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

On Writing by Stephen King
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Sep 19, 2016

it was amazing

I have a very simple test for deciding whether a book about writing books is any good or not. It's not a complicated test. Very simply during the reading of this book, did I want to put the book down and start writing my stories? Did I think of new ideas for books while reading this? Did this book make me want to write?

The answer is, hell yes! On several occasions I just found myself thinking not of the book I was reading but the books I should be writing. I think that's called inspiration. So in short I would say this book by Stephen King is inspiring. Although he would tell me to edit out that last sentence for redundancy.

It was also funny, earthy, honest and in parts moving. The advice was excellent and the way of imparting that advice was always entertaining. It was like being chided by an uncle who was also making you laugh at the same time. It's a neat trick and not everyone can pull it off.

There's some colourful language sprinkled throughout the book but it well, usally adds colour and that's not always such a bad thing.

This is a brief summary of some of the salient points - those who want to write, actually write. Those who want to write well, read. Those who want what they have written to get even better, edit.

However the art and trick that King pulls off is the way in which he both shows and tells. His showing of how to do that is just as imprtant as his telling you to do it and of course from someone who has made millions from doing it, he has some credibility in the bank.

I would say that this is an important read for all aspiring writers and if you aspire to write fiction then it is a must. Your future readers will thank you for it.
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Reading Progress

December 6, 2014 – Shelved
May 19, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
September 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

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