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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen…
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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (edition 2001)

by Stephen King

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12,384363201 (4.21)278
Member:fakelvis
Title:On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Authors:Stephen King
Info:New English Library (2001), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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On Writing by Stephen King

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Showing 1-5 of 344 (next | show all)
Wonderful and inspiring to just do it! I loved listening to King read this himself, enjoyed hearing about his life and his tips and advice on writing. While I haven't been a super fan of his writing, it's not generally in my preferred genres though I have read some, I am a fan of him, and have enjoyed listening to interviews and following him on Facebook, Molly AKA the thing of evil is adorable! I have always been aware of his work and consider him a major influence and icon in the writing world during my lifetime, so it was interesting from a historical perspective to hear the timeline of his work, as it starts around the time I was born. Thanks so much for this book Mr. King, I loved it! ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
On Writing is a phenomenal book about the craft. While I've read many a book in my life, I've always struggled to think about what exactly makes a *great* book, what gives it that ability to grab you and drag you even deeper into its world.

Stephen King lays out how you should go about crafting worlds and characters but doesn't get bogged down in the nitty gritty of it, rather he gives you the tools and broad strokes you'll need to get down to figuring out that for yourself. The beauty of his approach is that it applies to writers of any genre, not just horror or suspense that he is the master of.

While I've just finished this book, I can see that over the coming years I'll come back again and again to learn more from it., with each read-through giving me something new to use and ponder on.

This is most definitely one of the most essential tools in any writer's toolbox. ( )
  MerkabaZA | Jun 12, 2017 |
Don't know if I will ever write a book, but this book still entertained me. Also, I have only read a book of short stories by Stephen King many years ago when I was in 8th grade. Horror is not something I would enjoy in a movie or a book. Yet, there is not denying this guy can tell a story. I still remember the short stories I read eons ago, and I liked them. This book is super engaging. I listened to the audio version, which he reads himself, so it is a double-treat. You hear stories of his childhood that illustrate how he came to write, and he also talks about his accident where he got hit by a van while taking his daily walk on a backroad of Maine near his home. That story reads like something out one of his novels (which I have never read). This book is about having a passion for you do, and working hard at it. He gives excellent, but realistic advice that is good not just for writing but really any creative endeavor. It was encouraging to hear, that even for this superstar writer, that he deals with distractions and times of creative dryness and physical limitations. I'd like to put this on my iPod and share it with my family on our next road trip. It does have salty language, which I would expect, but not too much that it ruined it for me. ( )
  kerchie1 | Jun 9, 2017 |
This is an excellent mix of memoir and writing advice (I mean, the title basically says that, but whatever, I'm just reinforcing that, ok?) I enjoyed the writing segments more, though snippets from King's childhood and life were still interesting to me. There's even a chapter at the end about his accident, which occurred when this book was partly finished (which I didn't recall - I have read this book but it was years and years ago.) My copy is studded with colorful flags highlighting helpful tips and approaches to writing. I enjoy his sense of humor, relaxed tone and no bullshit attitude (as well as his occasional foul language).

Even if you're not interested in becoming a writer, if you're a fan of Stephen King's work, I think you'll enjoy his memories about his past and insight into how he crafts his books. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Jun 3, 2017 |
I've only read one Steven King book before, and I didn't like it much. This one got me excited to read more of his stuff and motivated me to do more writing of my own. I particularly enjoyed the parts about his life. There's some decent advice on the craft and career of writing too. ( )
  DanCopulsky | May 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 344 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Juti, RikuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knudsen, BertilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuipers, HugoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Honesty's the best policy. -- Miguel de Cervantes
Liars prosper. -- Anonymous
Dedication
This book is dedicated to Amy Tan, who told me in a very simple and direct way that it was okay to write it.
First words
I was stunned by Mary Karr's memoir, The Liar's Club.
Quotations
"I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs and I will shout it from the rooftops."
"... there is a huge difference between story and plot. Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty and best kept under house arrest." (page 170)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
On Writing tells of

writer's background more than rules

aspirants should learn.

(legallypuzzled)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743455967, Mass Market Paperback)

Short and snappy as it is, Stephen King's On Writing really contains two books: a fondly sardonic autobiography and a tough-love lesson for aspiring novelists. The memoir is terrific stuff, a vivid description of how a writer grew out of a misbehaving kid. You're right there with the young author as he's tormented by poison ivy, gas-passing babysitters, uptight schoolmarms, and a laundry job nastier than Jack London's. It's a ripping yarn that casts a sharp light on his fiction. This was a child who dug Yvette Vickers from Attack of the Giant Leeches, not Sandra Dee. "I wanted monsters that ate whole cities, radioactive corpses that came out of the ocean and ate surfers, and girls in black bras who looked like trailer trash." But massive reading on all literary levels was a craving just as crucial, and soon King was the published author of "I Was a Teen-Age Graverobber." As a young adult raising a family in a trailer, King started a story inspired by his stint as a janitor cleaning a high-school girls locker room. He crumpled it up, but his writer wife retrieved it from the trash, and using her advice about the girl milieu and his own memories of two reviled teenage classmates who died young, he came up with Carrie. King gives us lots of revelations about his life and work. The kidnapper character in Misery, the mind-possessing monsters in The Tommyknockers, and the haunting of the blocked writer in The Shining symbolized his cocaine and booze addiction (overcome thanks to his wife's intervention, which he describes). "There's one novel, Cujo, that I barely remember writing."

King also evokes his college days and his recovery from the van crash that nearly killed him, but the focus is always on what it all means to the craft. He gives you a whole writer's "tool kit": a reading list, writing assignments, a corrected story, and nuts-and-bolts advice on dollars and cents, plot and character, the basic building block of the paragraph, and literary models. He shows what you can learn from H.P. Lovecraft's arcane vocabulary, Hemingway's leanness, Grisham's authenticity, Richard Dooling's artful obscenity, Jonathan Kellerman's sentence fragments. He explains why Hart's War is a great story marred by a tin ear for dialogue, and how Elmore Leonard's Be Cool could be the antidote.

King isn't just a writer, he's a true teacher. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:46 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Stephen King writes about his life as a writer and how his ability to write saved him after a horrifying accident that almost took his life.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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