Tell The Truth (Advice From Stephen King)

My family and I ran into Stephen King at a Red Sox game in August. He was cool as hell, in an effortless kind of way. Just waiting in line for his Fenway Frank.

I didn’t see if he was a plain, ketchup, relish, or mustard kinda guy.

But in case you did want some 411, he introduces himself as “Steve.” And told my brother (who had no idea who he was by looking at him) that he’d fail at jeopardy.

A funny dude.

I went home and bought On Writing almost immediately (which is like his version of the Bible for writing). For a guy who has sold as many novels and short stories as he has, I knew I was in for some truth bombs.


Steve (we are on this kind of first name basis now) has a lot of great insights on the craft. But very little of that matters even a fraction of what he communicates as his core principle:

Tell the truth.

It’s the simplest idea, yet the hardest thing to do.

So in the spirit of telling the truth I feel compelled to share this idiosyncrasy (only God knows why):

When I’m too lazy to go get a napkin and my fingers are a bit greasy, I sometimes rub them on my pants or the side of a couch. Sorry, Mom. You taught me better, but I’m still unsophisticated as hell.

Kate Ward