bookrev: On Writing by Stephen King

On WritingThis book has been around for a while, but it is a must read for anyone interested in writing, and anyone interested in Stephen King. It is a quick but valuable read. Since Mr. King stresses brevity, here is a quick (and hopefully valuable) review/summary.

The book is divided into the following sections:

  • CV: Mr. King’s memoir portion of the book, where he provides insights into why he became a writer, what he started writing and the events in his life that influenced it.
  • Toolbox: essentials that need to be kept in every writers toolbox, like grammar, active vs. passive voice, brevity and other techniques that we all know but need to be reminded again and again to use.
  • On Writing: suggestions on using the toolbox. Where to write, how much to write, what goals to set, and some myth-busting (he doesn’t fall into the show don’t tell category, preferring straightforward prose). He even provides a couple of practice writing situations (he also mentions writing about situations vs. detailed macro plotting, and letting the situation and the characters dictate where the story goes).
  • On Living: a continued part of the memoir that covers the accident that almost killed him, getting hit by a van while walking on the side of the road. Writing seems to have brought him back, or at least assisted in helping in his recovery.
  • a couple of And Furthermore appendices, with a book reading list and a copy of a edit on the first chapter of one of his novels to push home some points.

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