Jan 4, 2012

About Books Blog 54 - On Writing


Author: Stephen King
Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir, How To

Favorite Line 

 “Life isn’t the support system for art. It’s the other way around.” 

Summary (from Goodreads)

 The subtitle to Stephen King's On Writing, his missive on the art and craft that have made him rich and famous, is "A Memoir of the Craft." And that's just what this book is. Beginning with his earliest childhood, when his mother was struggling to raise Stephen and his older brother on her own, King takes readers through his life, culminating with the 1999 tragedy that almost ended it. Interspersed with King's memories are details that highlight his burgeoning career, all of it told in King's uniquely folksy but slightly twisted style.

 My Thoughts 

 On Writing: Memoir of the Craft is part memoir and part educational. The beginning and the end concerned Stephen tales are what shaped him as a person and as a writer. The midsection of the novel takes the reader through tips and tools you can use to improve your writing skills. I found both sections insightful. It was interesting to hear his point of view on the events in his life. It was nice that he kept everything short and to the point, choosing to focus on the key points of his life. Stephen King added his own witty flare went to the book. A factor which made reading it a fun and amusing experience. I must have laughed for days after reading the phrase: “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” A hilarious yet effective statement. I’ve since tried to keep my use of adverbs to minimum.

 Though I did love the memoir sections. What I took away from the book had more to do with the writing process. A large portion of the suggestions apply to writing fiction. Things like the use of dialogue, description, characters, and even a short section on getting published. However, the book offers many helpful ideas that you can apply to any kind writing. Everyone can use tips on editing and simple grammar tools.

 Here are a few examples of things from the book that helped me:

 1. If you want to be a writer “read a lot and write a lot.” I think I’m pretty set where this is concerned. Actually I think most of the book bloggers out there are all budding writers waiting to bloom.

 2. Write because you want to, not because you have to.

 3. Good advice and examples of how to edit. Reading this book made it easier for me to ask myself important questions when it came to the editing process. Do I need this paragraph to get my point across? Is this word necessary? Etc. 

 In addition to the great stuff that I learned from reading this, the novel includes suggestions for other writing books, and finishes off with a book list. Pretty cool right? There were a few titles on there that I definitely want to check out. If you are a writer, are thinking about writing, or simply enjoy reading about writers, Stephan King’s On Writing is the book for you.

 You will notice that I’m not including all the normal bells a whistles that I usually put on my review. Partly because of the type of book this is. The book itself is the “interesting fact.” They are not likely to make a movie of this, and I can’t really do a playlist for it. I did listen to my playlist for The Stand while writing the rough draft of this review and posting this, so the writing process wasn’t totally music-less. Happy reading. Keep it shiny!


Sidne said...

lol,nice feedback on the book. I think i know someone that may want to check it out.

Teacher/Learner said...

I'm glad you liked this. I think the best thing about it was King's ability to provide sound advice and not come off as self-promoting.

LoriStrongin said...

Definitely one of the more interesting books on writing that I've read. Honestly, I can't say I learned a whole lot of new writing techniques from On Writing that I hadn't already known from college, but it was the life examples that made the book stand out for me. King kind of breaks a lot of myths about a writer's life while also confirming some of the stereotypes. And altogether, it makes King the icon he is.