Wednesday, June 13, 2012

(85)On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing

Publication Date: October 3,2000
Pages: 288

You don't have to be a Stephen King fan to know that he is one of the most successful, prolific writers who EVER put pen to paper.  His writing has been called everything from genius to horrific and everything in between.  It does not take an aspiring author long to figure out that if there is anyone to idolize in the business, it is  Stephen King.  So of course, I set out to read his memoir on the craft, On Writing.

In his memoir, On Writing, "Uncle Stevie"  (as he referred to himself in the Entertainment Weekly columns) tells us the story of how he got into writing and what it took to get his works published.  The secret to his success?  Perseverance.  Even as a young boy, Stephen King was a creative soul who wanted nothing more than to get his stories out to the mass population. He even wrote stories and sold them to his classmates at school.  From the days when he taught High School English to when he first sold Carrie Stephen King shares with us the path he took to success and gives advice as to how we can get "there", too.

Advice such as "Read A Lot. Write A Lot" -- that was a paraphrase, but you get the gist.  "Uncle Stevie" was basically saying if you want to write, then turn off the television and just do it!  Another favorite line from the book was in reference to revising -  "Only God get's it right the first time."  So true, Uncle Stevie, so true.   It was while he was writing this book that he was hit by a car while out for a walk.  He shares that story at the end of the book, too.

I went through a Stephen King "kick" a long, long time ago and read several of his books such as It, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones.  I was far too young to understand ANYTHING about It, (I was around thirteen at the time) and I can vaguely remember the plots of the other two books.  I haven't really written anything by Stephen King in the last ten years, unless you count all of the columns he did for Entertainment Weekly a few years back.   It was while reading those pop culture columns that I really started to become a fan of  "The King".   His fair (and generally spot on) observations really reminded me of a favorite Uncle.  If so inclined you can read some of his old EW columns  here.

Bottom line,  On Writing is a wonderfully written book.  Full of motivation and inspiration. And I can see why it is such a beloved book for so many people.  If you need that extra little motivation or are looking for advice from an author who has been through the trenches, then pick up this book.  You won't regret it, I promise.


Sara Bell said...

I read this book a few years ago and it actually still remains one of my favorites. He really is an amazing writer, even for those who aren't fans of his horror. I just finished 11/22/63 which was not scary at all, about a man who goes back in time to stop Kennedy from being assisinated and sees what happens to the world when he returns. I've been recommending it to everyone!

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I read this a few years ago and enjoyed it too. I'm not interested in becoming a writer myself but I wanted to learn how he came up with so many good stories.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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