On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

by Stephen King

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Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743211536
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 10/03/2000
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 28,752
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Institute, Elevation, The OutsiderSleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of WatchFinders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and an AT&T Audience Network original television series). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower and It are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.


Bangor, Maine

Date of Birth:

September 21, 1947

Place of Birth:

Portland, Maine


B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970

Read an Excerpt

And Furthermore, Part I: Door Shut, Door Open

Earlier in this book, when writing about my brief career as a sports reporter for the Lisbon Weekly Enterprise(I was, in fact, the entire sports department; a small-town Howard Cosell), I offered an example of how the editing process works. That example was necessarily brief, and dealt with nonfiction. The passage that follows is fiction. It is completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut -- it's the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts. I suggest that you look at it closely before going on to the edited version.

The Hotel Story

Mike Enslin was still in the revolving door when he saw Ostermeyer, the manager of the Hotel Dolphin, sitting in one of the overstuffed lobby chairs. Mike's heart sank a little. Maybe should have brought the damned lawyer along again, after all, he thought. Well, too late now. And even if Ostermeyer had decided to throw up another roadblock or two between Mike and room 1408, that wasn't all bad; it would simply add to the story when he finally told it.

Ostermeyer saw him, got up, and was crossing the room with one pudgy hand held out as Mike left the revolving door. The Dolphin was on Sixty-first Street, around the corner from Fifth Avenue; small but smart. A man and woman dressed in evening clothes passed Mike as he reached out and took Ostermeyer's hand, switching his small overnight case to his left hand in order to do it. The woman was blonde, dressed in black, of course, and the light, flowery smell of her perfume seemed to summarize New York. On the mezzanine level, someone was playing "Night and Day" in the bar, as if to underline the summary.

"Mr. Enslin. Good evening."

"Mr. Ostermeyer. Is there a problem?"

Ostermeyer looked pained. For a moment he glanced around the small, smart lobby, as if for help. At the concierge's stand, a man was discussing theater tickets with his wife while the concierge himself watched them with a small, patient smile. At the front desk, a man with the rumpled look one only got after long hours in Business Class was discussing his reservation with a woman in a smart black suit that could itself have doubled for evening wear. It was business as usual at the Hotel Dolphin. There was help for everyone except poor Mr. Ostermeyer, who had fallen into the writer's clutches.

"Mr. Ostermeyer?" Mike repeated, feeling a little sorry for the man.

"No," Ostermeyer said at last. "No problem. But, Mr. Enslin...could I speak to you for a moment in my office?"

So, Mike thought. He wants to try one more time.

Under other circumstances he might have been impatient. Now he was not. It would help the section on room 1408, offer the proper ominous tone the readers of his books seemed to crave -- it was to be One Final Warning -- but that wasn't all. Mike Enslin hadn't been sure until now, in spite of all the backing and filling; now he was. Ostermeyer wasn't playing a part. Ostermeyer was really afraid of room 1408, and what might happen to Mike there tonight.

"Of course, Mr. Ostermeyer. Should I leave my bag at the desk, or bring it?"

"Oh, we'll bring it along, shall we?" Ostermeyer, the good host, reached for it. Yes, he still held out some hope of persuading Mike not to stay in the room. Otherwise, he would have directed Mike to the desk...or taken it there himself. "Allow me."

"I'm fine with it," Mike said. "Nothing but a change of clothes and a toothbrush."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes," Mike said, holding his eyes. "I'm afraid I am."

For a moment Mike thought Ostermeyer was going to give up. He sighed, a little round man in a dark cutaway coat and a neatly knotted tie, and then he squared his shoulders again. "Very good, Mr. Enslin. Follow me."

The hotel manager had seemed tentative in the lobby, depressed, almost beaten. In his oak-paneled office, with the pictures of the hotel on the walls (the Dolphin had opened in October of 1910 -- Mike might publish without the benefit of reviews in the journals or the big-city papers, but he did his research), Ostermeyer seemed to gain assurance again. There was a Persian carpet on the floor. Two standing lamps cast a mild yellow light. A desk-lamp with a green lozenge-shaped shade stood on the desk, next to a humidor. And next to the humidor were Mike Enslin's last three books. Paperback editions, of course; there had been no hardbacks. Yet he did quite well. Mine host has been doing a little research of his own, Mike thought.

Mike sat down in one of the chairs in front of the desk. He expected Ostermeyer to sit behind the desk, where he could draw authority from it, but Ostermeyer surprised him. He sat in the other chair on what he probably thought of as the employees' side of the desk, crossed his legs, then leaned forward over his tidy little belly to touch the humidor.

"Cigar, Mr. Enslin? They're not Cuban, but they're quite good."

"No, thank you. I don't smoke."

Ostermeyer's eyes shifted to the cigarette behind Mike's right ear -- parked there on a jaunty jut the way an oldtime wisecracking New York reporter might have parked his next smoke just below his fedora with the press tag stuck in the band. The cigarette had become so much a part of him that for a moment Mike honestly didn't know what Ostermeyer was looking at. Then he remembered, laughed, took it down, looked at it himself, then looked back at Ostermeyer.

"Haven't had a cigarette in nine years," he said. "I had an older brother who died of lung cancer. I quit shortly after he died. The cigarette behind the ear..." He shrugged. "Part affectation, part superstition, I guess. Kind of like the ones you sometimes see on people's desks or walls, mounted in a little box with a sign saying break glass in case of emergency. I sometimes tell people I'll light up in case of nuclear war. Is 1408 a smoking room, Mr. Ostermeyer? Just in case nuclear war breaks out?"

"As a matter of fact, it is."

"Well," Mike said heartily, "that's one less worry in the watches of the night."

Mr. Ostermeyer sighed again, unamused, but this one didn't have the disconsolate quality of his lobby-sigh. Yes, it was the room, Mike reckoned. His room. Even this afternoon, when Mike had come accompanied by Robertson, the lawyer, Ostermeyer had seemed less flustered once they were in here. At the time Mike had thought it was partly because they were no longer drawing stares from the passing public, partly because Ostermeyer had given up. Now he knew better. It was the room. And why not? It was a room with good pictures on the walls, a good rug on the floor, and good cigars -- although not Cuban -- in the humidor. A lot of managers had no doubt conducted a lot of business in here since October of 1910; in its own way it was as New York as the blonde woman in her black off-the-shoulder dress, her smell of perfume and her unarticulated promise of sleek sex in the small hours of the morning -- New York sex. Mike himself was from Omaha, although he hadn't been back there in a lot of years.

"You still don't think I can talk you out of this idea of yours, do you?" Ostermeyer asked.

"I know you can't," Mike said, replacing the cigarette behind his ear.

What follows is revised copy of this same opening passage -- it's the story putting on its clothes, combing its hair, maybe adding just a small dash of cologne. Once these changes are incorporated into my document, I'm ready to open the door and face the world.

Copyright © 2000 by Stephen King

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A one-of-a-kind classic."—The Wall Street Journal

"This is a special book, animated by a unique intelligence, and filled with useful truth."—Michael Chabon

"On Writing had more useful and observant things to say about the craft than any book since Strunk and White's The Elements of Style."—Roger Ebert

“The best book on writing. Ever.”—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide for On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Points of Discussion

  1. Do you agree with Stephen King that the desire to write always starts with a love of reading?
  2. What role did Stephen King's childhood play in his evolution as a writer? Did your childhood experiences influence your desire to write?
  3. King was encouraged from a young age by his mother, who told him one of his boyhood stories was "good enough to be in a book." Was there someone in your life who encouraged your earliest efforts?
  4. At what age do you remember thinking you wanted to write? What do you remember writing when you were young?
  5. King's wife Tabitha is his "Ideal Reader," the one-person audience he has in mind when writing a first draft. When you write, do you envision a particular Ideal Reader? Who is that person and why?
  6. While King delights in the nuts-and-bolts mechanics of the writing process, he concedes that good writing involves magic as well. Do you agree with King's assertion that "while it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one?" To what degree can a writer be made? To what extent can writing be taught? What writerly skills do you come by naturally, and which have you had to work to acquire or improve?
  7. Discuss King's "toolbox" analogy. What "tools" do you find most indispensable when you write? Are there any you would add to King's toolbox?
  8. King believes that stories are "found things, like fossils in the ground." Discuss King's extended metaphor of "writing as excavation." Do you agree with this theory?
  9. According to King, good story ideas "seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky," and often don't ignite until they collide with another idea that also comes unbidden. Do you find that ideas for stories or writing projects come to you out of the blue, or do you have to search for them? What serves as the basis for most of your stories? A situation? A character? A moral dilemma? King recalls a dream that led him to the writing of his book Misery. Have you ever gotten a story idea from a dream? Discuss how you discovered your best ideas and how they evolved into finished stories.
  10. King describes the dangers of seeking reader response -- or "opening the door" -- too early or too frequently. At what stage in a writing project do you solicit critical feedback from others? When you do "open the door," who are the first readers you ask for advice? Why do you trust those readers and what are you looking to hear from them?
  11. King doesn't read in order to "study the craft" but believes that there is "a learning process going on" when he reads. Do you read books differently as a writer? Are you conscious of "the craft" as you read?
  12. In the first foreword to On Writing, King talks about the fact that no one ever asks popular writers about the language. Yet he cares passionately about language and about the art and craft of telling stories on paper. Do you think there is a false distinction between writers who write extraordinary sentences and writers who tell stories?
  13. Often, King says, "bad books have more to teach than the good ones." He believes that most writers remember the first book they put down thinking "I can do better than this." Can you remember a book that gave you that feeling? Why?
  14. King's self-imposed "production schedule" is 2,000 words a day and he suggests that all writers set a daily writing goal. What kind of discipline, if any, do you impose upon your own writing efforts? Do you always write at the same time of day? If so, when and why? Do you try to maintain a steady pace? Does adherence to a strict routine help your writing efforts?
  15. King tells a story about getting his fantasy desk, a massive oak slab that he placed in the middle of his spacious study. For six years, he sat "behind that desk either drunk or wrecked out of [his] mind." After sobering up, he replaced the desk with a smaller one that he put in a corner. "Life isn't a support system for art," he figured out. "It's the other way around." Discuss King's "revelation" and the symbolism of the placement of the desk.

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On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 210 reviews.
Grandma-in_Texas More than 1 year ago
I have never read a Stephen King book, nor did I anticipate ever reading one. I am not one who likes to be scared. I have a 50 year habit of sleep walking after scary movies, and I sleep in the nude... but then that is another story....and a little scary in itself. Anyway, I was given this book by my sister, who knows that I will only read the truth. No previous use for fiction, or fantasy books here. As it turned out, I really did enjoy this book, and I have since referred it to a couple of friends, who are budding authors. I feel that the tips and suggestions were very concise, and I had many "well duh" moments. It seems so easy, and so obvious. And yet, it took the book to make me realize it. Genius!! I would highly recommend this book, to anyone planning to write, or who thought that they knew how to write already. Heck, I may even buy a Stephen King Book of pure fiction soon. Egad!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book insanely inspiring. Sometimes vulger, sometimes surprisingly romantic and moving, reading this was like spending an evening with a master storyteller and having him answer all the questions you've always wanted to ask. I loved it.
Antoinette Armocida More than 1 year ago
an excellent view inside the mind of successful creative genius. i will never look at adverbs the same.
Tonja_Steel More than 1 year ago
What a brilliant book by a brilliant man. I love how he discusses how story matters and to forget about plot. I've been writing a novel and have found his advice incredibly inspiring and helpful. I'm a fair writer who hopes to become above average and I think with the help of this book and lot of practice, I can get there. I am so grateful to King for taking the time to write this book. I know it was not that enjoyable to write but WOW, what a difference it's made in my world. It's been better than ANY creative writing course or book coach I could have hired. Kudos to the King! 
ionestjames More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It has to be my favourite book of 2010. I have always been a fan of Stephen King and I found, as an aspiring writer, that a book about writing written by someone who knows what they're doing is a great help. I initially had to read this book for my Fiction Writing class, I absolutely fell in love with it from page one and my love for it continued all the way to page 288. There were times when this book made me laugh out loud, embarrassingly on my part, in public places and there were times when I was reading it that I realized some of the mistakes I made as a writer and I learned ways in which I could fix those mistakes without taking away from the idea I want to get across. Now, Stephen King is a very blunt man. He is not shy about saying that there is such a thing as a "bad writer." To quote the book, he says: ...while it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one. He gives you the facts, straight from the horse's mouth, if you will, and yet he puts it in a way that not only comforts you, but helps you learn exactly why it is the way it is. He even uses examples from his own writing, whereas a textbook would merely give you examples of someone else's work. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. Anyone at all. Especially those who are looking to become professional writers. On Writing helped me out so much, I don't know where I would be if I hadn't read this book. Probably writing crappy novels that border on fan fiction. Who knows?
jmeeks More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for writers. King's folksy review of his life and how it affected his writing is an easy read. His tidbits of basic writing tips give writers the background as to why writing should follow established guidelines . . . or not. These are tips that will make you view your writing in a new perspective. He is irreverant and totally believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair ... Come to it any way but lightly.” Stephen King. There is a reason why Stephen King is my favorite writer and it isn’t just because he is an author of mind-twisting tales, but is a teacher through his writing. The book On Writing; A Memoir of the Craft, isn’t a step by step book on how to write a novel, but is inspiriting boost of confidence. He teaches his readers how to be the best writer they can be. This book is set up in sections. Through the first section King shares childhood stories and his path on becoming a published writer. He shares his troubles through his old addictions of alcohol and drugs and finding his wife Tabitha. I have to admit some of these childhood memories did have me laughing out loud. The second section talks about all the tools a writer needs to be successful. He introduces how to be descriptive by giving an example of a table with a red cloth and a bunny cage set on top. He told you his idea of what this set would look like and this made me think because it was NOTHING like the picture in my head. The third section is about king’s “toolbox”. He explained how there are different “shelves” that are important to writing which are vocabulary, grammar, and elements of style. The fourth section is all about the cream inside the Oreo. He describes how to go from the idea in his head to the story on the white piece of paper. The final section was all about editing. The thing I enjoyed about this book is how inspired Stephen King is about writing. He is dedicated and obviously loves what he does. Also, I find it important that an author stays truthful. Stephen didn’t have one issue telling you what is good and what plan out sucks. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Even if you aren’t a serious writer, there are many tips given that even I found helpful.
Anonymous 12 months ago
On Writing juxtaposes Stephen King's life, writing, and addictions wonderfully. It serves as an opportunity for Stephen King to explain his demons to his longtime readers. It is a great read if you’re interested in learning more about Stephen King, where his ideas come from and how his demons affected his: family, life, and writing. It offers commentary on how and why people write and how best to put your ideas on paper, he equates the basics writing to a toolbox. It makes you think twice about what you think you know about your favorite author's lives and struggles.
TaylorChadwick More than 1 year ago
RATHBUN PERIOD 3 - Taylor Chadwick This book was written for the purpose of teaching people how to write. It's not like a step-by-step manual on how to write a book, but an autobiography on how Stephen King grew as a person and a writer. King started writing at a young age and talked about how his life experiences shaped his writing style. In the brief section “What Writing Is,” King compares writing to telepathy, in which the author must transmit information to the reader. He asserts that it is all possible, and sets the stage for the ensuing section, “Toolbox.” Here, King provides practical advice to the reader about the process of writing. Each writer should have a toolbox containing the basics of vocabulary, grammar, and style. You should read this book if you're an aspiring author because it will give you expert insight. I liked his openness about his childhood and how it affected him throughout his life. Overall 4/5.
Fungirl421 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're a Stephen King fan, if you like writing or if you just enjoy memoirs, you will enjoy this book. I probably would never have chosen it up on my own but it was a gift. I'm so glad I read it. It is not just about writing. It just goes to show you can always count on King for a good read.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Finally read this in its entirety, many years after I first started it. I was struck by the direct genius of King's writing. He doesn't beat around the bush with flowery language or lengthy and wonderful descriptions; instead, his descriptive language is sharp, precise, and thus often truer and wittier than things would have been otherwise. Anyone who doubts that King is a great writer need only to read this, in order to be awed and inspired to read his other books.
Elizabeth_Guizzetti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book on writing. His advice seems very down to Earth and after reading this book, I felt I understood where he was coming from with all his novels.
laurent on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book, totally worth the read, even if you're not into S. King (I'm not at all). This book was a great surprise.
knitwit2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading this book was like having a conversation with Mr. King. It was an honest look at the process that he goes through while writing a book. Great advice provided for the would-be writer.
jcevans2009 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Encouraging, genrous biography of a writer. Reading this book is like having a mentor. I signed this book out of our local library, but plan to buy my own copy so I can always have it!
SwampIrish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're interested in the subject matter, read this book.
emilyannward on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Recommended by my old writing professor, I picked up On Writing at the public library. It's the first book I've read by Stephen King, and not the last! I actually picked up The Green Mile today.The book is split into three parts. The first is an autobiographical part. I wished I knew more about his books and his work, I'm sure more of his stories would have resonated with me. I may have said, "So that's where he got that idea!" It was still a delight to read about how he developed as a writer: first submitting short stories to magazines, slowly working his way up, getting married, having kids, and publishing Carrie first.The second part is the actual writing part. It doesn't read like an instructional manual, but a conversation with one of our age's most prolific writers. I enjoyed this part, of course.The last, third part was a small bit about a car accident King was involved in the middle of writing his book. He had some horrible injuries to his hip and legs and was confined to a wheelchair for a couple months, and he talks about how writing brought some pleasantness back into his life.I'd definitely recommend this book to any and all writers!
msf59 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am not sure how this one got by me and I¿ve been a fan, since the mid-70s. Maybe it was released during a period that I was taking a break from Mr. King. There were some weak stretches in his bibliography, along with the amazing ones. Whatever the reason, I am glad I finally picked it up. It¿s quite a joy to read.The first half of the book is a memoir, taking the reader through his hard-scrabble childhood, raised by his tough hard-working mother. We look at his college years and his many attempts to publish his short stories and then there is his early marriage, struggling to support a growing family on a teacher¿s salary and then the eventual sale of a little book called Carrie. All perfectly told in his smart, amusing, no nonsense style.The 2nd half is about the craft of writing and it¿s equally as fascinating. He keeps his advice pretty simple:"I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs and I will shout it from the rooftops."or"... there is a huge difference between story and plot. Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty and best kept under house arrest."Even if you are not a King fan, I know there are a few of you out there, give it a try. I have a feeling you¿ll be pleasantly surprised.
Daniel.Estes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first read On Writing in college as a film student and now I reread it (or listen to the audiobook) once a year or so. This memoir speaks to me on many levels: the process of writing and of being a good writer, the inerrant passion of living creatively and as a short history of one of my favorite authors.I doubt I'll ever be a writer of novels, but there's no denying how inspired I am by the process. Stephen King describes writing a story like an archaeologist unearthing a fossil - discovering a small section at first and then, over time and with great care, uncovering the whole creation. This frames writing more like a journey, and that idea changed my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mother is a huge Stephen King Fan, so I grew up with his books, not reading them of course. She would have had a fit, but as I grew older I was curious as to why her shelves were filled with only a few authors, his being one of them. Anyways, everyone writer I know has told me to read this book. I'll be honest I put it off because, although an amazing author, his books have always taken me longer to read. With this one being shorter I thought it would be different, but as I finish this book it took me a full day and a couple more hours this morning. But it is an amazing book. I love his bluntness, and some of the things he mentioned about being a writer, part of a Writer's life felt like I'm on at least somewhat of the right path with my own. There were some things I didn't agree with, but everyone has their own opinion so that didn't phase me. All in all, I've come to find that my writer friend's were right. Everyone who is serious about the craft should read this book. However, like me, maybe they should wait until they are "ready". By that I mean, this isn't your typical writing book. There are no real formulas and it certainly doesn't try to tell you lies. Stephen King doesn't sugar coat things, and he doesn't full your head with so much fluff that you can pretend you actually learned something. You either get it or you don't. This is more of a motivational book in my opinion, with advice from someone who has dedicated his life to writing.
Murph More than 1 year ago
This book helped me as an aspiring writer, and as a person too. His life is very interesting and easy to relate to. I will never look at adverbs the same, I had no idea how much I abused them until now! I am eternally grateful for the point in a better direction
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I got to know Stephen King on a personal level by reading this short novel. I learned how he made his first buck and I felt like we connected even though we never really personally met. I never expected to get this much out of this small novel and never did I expect to even find this novel to be something that I would recommend to anyone else. The title of this novel is what turned me off. I am not a writer. I like to express my thoughts about the books that I read but I don’t put myself into the category of a writer so when my daughter-in-law suggested that I read this novel, I was hesitate. So much so, I have shelved the novel for many months. Crazy me! This novel was fantastic, this novel had energy and I can now see why she loves it so. My daughter-in-law adores a novel written by one of the kings of horror yet she hates horror, it’s amazing! As a high school literacy teacher, I can see why she adores it. Inside this novel, Stephen begins by addressing his childhood and you begin to see how his upbringing shapes the stories that he writes later in life. As a teen, he liked the things that excite me: horror movies, movies with teenagers on the prowl and science fiction movies. Reading about his teenage years, you can see his novels beginning to take shape. He talks about his marriage, how it works for them and how they survived the rough years. No, this book is not all about the writing process yet it is about writing as he talks about how an individual’s life and their journey will shape their writing and this book will show you that everyone has a story to tell. There is a story within you Stephen believes, a story just needs to be pulled together and you, the writer needs to find it and put it all together, the way you see fit. I was excited as I read this novel; I was seeing it all come together as Stephen laid out his own journey/story for us. I don’t agree with everything that he writes inside this novel but he made me think about a lot of things. I love what he says about fear. He believes that fear makes people write badly. I have to agree with him. Fear of rejection, fear of confrontation, fear of unknowns and fear of uncertainty are things that make people not write as good as they could. He also writes about word choice and how people choose their words. Are you an individual who writes down the first word that pops into their head or do you think about what word to use? I won’t tell you what Stephen thinks but he has some thoughts on the subject. This novel is funny at times; his stories really had me going which I did not expect at all. He is real in this novel and I appreciated his honesty and now I feel a connection to the stories that he wrote and I know that they came from his heart. The second half of the novel he writes more about how to write. He talks more about the writing process. Not being a writer, I didn’t find this section boring. I found what he wrote fascinating and energizing, he gives the reader interesting ideas to think about. Providing excellent examples, you understand exactly what he means, he’s doesn’t preach to you and tell what to do, Stephen makes you think and he offers suggestions. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as he gives the reader an excellent perspective on his writing and he offers suggestions and ideas hoping to ignite the writer that is within all of us. I, myself liked looking at his novels through his eyes. “Writing is seduction,” you should writ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read a ton of "how to" books, and if I had to pick just one, I would pick Stephen King's "On Writing." Everything you need to know is in this book. Character development, plot, dialogue, pacing, revision--it's all here. King has distilled a lifetime of writing into this little book. He also says what many other books say but adds biography and unmistakable King-like humor as he goes along. I wish I'd read King's book when I started to write fiction. I probably wouldn't have read all the others. I also don't keep many books on my shelf--most go back to the used bookstore--but Mr. King's is definitely a keeper. Also recommended: "Jenna's Flaw"