On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King

on writing a memoir of the craft goodreads coverPart 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 the 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.

There is a reason why Stephen King is one of the bestselling writers in the world, ever. Described in the Guardian as ‘the most remarkable storyteller in modern American literature’, Stephen King writes books that draw you in and are impossible to put down.

If you are looking for a memoir of King’s life then the first half of this book is perfect for you. If you are looking for writing advice then the second half of this book is perfect for you. If you are looking for both of those things, well then the entire book is perfect for you. In this small – at least by King’s standards – book you will find the truths of King’s writing and life and it will make you laugh. He tells everything in such a concise way that you are willing to believe everything he tells you and frankly I do.

Here’s a fun fact: King got $400,000 for his first paperback reprint sale of Carrie, that was in 1973. In 2017 that equates to just over $2,200,000. Some may call him a sellout but what they don’t know is that his wife saved Carrie from the trash can and encouraged him to continue on. Carrie was the first book he ever sold. Just think, if a Father of 2 with 2 jobs and no money could earn that much on his first book, what could you make? Now King states that there is no point in writing to earn as it is morally wonky and I think he is right, but if you were to write for simply your love of the craft like he did? Just think of the possibilities.

This book is really perfect if you love King and want to learn how to write like him. There’s a lot of things that I agree with such as, if you don’t have time to read then you don’t have time to write as you have to read to write. As he says, there is literally no point in writing if you aren’t reading. This is where you fill your creative well. Sure you can look at Pinterest and other people and places to get inspiration, but inspiration is different to your creative well. If your creative well runs dry then your stuck until it fills back up. Sadly he is right when he says no TV because this isn’t where your well gets refilled. This is where you see your ideas performed in front of you to a better degree than you could hope to write. Or at least that’s the thought. But I must say I disagree.

I honestly don’t know if I have much to say about this book. I think that it is definitely a read it for yourself book and I don’t know if I can say more than what I have already said. It has a really great everything and I think that everyone should read it.  I am only a beginner in this craft, so I can only assume this, but, I think that this is a great book for all levels from mine to Kings. He has something to say about everything from the formation of an idea to getting it published and not every writing book does that as well as this one does. Please, if you are a writer or are interested in the craft read it. Please.

On Writing is an excellent book, so excellent in fact that it is one of my favourites and I had no choice but to give it 5/5 stars. Seriously, read it yourself if you are a fan of his work. I loved it and I can only hope that you will too.



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