Victoria's Reviews > On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

On Writing by Stephen King
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Nov 22, 11

bookshelves: biography, non-fiction, favorites, so-good-i-reread-it
Read from October 02, 2010 to November 24, 2011, read count: 2

The book was recommended to me by my boss, but when I looked up other reviews on goodreads, I was disheartened to see so many people start off their reviews with "I never really thought Steven King was much of a writer, but..." The man was recently voted the number 1 best-selling American author (and one of the most prolific), so regardless of whether or not he's "high brow" literature, he's doing something right.

Admittedly, before reading this book I was only familiar with the works of Stephen King through television and movie adaptations of his work. That being said, this is a book is a must-read for any aspiring writer. The book reads as a semi-autobiography, and a semi-"How To" book on the ins and outs of fiction writing. It's got a lot of insightful tips on how to get started, the tools needed, editing, and even includes some exercises. He even gives a nice little list of books every aspiring author should have/know (Strunk's Elements of Style, for instance) and his own personally recommended reading list. He has a very Hemingway-inspired view towards prose where less is more, which may not appeal to some. However, its a view that definitely has its merits and probably contributed to much of his success. Most of it was stuff I was already familiar with, but was a nice refresher.

For me, the most interesting part were the bits where he described his own writing experience--his brief stints with journalism as a child, the spike where he posted all his rejection letters, the moments that inspired his first novel Carrie. More or less, his story left me feeling inspired and eager to write in a way few other things have. For that reason alone, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants who hopes to someday make a living off of writing.
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