On Writing

Stephen King’s On Writing falls somewhere between an autobiography and a “how-to” book for aspiring writers, without entirely being either. The book’s subtitle, “A Memoir of the Craft,” is perhaps the best description of the book, because, more than anything, it is an opportunity for King to reminisce about his journey as a writer. He does talk about lessons he’s learned along the way that have contributed to his success, and there is probably a lot for young writers to take from the book. Still, this is a valuable read even for those who aren’t aiming to become writers one day.

One caveat: many people who would be reading this blog are not going to be comfortable with King’s sometime profane or vulgar choice of words. For the most part these are not people who would be picking up a book by Stephen King, anyway, but I thought I should give fair warning. Personally, my tendency is to not take offense at things that weren’t meant to be offensive (an easy stance to take when there aren’t small, impressionable children living in my house, I know). I do believe that Stephen King is a decent sort of person, that he had positive, constructive objectives in writing this book, and that there is a lot of value in his story, even if his language isn’t aimed at your typical Latter-day Saint audience.

Do what you want with that assessment. I, for one, enjoyed this book as a glimpse into the life and experience of one of this generation’s most popular and prolific writers.

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3 responses to “On Writing

  1. I haven’t been terribly impressed by King’s writing style; I somehow finished his big fantasy series, and I want to read his post-apocalyptic novel (the name escapes me right now). But I think there are far better writers out there, with far less fame.
    What’s your favorite how-to-write book?

    • The Stand is, I think, the book you were trying to remember.

      Favorite how-to-write book? Hmmm …. I actually don’t remember reading any in particular. I read a book where each chapter had comic book writers talking about their experience “making it” in that industry. It was really interesting. That’s the closest thing I can remember.

      I have been to a lot of lectures and panel discussions at LTUE, San Diego Comic Con, and elsewhere, though ….

  2. cecilythemermaid

    I really like the book so far. Thanks a heap for editing it for me! I’m feeling so unprepared to write, though. His advice is so far ahead of where I am!

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