Thursday, November 19, 2015

SFRB Recommends 46: On Writing by Stephen King #writing #craft #memoir

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

The first section of this book is a memoir that recounts King's early life and experiences with books, and how they shaped his work. The rest of it is common-sense craft and encouragement. King's 'pantsing' approach may not work for everybody, but the rest of the advice applies to a broad audience. I haven't read much King myself, and you don't need to have done so to get a lot out of this book.

The most eye-opening part for me is a first draft he shares with us and how he revises it. He shares his reasons for the changes, unafraid to show us that even an experienced writer's first draft needs plenty of work.

If you're leery of investing in yet another book about writing, On Writing is widely available at libraries. King has done PSAs about using your library, so I think he'd approve!

Author site: Welcome to

Recommendation by Lee Koven.

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