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

On Writing by Stephen King
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it was amazing

Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.

I used to adore Stephen king's book when I was younger, I have this very refined memory of gifting my crush a Stephen King book! He never read it, we've been dating for four years now, I am still really bitter.
Though I grew out of Stephen King phase a few years back, reading this book was kind of bittersweet.

The first big segment is more of a memoir where we go through his life and how he went about writing. There are these adorable stories that talk about his brother, his wife, his mom and everything.

Tabby has a way of tilting her chin down when she smiles—it makes her look both wise and severely cute. She did that then, I remember, and said, “Besides, I like bears.”

Then we move on to some brilliant writing advice. Some of which I was very uncomfortable with--like the point where he talks about how to avoid writing plot. The others are pure gold, something that I would always have at the back of my mind from this point on.

Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation. Affectation itself, beginning with the need to define some sorts of writing as “good” and other sorts as “bad,” is fearful behaviour.

Overall, I loved this book! It was something that I would go back to and read again.

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Reading Progress

December 13, 2019 – Started Reading
December 13, 2019 – Shelved
December 14, 2019 –
page 17
December 14, 2019 –
page 54
16.88% "“And yet the best of them—The Haunted Palace, The Conqueror Worm, The Masque of the Red Death—achieved a hallucinatory eeriness that made them special.”"
December 14, 2019 –
page 58
18.13% "“I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction and poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all. I’m not editorializing, just trying to give you the facts as I see them.”"
December 14, 2019 –
17.0% "“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story,” he said. “When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”"
December 14, 2019 –
17.0% "write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right—as right as you can, anyway—it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it. If you’re very lucky (this is my idea, not John Gould’s, but I believe he would have subscribed to the notion), more will want to do the former"
December 14, 2019 –
20.0% "Her poem also made me feel that I wasn’t alone in my belief that good writing can be simultaneously intoxicating and idea-driven. If stone-sober people can fuck like they’re out of their minds—can actually be out of their minds while caught in that throe—why shouldn’t writers be able to go bonkers and still stay sane? -Stephen King"
December 14, 2019 –
34.0% "It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around."
December 14, 2019 –
December 15, 2019 –
December 16, 2019 –
74.0% "Underneath, however, I’m asking myself the Big Questions. The biggest: Is this story coherent? And if it is, what will turn coherence into a song? What are the recurring elements? Do they entwine and make a theme? I’m asking myself What’s it all about, Stevie, in other words, and what I can do to make those underlying concerns even clearer. What I want most of all is resonance, something that will linger for a little"
December 16, 2019 –
December 17, 2019 – Finished Reading

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