Kate's Reviews > Secret Windows: Essays and Fiction on the Craft of Writing

Secret Windows by Stephen King
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's review
Apr 05, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: 2017, age-adult, non-fiction

This collection of various bits of Stephen King's writing offer up some of his writing advice. Included are a few short stories - the first being one of his stories written as a child, which was a heartening piece to read because you realize that yes, he wrote just as badly as I did back when I was that age. The second was "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet," which I originally read in Skeleton Crew, and is an interesting commentary on writing and writers and madness in general. The third was "In the Deathroom," which I read as part of Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales, which had very little to do with writing and may have been included as being "the first time in print!" (it was originally released as part of an audiobook collection) rather than anything to do with the craft of writing, which unfortunately made it a poor fit for this collection.

Also included were over 100 pages from Danse Macabre, which felt just as long to read as they did the first time around (I found that book super boring). My favorite bits were the introductions to other books and the transcribed talks he did at various venues. Because these are all pulled together from various sources, I found that it became a little repetitive (King offers the comparison of English teachers being like Pavlov's dogs more than once, and also relays his quip answer to the question, "Where do you get your ideas?" as "Utica" more than once).

Of course, I've already read his On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and that really is the best writing book I've ever read, so this could never measure up to that. Still, it's been a while since I read anything of his and it was a nice reminder of his immense talent. I have to say, I've had this book sitting on my shelf for about eight years now, given to me by a co-worker's husband who is an avid collector, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief that I can now finally return it. I wonder if he remembers that I borrowed it...
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Reading Progress

September 15, 2009 – Shelved
March 22, 2017 – Started Reading
March 22, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
April 5, 2017 – Shelved as: age-adult
April 5, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
April 5, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction
April 5, 2017 – Finished Reading

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