On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King: I have read very little King in my time – The Gunslinger might be the only one – but he is prolific and popular but not too pretentious, so he is worth listening to. This is a book in two sections: memoirs and writing advice. The memoirs felt a little tedious, but I understand why they were included. Your life – especially your childhood – is what shapes your writing.

Many writing books are either discouraging (you will never get published unless your father owns Random House) or full of shiny happy talk about creative orgasms (anyone can write brilliantly – just let it flow). King finds a happy medium between the two. While he does lay down some strict but reasonable ground rules about grammar, editing, and reading (if you don’t have the time to read, he says, you don’t have the time or the tools to write), he is also full of solid advice and real encouragement. This book was recommended to me as something every aspiring author should read. I concur.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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