Sticking with Stephen King. On Writing is autobiographical and also packed with advice on the craft of writing. I loved it. I just opened it and flicked through it again. I came across this:

“Not every book has to be loaded with symbolism, irony, or musical language (they call it prose for a reason, y’know), but it seems to me that every book – at least every one worth reading – is about something.”

I posted about The Seven Basic Plots previously, and how it helped my writing. I shall try to condense some of the most important things Christopher Booker has to say about what that “something” is.

“There is no culture in the world which does not have at least one great story to account for how the world came into being,”. “All other animals live out their lives entirely by instinct.” Humanity “now had a sense of its own separate, individual existence. It had what we call an ego.” “It is precisely this sense of having a separate ego-centred existence which cuts human beings off from each other, potentially setting them at odds with each other and with nature itself.”

When I posted about The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary, I said “He paints himself as a man set apart from humanity, and the payoff comes when he is dragged back into it.” I’m sure Booker has put his finger on it.