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On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing (edition 2001)

by Stephen King

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12,180350207 (4.2)275
Title:On Writing
Authors:Stephen King
Info:New English Library (2001), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:eBook, On Audible, On Kindle, Your library

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On Writing by Stephen King


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» See also 275 mentions

English (333)  French (4)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Japanese (1)  Danish (1)  All (350)
Showing 1-5 of 333 (next | show all)
This book is not only full of advice that you can actually work with, instead of the vague and vapid platitudes that writing tips usually consist of, but it's also tremendously funny and surprisingly moving all throughout. Not only do I now actually want to read a King novel, but I also feel more clarity about what it takes to write consistently. What, for me, made this an inspiring read is how while reading I felt as if Stephen King honestly WANTS you to write; instead of arrogance you find humility, and instead of snobbery there is encouragement.
  bartt95 | Jan 15, 2017 |
Great fun to read, no nonsense approach to the craft (rather than art) of writing, told with great sense of humor. I would agree with at least 90% of what King says while the remaining 10% might hold for suspense novels but less for other types. The first part is a type of autobiography, touching on such subjects as the authors alcohol and drug addictions. "We all look pretty much the same when we're puking in the gutter." The ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Great, great book. If you're a writer or even thinking about being one, I recommend it to anyone and everyone. ( )
1 vote s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
Great, great book. If you're a writer or even thinking about being one, I recommend it to anyone and everyone. ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
I actually struggled to get through this book. I was hoping for something to motivate me to get back into my writing and while it did do that in a sense, actually getting through this book before it was due back to the library was a hassle. I guess because it didn't really keep me hooked. Interested, but not terribly so. Probably just a mood I'm in on top of the exhaustion going on right now. There's good information in here, some things you've heard before and other that you might not have heard before. I learned more about publishing and agents then I knew. Recommended if you are a beginner writer hoping to publish something someday. ( )
  Kassilem | Oct 2, 2016 |
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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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Honesty's the best policy. -- Miguel de Cervantes
Liars prosper. -- Anonymous
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.
"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)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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On Writing tells of

writer's background more than rules

aspirants should learn.


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)

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