On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Review

Ebook, 320 Pages
Non-Fiction/ Writing
By: Stephen King
Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

โ€œyou can, you should, and if youโ€™re brave enough to start, you will.โ€

I am going to be as honest as Stephen King is in this book: I am not a big fan of Stephen King. Maybe because I am not big fan of the horror genre or maybe because I tried one of his novels and was so disappointed with it that I still can’t get over it. Anyway, I would be very dense to deny the huge success he has and how he can indeed provide some secrets to the industry.

This book started as a memoir of King’s life itself and not much on writing which was okay but was not what I was looking for. I wanted more technical things and luckily we get that in the “On Writing” part of the book which the book takes it name from. I have read a few books on writing and they usually revolve around the same points and I think it is good to go over them again and again to make them stick in my brain. Some of these points are:

  • Don’t use Adverbs or cut them as much as possible.
  • Don’t use the passive voice
  • Writing is re-writing and a first draft is never the finished product
  • Everyone writes differently and it takes some time to find your voice
  • Like any other hobby/ Talent writing and reading needs a lot of practice and you need to put many hours into them to get good at both or either

โ€œThe road to hell is paved with adverbs.โ€

There was something different about King’s book though because it provided these points and it was really convincing, maybe because King is a literal King when it comes to writing or maybe because he sounded confident and provided enough examples to prove his points. To be totally honest, I thought that he sounded arrogant sometimes when he criticized some successful authors and quoted them.

The memoir part however also showed that we sometimes see someone’s success and we think they were just lucky to get there and we don’t see the whole road they paved with blood and sweat to get there. I am always hesitant to start writing because I want to write something great and this proved to me that it is illogical that the first thing you ever write would turn out to be a best seller. Once again, it is a skill that needs developing and I think this gave me some motivation to just practice!

โ€œBooks are a uniquely portable magic.โ€

Summary: I think reading King’s memoir was very eye opening. I like how straight forward King is and I think readers and writers are getting too sensitive these days and King also tackles that. If you are interested in writing and books then I definitely recommend this one.

6 Comments

  1. I remember reading this one for my Creative Writing class back in high school. I really want to reread it someday.
    Stephen King has some good writing advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Read this last year and while the advice is like gold dust, it depends if you’re THAT kind of writer. He offers guidance if you’re a writer of a certain persuasion but not every writer is. But like I said, very enjoyable. And moving too. The moment where he gets confirmation on the advance for Carrie is cathartic for him and reader alike.

    Liked by 1 person

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