Author: Stephen King
Publication Date: 10/3/00
Blurb (GR): "Long live the King" hailed "Entertainment Weekly" upon the 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.
I have tons of highlights on my Kindle after reading this book. I suppose this is an indication of how much I enjoyed it and how much I took away from King's advice. From the get-go, I loved reading the anecdotes and stories King shares about his life growing up in Maine. His humor gets me nearly every time and I really appreciate the way he can recollect and/or recreate memories without making them seem fake. (I'm talking to you, Chelsea Handler--though you are funny)
"I remember an immense feeling of possibility at the idea, as if I had been ushered into a vast building filled with closed doors and had been given leave to open any I liked. There were more doors than one person could ever open in a lifetime, I thought. (and still think)" (Loc. 220 on Kindle version) This sums up one of the biggest reasons I love reading--originality. There is nothing quite like the thrill of reading something that feels fresh and like nothing I've ever read before. I wish it happened more than it does!
King spends a significant amount of time in this work speaking about another of my loves--a great story. He describes writing a draft and giving it, after a little tuning, to his wife/reader. If she thinks a part is boring, he might take it out. Just the way he describes it is perfect--Cut out the long descriptive sections and get back to the story! (description issues are usually what cause a reader to say "it got boring") This is a major gripe I have with a lot of books and it becomes especially apparent in audiobook format. I find myself spacing out during bouts of boring description and I'm in a state of constant rewind to try to concentrate on what is going on in the story. My book clubbers know I will skim through these sections in regular books. (gasp!) I feel like Stephen King might not chastise me for doing so. I mean, I don't give a &*($ what someone is wearing in most instances, I want to know who the killer is! King writes, "Description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's." (Loc. 2077)Exactly.
Obviously, I'm not going to retype all of my saved highlights. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys King's work (I loved how he wove the creation of many of his works in so we found out some of his inspirations and experiences) and/or anyone who has an interest in writing.