Title: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Author: Stephen King
Release date: December 1st, 2012
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Rating: 4/5 stars
I bought this book a few weeks ago in preparation for NaNoWriMo and I figured I’d share my thoughts on this book with you. In case anyone else is looking for writing advice from a master of the craft.
This book is half memoir, half writing tips for the aspiring writer.
In the first half of the book, King talks about his life starting with his life as a child. He talks about when he started writing, why he started writing, and why he kept writing through the rough patches of his life. He also talks about the moment he got his first major book deal and how that felt. Basically, he talks about his entire life and about how writing plays a part in his life.
In the second half of the book, King shares his tips on writing. What works for him and what doesn’t work for him. What he loves to see in books and what you should absolutely not do if you ever want Stephen King to read more than one page of your book.
As this is the first Stephen King book I ever read, I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t familiar with his writing style and on top of that, I had never read a memoir before this book. I think this was a great memoir for me to start with since I love writing and King speaks so passionately about his craft in this book.
When I first picked this book up, I was expecting to skim my way through the memoir part and get straight to the writing tips, that was what I was interested in after all… But I ended up thoroughly enjoying the first half. I was fascinated by the life of King and how he managed to become such a successful author. I found the story very inspirational.
Something that I didn’t like too much in this book was one particular writing tip. King suggests to never outline a novel. He believes that every story idea is a fossil that you find and you have to carefully dust it off in order to not damage to precious fossil you have just found. He believes that the story has to naturally come to you. I personally don’t really agree with his philosophy (but hey, who am I to talk? I haven’t published 50+ books). I think you start with an idea and you have to work very hard to figure the rest of the story out. Sure, some things will come to you naturally but you need to have some idea of where you’re going. Other than that there wasn’t a whole lot that I disliked about this book.
My final thoughts:
I very much enjoyed this book. I would say that there are some very helpful tips in there that could help an aspiring writer like myself. I also found it very inspirational to see his writing journey.
Overall, if you need some inspiration while writing your NaNoWriMo project (or any other writing project really) definitely give this book a go.
Lots of Love,
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