Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
— Franz Kafka
I’ve always thought that reading a story was better than watching one. There’s a certain freedom that is bestowed upon the readers when our imagination is ignited. Although watching a movie or a series can be an immersive experience as well, there’s something to be said about the more personal interaction of allowing yourself to perceive the story’s elements through your own lens, hand in hand with the writer. More often than not, something is lost in translation, from the author’s words to the adaptation, and not purely because of the time constraints on the latter.
So, keep on reading books. And if there is a movie or series adaptation, try to watch those too. Perhaps, you’ll get to appreciate the written version more, and let the adaptation lend some texture to the whole experience of the story.
Crafting Horror and Hope
Stephen King is a prolific American author known for his contributions to the horror, supernatural fiction, and suspense genres. Just turned 76 this September 21st, King has a writing career that has spanned over five decades, making him one of the most celebrated and influential authors of our time.
King's rise to literary stardom began in 1974, with the publication of his debut novel, Carrie. The novel's success catapulted him to fame, and he continued to produce a vast body of work that includes bestsellers like The Shining, It, The Stand, and Misery. His ability to craft intricate characters, evoke genuine fear, and explore the human psyche has earned him a dedicated following. One of his signature traits is the knack for blending the ordinary with the extraordinary, often setting his stories in small-town America where everyday people confront supernatural horrors. His writing style is characterized by vivid descriptions, rich character development, and a talent for tapping into our deepest fears and anxieties.
King's influence extends beyond literature, as many of his works have been adapted into successful films and television series, such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and Castle Rock. His impact on popular culture is immeasurable, with countless authors citing him as an inspiration. In addition to his fiction, he has written non-fiction books, including On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, where he shares insights about his writing process and offers advice to aspiring writers.
Throughout his career, Stephen King has received numerous awards and honors, including the Bram Stoker Award, World Fantasy Award, and the National Medal of Arts. His work continues to captivate readers and terrify audiences, solidifying his legacy as a master storyteller in the realm of horror and suspense.
EndlessPens Recommends: Stephen King Collections for Crafting A Story
Stephen King is known for his discipline and his preference for fountain pens for tactile writing. He suggests setting aside a specific time each day to write and sticking to it. Consistency is key to improving your craft. Here are a few instruments of mass creation that will surely inspire you to keep on writing —
Waterman Hémisphère Colour Blocking Fountain Pen in Blue – Majority of Stephen King’s longhand work was actually written with a variant of this fountain pen. This fashion-forward fountain pen is stylishly finished in two complementary tones of blue. Its striking appeal is set off with the classic Waterman signature, double-branched clip, and shining silver-coated trim. An engraved, stainless steel nib eloquently showcases the iconic looped Waterman W. French-made, this beautiful creation benefits from Waterman’s in-house craftsmanship.
Sailor Pro Gear Slim Fountain Pen – The Sailor Professional Gear Slim has a responsive 14K Gold nib. It sports a unique design with a cutaway cap and inlaid Sailor anchor logo on the top of its polished resin body. Enjoy the writing excellence from these high-quality pens, which are slim and still a pleasure to write with.
Opus 88 Koloro Fountain Pen – The Opus 88 Koloro offers a Japanese-style eyedropper-filled pen with an ebonite body. It includes a piston-operated shut-off valve, and the translucent resin portions of the pen allow you to see both your current ink level and your nib while capped. The impressive color hues make this a must-have for any fountain pen collection.
Capturing the Jazz Age
On September 24th, we celebrate the 127th birthday of one of the most influential American authors of the 20th century, F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is renowned for capturing the spirit and excesses of the Jazz Age in his novels and short stories.
Fitzgerald's most famous work, The Great Gatsby, was published in 1925 and stands as a quintessential American novel. Set in the Roaring Twenties, it explores themes of wealth, class, and the American Dream through the enigmatic, central figure of Jay Gatsby. The novel is a literary masterpiece famous for its lyrical prose and insightful social commentary. His other notable works include This Side of Paradise, a semi-autobiographical novel that propelled him to fame as a young writer, and Tender Is the Night, a complex narrative of love and mental illness. Fitzgerald's writing is characterized by his keen observations of the human condition, intricate character studies, and a deep exploration of the allure and disillusionment of ambition.
Fitzgerald's personal life was marked by his tempestuous relationship with his wife Zelda, who struggled with mental illness. Their tumultuous marriage and extravagant lifestyle mirrored the intemperance depicted in his works. This period of excess and financial instability contributed to his struggles with alcoholism. Sadly, his literary success did not translate into financial security during his lifetime. Despite his early death at the age of 44 and personal challenges, his works have endured as classics of American literature.
His writing style is characterized by elegant prose, vivid imagery, and a fascination with the American Dream and its ultimate disillusionment. Fitzgerald's ability to capture the zeitgeist of his era and his exploration of the complexities of the human psyche continue to resonate with readers and scholars, and his legacy as a towering figure in classic literature lives on.
EndlessPens Recommends: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age Journaling
Like many authors, Fitzgerald advised writers to draw from their own experiences and emotions. He believed that personal authenticity and emotional depth in writing were essential for connecting with readers on a profound level. Here are some choices to help you introspect and refine your own lived experience —
MD Cotton Paper Notebook – With this soft paper, nothing stands between you and your vision. 20% of the material used for MD PAPER Cotton is soft-textured cotton pulp to achieve the best possible comfort when drawing. The sizes of MD Notebook Cotton have been optimized for drawing, with the range now featuring F0 size (H180xW140mm), F2 size (H240xW190mm) and an F3 variant (H273x210mm).
Robert Oster Regular Green Ink Bottle (50ml) – Inspired by the rich scenery and culture of Australia, Robert Oster inks are available in a stunning selection of vibrant and contemplative colors. Made with a commitment to environmental friendliness, all Robert Oster inks are non-toxic, 100% made in Australia, and bottled in 50ml PET plastic bottles from the country's first carbon-neutral plastics plant.
Kakimori 2024 Yutaka Kawai Planner (B6) – Experience the year ahead in your own skilled penmanship with this B6 planner featuring unique artist collaboration covers and high-quality Mitsubishi Bank Paper pages. Its undated format allows you to begin and plan without restriction in any given month. Kakimori chose designs for their planner that capture Kawai’s independent spirit. This planner features split spiral binding for convenient lay-flat use and ample space for handwriting. Bank Paper has been carefully selected for its pages, as it is a highly versatile paper suitable for all writing implements.
The Central Character
With regards to writing, Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald gave similar advice. As storytellers and crafters of tales, writers have to be true to themselves. It is about maintaining artistic integrity, having clarity and determination when it comes to following your creative vision. Write the stories you want to tell, prioritizing your own voice over the clamor of trends or market demands. During the creative process, you are the main character.
Happy Birthday Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald!
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!