Starting at the age of twelve, I along with my older brothers and sisters volunteered for a yearly haunted house put on by the March of Dimes. Not only did we watch all the slasher films out there for inspiration, I read horror books for ideas. As can be expected, some of them were by Stephen King. But King’s stories transcend the horror genre, and most of his works are exceptionally long. How does he do it? Apparently so many people asked that he wrote a book about it. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Amazon) (AbeBooks).
“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 enjoyed reading Stephen King’s earlier works when I was in high school and college, and have also enjoyed the various movie adaptations of those works, but I wouldn’t say I’m a super fan. I recently learned that King spent a few years of his childhood near my hometown and it’s where he heard the true tale that eventually became the short story The Body, and later, the movie Stand By Me (Amazon) (AbeBooks) . A friend mentioned that this book talked about that time period so I was curious. I’m also a writer, having spent many years as a journalist with ideas of writing middle grade or YA fiction some day, so I was curious about what such a prolific writer as King would have to say about the craft.
I thought On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Amazon) (AbeBooks) did a good job of explaining the ins and outs of writing with an easy style that anyone who has read King’s work would recognize. I haven’t read too many books on how to write, not since college, anyway, and I think this book does a much better job of explaining the how of writing than anything I can remember. It is easily digestible and not overly-long, which I appreciated, knowing King usually writes tomes. I’d recommend this book to anyone who was serious about writing fiction.
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