On Writing, a Review (of King’s Craft)

December 14, 2011 at 3:42 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

Title: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Author: Stephen King

Paperback Publisher: Pocket Books

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoirs, Writing Guides

Length: 291 pages

My mother saw me reading Stephen King’s On Writing and scowled at me.  “That man is so weird, I don’t know why you would want to read any of his crap.”  Says the woman who may or may not have read one of his books.  Admittedly, I don’t read much of his stuff.  I couldn’t really get into Gunslinger, but I loved Low Men in Yellow Coats from Hearts in Atlantis.  I have no desire to read most things published in the horror genre, but On Writing isn’t horror, its not even fiction, it’s an amazing memoir and guidebook to how The King’s mind really works.

On Writing is solid advice from a successful writer to anyone who has ever dreamed of being a storyteller.  King is entertaining, down to earth, and extremely informative.  He is passionate about his work, and despite many blunt criticisms about typical writing flaws, he offers sound wisdom to budding authors.

I found reading On Writing highly motivating.  I’ve always been an avid reader, and I’ve always loved to journal and write tidbits of stories that come to me.  But reading this really got me in a dedicated routine.  I’d start my day off with a little advice from the master of fiction, write the recommended 2000 words for the day, and then pick up some handy little piece of fiction that took my fancy and read until my daughter woke up from her nap.

Since reading On Writing, I’ve got myself on a more solid path to finishing a complete draft of my novel than ever.  King doesn’t offer any kind of magic fix for suddenly getting published; he just reminds you that you already have the tools to do the job.  He gives you the confidence to press on and keep writing because you love it, not because someone told you to try to make some money at it once upon a time.

King encourages every writer to keep what he calls a writer’s toolbox.  In that box he includes the Elements of Style by Strunk, but I think you’d be remiss not to include On Writing in that toolbox as well.

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1 Comment

  1. anakalianwhims said,

    Scentsy pairing for Stephen King’s On Writing: Weathered Leather! Order now at AKKlemm.scentsy.us.

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