Stephen King on Revision

A wonderful insight from Stephen King.

charles french words reading and writing



“To write is human, to edit is divine.”

“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”

“Your job during or just after the first draft is to decide what something or somethings yours is about. Your job in the second draft— one of them, anyway—is to make that something even more clear. This may necessitate some big changes and revisions. The benefits to you and your reader will be clearer focus and a more unified story. It hardly ever fails.”

All quotations are from

Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

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2 thoughts on “Stephen King on Revision

  1. I began reading this memoir last year, and I need to start reading it again. Like aging wine, King says he “shelves” most of his stories for years, sometimes decades after he writes the first draft! He says that time sifts out the junk, and the gold remains. The gold, of course, is what he keeps in the final draft.

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