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

On Writing by Stephen King
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's review
May 21, 12

bookshelves: alltime-favorites
Read from May 08 to 21, 2012

I want to preface this review with a simple fact: I've never read a single Stephen King novel until now. Most of my writing friends insisted I pick this book up, so when I saw it on sale at B&N (and saw the adorable Corgie on the front cover -- you can tell I'm easily swayed by cute things, yes?) I decided to give it a shot.

On Writing is a memoir that also blends King's advice on the writerly craft of creating a worthwhile story. It's honestly interesting as far as memoirs go, especially since I'm not a big fan of memoirs in general. The first part of the book is King's past (mis)adventures as a boy, teenager, etc. Basically this first part details the events that made him into the writer he is today (or was in 2001). There are no chapters, but rather segments and snippets of memories. The entire novel is broken up like this, with parts separating the content into something like a coherent whole.

The second and third parts deal with King's advice on writing. His pet peeves (adverbs!), what he thinks writers should focus on (read and write a lot, for starters), and so on. There are moments in this book where I laughed. His humor is great, and very snarky (yes, snarky).

While I don't think I'll adopt all of King's processes into my writing life, they're still worth reading about, if only to understand how a "successful" author goes about his business. This book is definitely recommended for beginning writers, as well as writers who want to be reminded about why we write -- because that was the biggest bit of understanding I stole from this book. King's enthusiasm for writing, his love for the craft and for reading and for the entire art that is writing is just infectious. It reminded me why I want to be a writer in the first place, and that's something very valuable.

tl;dr: 5/5 stars, no complaints, was a fantastic read. Recommended for all writers.

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