20 Stephen King’s Rules For Writers

1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

Tulislah untuk dirimu sendiri. Baru setelah itu, pikirkan pembacamu. Maksudnya adalah ketika kita menulis cerita, anggap kita sedang bercerita kepada diri kita sendiri. Tulislah/ceritakanlah sesuatu yang ingin kita baca/dengar. Ketika menuliskan naskah itu kembali (mengedit), tugas utama itu berubah menjadi membuang segala hal yang tidak terkait dengan jalannya cerita di tulisan kita.

2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

Jangan gunakan suara yang pasif. Para penulis amatir menyukai kata kerja pasif seperti halnya pencinta amatiran yang menyukai pasangan yang pasif. Kalimat pasif hanya untuk bermain aman saja.

3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”

4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

Jangan terobsesi dengan aturan gramatikal yang sempurna. Objek fiksi itu bukanlah kesempurnaan gramatikal melainkan membuat pembaca mau membacamu dan mendengar ceritamu.

6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

Salah satu penghambat kita menulis adalah rasa takut. Terutama takut tulisan kita buruk, takut dicaci pembaca. Justru hal-hal seperti itu malah membuat tulisan kita jadi buruk. Menulis butuh keberanian. Jadi, tumbuhkanlah keberanian itu agar ada sihir dari tulisanmu.

7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

Bagaimana caranya kita bisa menulis jika tidak membaca? Baca, baca, baca, lalu tulis! Baca, baca, baca, lalu tulis! Hal ini mengindikasikan bahwa seenggaknya perbandingan baca dan tulis, ya harus lebih banyak membaca.

8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

Menulis bukan untuk membuat orang bahagia, bukan pula untuk memperbaiki moral bangsa. Menulis, ya menulis saja, sejujur-jujurnya.

9. Turn off the TV. “TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.”

Matikan televisi. Lebih lengkap bisa dibaca di sini, soal tulisan yang baik.

10. You have three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”

11. There are two secrets to success. “I stayed physical healthy, and I stayed married.

Kunci sukses ada dua: sehat dan menikah.

12. Write one word at a time. “Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ the work is always accomplished one word at a time.”

13. Eliminate distraction. “There’s should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with.”

14. Stick to your own style. “One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”

Percaya dirilah pada gaya menulis kita sendiri. Jangan tergoda meniru-niru.

15. Dig. “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

Seperti halnya karya ilmiah, tulisan itu tidak boleh melebar, tetapi mendalam. Maka, galilah tema yang sudah kamu tentukan. Gali sedalam-dalamnya unsur-unsur penceritaannya.

16. Take a break. “You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.”

17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings. “(kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”

18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story. “Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.”

19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing. “You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”

20. Writing is about getting happy. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

Saya sering bilang, tujuan saya menulis adalah untuk bahagia. Hal yang saya dapatkan selain kebahagiaan hanyalah efek samping. Jadi, kalau menulis nggak bikin kamu bahagia, berhentilah jadi penulis.

 

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