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Review - On Writing, a Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

  • Stephen King has always been one of my favorite writers. As such, it was a given that one of the first books reviewed would be his On Writing, a Memoir of the Craft . The copy I just got was the anniversary edition. In the back are books he's read over that year or several years that he found worth mentioning.

    This book is not just about writing, it's about being an author and the things that drive us to write. It's about Stephen's journey to get where he is today, known as one of the best fiction writers of our time and one of the most prolific.

    On Writing has some autobiographical aspects as well as some writing tips and even a writing exercise in it. It shows a sample story and then his editing of it to "omit needless words" and to fix things that would be a better reading experience.

    He describes what he has found to work for him and how he views story composition to be narration, description and dialogue as the things that make up a good story. He goes into detail about these things and how to create believable stories that will draw your readers in and keep them tuned in.

    He also doesn't mince words and keeps out the "bullsh**". One of the things that I find so appealing about this author is that he keeps it real. In his fictional stories, it's real emotion - real interactions that one can really see happening in the real world. His memoir tells would-be authors how to bring this to their own stories. Just keep it real. Don't try to hoodwink your readers as they will smell the bs. (this is my own opinion of what he's saying in his memoir)

    I think it's also great that he was honest and put the stuff about his past that may not be so pretty - the alcohol and drug addiction. True to his writing style, he brings the reader to the story and bares all, warts and beauty marks.

    This memoir is a must read for any author or for any avid reader as it will show you aspects of the writing world you maybe were not aware of. Aspects of digging the story out of the ground and showing it to the world in all its glory.

    “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ~Stephen King




  • J.R. McLemore and Tiffany B like this
  • J.R. McLemore I read this book many years ago (around 2005, I think it was) and it inspired me to sit down and write a novel. That novel still hasn't seen the light of day, but I hope it will one day.

    Stephen King was the first author I read and I held his work...  more
  • Tiffany B Sounds intriguing to learn more about his craft but also how he writes.