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

On Writing by Stephen King
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Apr 19, 11

Read in January, 2000

I was never a particular fan of Stephen King's until I read this book, and wouldn't have given him much space on my bookshelf. Although I dipped into his horror and fantasy books when I was a teenager and enjoyed his writing for the immediacy of the pleasure it gave, it never occurred to me his books had the depth I was really looking for in literature.

Then I read "On Writing" and my opinion of Stephen King—and authors in general—changed instantly and forever. Although perhaps more autobiography than literary treatise, it gives a clear and thorough insight into what it is to be a writer. It provides an excellent perspective of what lurks beneath the pages of fiction, and what it is that an author imparts on their work. Not only did this book teach me how much work goes into crafting stories and populating them with characters, but it also showed how involved authors become when blending their thoughts and imagination into a suspenseful and satisfying story.

Prior to reading this book I naively assumed intelligent books were easy to spot by the complexity of their language or the cleverness of the concepts they handled, but this book humbly makes it clear how much intelligence goes into crafting a perspicuous story.

So while I'm still not a particular fan of Stephen King's horror or fantasy books, since this book provides an excellent glimpse of what's actually behind a fiction book, it deserves a place on any self-discerning fiction reader's bookshelf.
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