Monday, August 18, 2008

On Writing by Stephen King

I've been reading On Writing for a very long time but finally finished it last night. It was my back up book. I read it in between other books and on and off for months. It wasn't that I didn't want to read it, it just didn't have the immediacy that other books had (no plot basically). I learned so much from it though.

On Writing is part memoir and part instruction guide. The first part of the book is all about Stephen's life and how he started writing. I found it fascinating how he started out. He was always meant to write and he took initiative early on. His mother was supportive of him and allowed him to do his thing.

Stephen had a lot of difficult times, both financially and personally, and he addresses those very bluntly (sorry about the adverb Steve). He had little miracles, like getting paid for a story when he needed money to buy his daughter's medicine.

As for the writing guide, I really appreciated some of the things he said. He was in sharp contrast to a writing class I just took and I tend to agree with how he does things over my professor. Not that either is wrong, I just think some people work better one way. He doesn't tell the reader/writer what to do, he tells them what he does and how it works for him.

During the writing of this book, he was in that horrible accident and his narration of what happened was quite emotional. He's got a way with words. I'm so thankful he finished this book.

To be fair, I should mention that this is the first Stephen King book I've read. I'm familiar with some of the stories of course and I've seen some movies based on his books, but I'm not a fan of horror. I'm thinking of picking something up though. I've got a lot of respect for Mr. King and I'm thankful for his advice.

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