“Long live the King” hailed “Entertainment Weekly” upon the 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.
I loved this book. Sure, I should have been working on my NaNoWriMo novel, but I felt that after a certain amount of words, I really needed some guidance. Even if the words were still coming, I felt like I needed inspiration to ensure they would keep coming.
Whereas I felt that Elmore Leonard’s book was no help at all, On Writing was a great read, not only giving me the advice I needed to work on my writing, but also giving me an insight as to how a writer was made. Stephen King starts off the book with little stories about his life–when he had his first idea, how he started writing, at what point he started to make it as a writer. I actually felt hopeful reading it. King was very friendly and encouraging in his writing and often I would find myself chuckling–not usually the case when reading a Stephen King book.
The book is divided into three sections: the first section is King’s history as a writer (oh, how I laughed at some of these!), the second is more of the nitty gritty on the craft, and the third talks about the accident he was a part of while actually writing this book. I read the whole thing in a course of two days and immediately felt inspired. It’s amazing to read that even someone as talented at Stephen King had a hard-going battle making it to where he is today–proof that not everything comes in an instant.
I think I must have been living under a rock in 1999 because I had no idea that Stephen King was hit by a van–I haven’t read a lot of his works, though I’ve been meaning to, now that I’m getting older and would appreciate them more, but I couldn’t imagine losing such an esteemed writer. Especially one who was willing to give his writing readers insight to how he works.
If you want to give the aspiring writer in your family a gift, give them this book–it’s well worth the money and full of helpful thoughts and inspiration. As both an aspiring writer and a reader (hey, I have this blog, don’t I?) I love his main advice for anyone who wants to become a writer: “Read a lot.” (as in, 4-6 hours a day)
Well, if Stephen King says so …
© 2011-2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.