On Writing, by Stephen King

Title: On Writing
Author: Stephen King
Pages: 297
Publisher: Pocket Books
Copyright: 2000
Format: Paperback
Rating: [rating:4]


So, I’ve never read much by Stephen King. I’ve read the short story/novella “Hearts in Atlantis,” the short story “1408,” and the first 500 or so pages of The Stand. But, I couldn’t resist his book on writing, especially since I’ve heard such good things about it from various sources – most recently from Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward.

The first part of the book consists of writing-related memoirs of King’s life. It was fascinating to read about his road to publication – and the nail(s) that he hung his numerous rejection letters on. The little vignettes were just the right size to keep me interested and reading. And, it is always a pleasure for me to read about the life of a writer.

The second part of the book was the primer on writing. This was a little less interesting for me, likely because it is the same general advice that all writers give. Write everyday. Use correct grammar. Except when you don’t. Et cetera. He did have an useful analogy about the tools in the writer’s toolbox. And I did like his concept about writing the first draft of something with the door closed, and then rewriting with the door open. I think he’s right about that “inner critic” and those real critics who can stop you from just getting the words on the page.

As an added bonus, King includes in the book a narrative about getting hit by a car and almost dying. He was in the middle of writing, or was thinking about writing, On Writing when the accident occurred. Also included in the back of the book is a suggested reading list.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading about King’s writing life and even his advice.

On Writing, by Stephen King [rating:4]

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American Bibliophile
Confessions of a Bibliophile
Daily Writing Tips
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Ms. Bookish
Reading Comes from Writing
Reading Thru the Night
Ready When You Are, C.B.
Rebecca Reads
Writing Forward