be looking also.)

The Science Fiction Reality blog is a little science, a little fiction, a little about writing, a little real, and a lot of weird.


Clara Bush
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2 replies on “Confessions Of A Science Fiction Writer. Confession # 1: Stephen King and I”

Stephen King’s confession reminds me of the self doubt I had starting my new job. Now I am not a write, but after stepping into my new management position I had loads of self doubt and I kept looking back at everything I was doing and saying, “was that good enough, did I do the write thing, will I be able to do this?” I have sense learned those questions dont matter, you have to keep looking forward, keep honing yourself. The things you do well will come back in rewards and praise, the things you don’t do well will come back in the forms of lessons.

That’s my confession. Thank you for the inspiring blog.

“If you did your best, what more is there to be done?”

Gosh, I love that quote. Is it yours?

And your confession is so insightful. I am glad I have it here on my blog to immortalize.

King’s confession got me through many bouts of self-doubt, and I am very appreciated I found his words.

And now yours.

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