Reviews

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King

ljbentley27's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

I have wanted to read On Writing for a long time but the thought of picking it up terrified me. Not because Stephen King is a master of the horror genre; he undoubtedly is. It was actually the fear of what came next that made me scared to read it. As a wannabe fiction author I read a lot of books about how to write and a lot of them give practical advice – do this, don’t do that etc. However, what I found when reading On Writing was more than tick boxes of what I should do; I found inspiration. I managed to plot the novel that I would like to write from beginning to end and since then I have been feeling like I have reached a creative boom. Now, I am not completely giving Stephen King credit for this, it was my idea after all, but I cannot denounce his efforts.

I didn’t really know what to expect with On Writing. I didn’t read the subheading about it being a memoir and if I had I guess what I read wouldn’t have come as much of a shock. It is a fascinating read. If it was a fictional story it is about a man who perseveres until he gets to fulfil his dream of being a writer and that is always going to be inspiring. King’s wit, wisdom and experience drip off the pages and you feel compelled to keep reading. This is by far the best (and ok, the only) writing manual/memoir that I have ever read.

Whilst the advice about writing wasn’t the typical or formulaic type that you would find in other manuals it did serve (for me anyway) as a starting off point – I probably wont remember exact pointer ten books from now – in the moment, I found it to be rather useful.

It has to be said that the postscript was the best part of the book. King describes an experience of being knocked over by a bad driver with unmerciful detail that you feel like you have been knocked over yourself. His description of the event was phenomenal. Based on that reason alone, I highly recommend On Writing to anyone and everyone. There is a reason why Stephen King is a bestselling author.

On Writing by Stephen King is available now.

tracydurnell's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

Didn't like the first section, which was kind of a memoir, but I did enjoy the second and third sections, which were more about how to write.

mrcarter's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

This is a good read. I have no dreams of being a writer but I'm sure I'll think of this often as a reader. Honestly parts of this were almost like Vonnegut's writing, and King's digressions are more interesting than the subject matter to me.

Highly recommend.

thebigunit3000's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

A very amusing semiautobiographical kick in the pants + style guide for all writers. Up there with Elements of Style as one of the best "writing" books.

carlosmartinez's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Never read a Stephen King novel (not really my genre), but this was enjoyable and useful.

tom58's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

Wonderful book; really easy to read and helpful if you want to write or write better. Straight talking, no nonsense and interesting and occasionally funny. I have never read a Stephen king book but think I will now.

julielbrownwrites's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

This book is a must read for every writer. I purchased On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft on the recommendation from several writers. Given that it is written by Stephen King, a prolific writer of long books, I expected this to be a large book. Surprisingly, the book is less than 300 pages, but it is packed with information useful to writers who want to become better at their craft.

The first part of the book is autobiographical. There is minimal information about his personal life, but the anecdotes that are included in the book are pertinent to his writing and life as a writer. I believe this is the point; a writer does not have to give a lot of detail for a reader to understand the gist of what the writer wants to convey. Further, the writing seems honest: from the rejections, the doubts, and the disappointments to the euphoria of selling his first novel. This book makes you feel as if you are reading the real deal from someone who has been where you have been and who now is where you want to go.

In the second part of the book, he gives the reader the tools that every writer needs in his or her toolbox and a clear explanation of how he approaches his craft.

I do not say this often anymore; this is a book I will read again and again. It should be on every writer’s bookshelf.

ellesbooks's review against another edition

Go to review page

informative inspiring medium-paced

5.0

adamfortuna's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

When I started this book, I thought it would be more of a "memoir of the craft", but was surprised to see it's much more of a memoir of King himself. His own rise an author from nothing to one of the biggest names in writing.

I loved the individual stories of hard work, coupled with a mission to just write. From selling short stories to other kids while in school, to submitting to magazines, Kind wrote and wrote and hustled. It would have been easy for him to give up, but he had so much he wanted to say that he couldn't not write.

quixotiq's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

As much autobiography as writing guide, but interesting and well done on both parts!