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On Writing by Stephen King
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On Writing (edition 2002)

by Stephen King

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10,438280272 (4.18)205
Member:lauramh
Title:On Writing
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Pocket Books (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

audiobook (33) authors (23) Authorship (27) autobiography (235) biography (235) creative writing (63) creativity (31) English (24) essays (48) fiction (44) hardcover (30) horror (63) how-to (86) King (55) language (43) literature (52) memoir (539) non-fiction (1,059) on writing (50) own (59) paperback (22) read (155) reference (164) Stephen King (183) to-read (116) unread (49) writers (45) writing (1,871) writing craft (27) writing reference (34)
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» See also 205 mentions

English (267)  French (3)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (280)
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
I strongly suggest this book especially to readers who wouldn't pick up a Stephen King's novel. From his basement, King launches into a histrionic and passionate "lecture" that, rather than a lesson, is a way to express his powerful, undeniable and uncontainable love for communicating through the written word. This is a bold and heart-on-a-sleeve work - that proves, by the way, the theories expressed in "Talent is overrated" (simplistic summary: "a lot of accurately directed pain, a lot of gain"). Some disturbing details on his addictions and obsessions shouldn't surprise anyone, but they are not the interesting bit. Reading this book is like sitting in a first row seat to an amazing writing class, that "The King" delivers with such passion, it sometimes seems to physically hurt : I remember one chapter ending with the following scream: "This is about WRITING, FOR GOD'S SAKE!". And there you see him, almost out of control, hands shaking in emotional distress, panting like an animal in front of this 50-million people audience. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
I dip into this often. This book should be required reading for anyone who aspires to write. ( )
  Laura_Jones | Apr 11, 2014 |
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is not just for aspiring writers or Stephen King fans. I'm neither, but I was completely entertained by On Writing. The first half of the book is Stephen King's autobiography of his first 50 years of life. He talks about his family, his childhood adventures with his brother, his relationship with his wife, some of the inspiration and research for his stories, how his alcohol and drug abuse affected his writing, and his accident with the van in 1999. This was interesting, informative, and very funny in parts. I listened to On Writing in audio format and it was read by Stephen King himself, which added poignancy to the narration.

The second part of On Writing contains some short lessons about what makes good writing and a look into some... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/on-writing-a-memoir-of-the-craft/> ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
A must read for every writer. ( )
  LisaFoxRomance | Apr 6, 2014 |
If you write, this is a must read. ( )
  CynthiaRobertson | Apr 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bertil KnudsenTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Juti, RikuTranslatorsecondary 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)
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(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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:30 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In 1999, Stephen King began to write about his craft -- and his life. By midyear, a widely reported accident jeopardized the survival of both. And in his months of recovery, the link between writing and living became more crucial than ever. Rarely has a book on writing been so clear, so useful, and so revealing. On Writing begins with a mesmerizing account of King's childhood and his uncannily early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, will afford readers a fresh and often very funny perspective on the formation of a writer. King next turns to the basic tools of his trade -- how to sharpen and multiply them through use, and how the writer must always have them close at hand. He takes the reader through crucial aspects of the writer's art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection. Serialized in the New Yorker to vivid acclaim, On Writing culminates with a profoundly moving account of how King's overwhelming need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower--and entertain--everyone who reads it.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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