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On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing (edition 2002)

by Stephen King

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10,749292261 (4.19)219
Title:On Writing
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Pocket Books (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

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Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
If you're thinking about becoming a writer and are searching for a nice reference, this is the one. On Writing will give you excellent advices and hints to improve your writing skills. I'm not the best person to say that "this is the best book about writing that I've ever read" because... well, this is the first one of the style that I read. Alas, I must say that I learned lots of useful things with it and also had loads of fun.
On Writing is not just another tutorial, nor a manual that teaches rules. Disguised as Stephen King's biography, it is really motivational and fast paced. A good book for future writers and regular readers. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
This is a good book for anyone who would like to write but who has always felt overwhelmed by the unknown aspects of the art. The beginning gives you a sense of just a small handful of the events in King's life that led to some of his more interesting characters and themes. After that it gets a lot deeper into the ins and outs of writing, but it sticks to tips on routine and productivity and very basic storytelling, which is exactly what I wanted to hear. A great book. Could have been longer. ( )
  Booktacular | Aug 16, 2014 |
Before reading this book I loved Stephen King's writing. Now that I've read this book I love Stephen King.

Everyone who is interested in writing, reading, and the power of language should read this book. This is a whole different side of Stephen King. Powerful and comical and unforgettable. I believe portions of this book will come to mind each time I write from now on. And the next time I reread "Misery" will be an entirely different experience, I'm sure. I will be purchasing a copy of this asap since I borrowed this one from the library. I love this book.

Last note: LOVE that King included Harry Potter on his book list at the end. :) ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
I have shied away from books on writing in the past, somewhat believing that my time is better spent practicing my writing than just reading about it. however, after receiving a lot of recs for this book, I decided to give it a whirl and I'm glad I did.
First of all, I really enjoyed the memoir section and I feel like if anyone is qualified to talk about being a writer, it's Stephen King - he's got the product to back it up! I found his memoir section interesting and very vivid. Full of great stories.

Moving onto the "On writing" part, I really liked King's no nonsense views on writing. I felt like he had good tips that MEANT something and weren't just vague notions. Too often in the past when I tried to read books on writing I felt like the advice I was given was just so airy and.... intangible. I felt there were a lot of tangibles here to make note of and try. Solid advice from a solid person.

Overall, I'm so glad people kept recommending it to me and that I finally listened!

( )
1 vote margarita.gakis | Jul 17, 2014 |
This book offers insight into Stephen King's early life, though processes, and his near-fatal accident. It also has some excellent tips on writing from one of the most successful writers in the business. Very inspirational! ( )
  darcy36 | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:30 -0400)

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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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