In an itnerview with the BBC, writer Paul Cornell covers a range of subjects. Cornell is a British writer who has done extensive work on the television show Doctor Who. He is also author of the novels Something More and British Summertime, as well as a series of novels based on Doctor Who..
In the BBC interview, Cornell comments ant length about his admiration for Stephen King. Cornell states that he has just finished a novel in the fashion of Mr. King about school bullying..
In particular Cornell talks about how important it is for want to be authors to solicit "harsh" criticism..
I think there are two good books, but only two good books, on how to write. One is "Story" by Robert McKee, which is basically everything you need to know from top to bottom. And the other is Stephen King's "On Writing" which is three-quarters an autobiography, but the little gems he has in the last quarter are worth the price of the book alone..
King is a really good example of the attitude you need. All writers have mad stories about how they got into the business. There's no single, typical, common story. There are no apprenticeships, and gradual processes, and going from making the tea to being a writer. All writers have mad origin stories because they've all clung on desperately being determined while they met the friend of a friend of a friend who get them in somewhere and gets them the ability to show things to people. It's determination and the urge to improve and to listen when you get that first critique from somebody who knows what they're talking about, or from audience members, or from anybody. King tells it like this: He had a series of spikes on the wall above his desk when he was writing his first short stories. And he filled up those spikes with rejection letters from magazines and publishers. And he got to the third spike full of rejection notes before they started to have notes on the bottom saying what was wrong with the things. And then he filled up another spike full of more rejection letters before he made his first sale.
Now that kind of willingness to take on board rejection and then to learn from it because of those notes is why King is as famous as he is today. He includes in the book the letter he wrote back to the first rejection note with something written on it in the form of advice. He said it took him ten drafts to get the letter he wrote back right because he wanted it to convey exactly the right impression - to be spelled completely right, to be grammatically perfect. And what he was saying in the letter was "Please give me more criticism. Tell me more things about how it was wrong." That's why he's Stephen King.