MY REVIEW 4 STARS:
This book isn’t at all what I thought it’d be. I went in expecting an English lesson, like a classroom style tutorial, and that wasn’t at all what it’s like. I suppose I should have known better, given King’s snarky attitude and approach of opinionated characters with completely out of the box (yet relatable) thought processes… I should have known that his own outlook would reflect such an angle to writing!
I listened to the book on Audible. He read himself which I thought was pretty cool. He actually has a good voice, so it was a breeze to listen to. Even sped up a bit.
The first section of the book was all about his life growing up, in school, in his first jobs, the beginning of his relationship with his wife and more. I really enjoyed getting to know King’s back story! He also talks a lot about his first books, and all of the small writing jobs he had on the side along with his job as a teacher before his writing career really took off. King’s wife is an absolute pillar of support, from beginning to date. He mentioned at one point her pulling his book Carrie from the depths of a discard pile and encouraging him to keep writing it, which is awesome as this is one of my all time favorites of his books. He also mentions that every time he reads a dedication to spouses in other books, he smiles and is grateful for her. There’s a large section dedicated to his addictions. His family and friends intervene and basically saved him from himself. I always knew that he once had a problem, but until this book I had no idea about just how bad his problem was.
The later portion of the book dives into writing. This is where it gets technical, but it really isn’t a play by play how to write. It’s more like opinions that have always worked very well for him, along with tips and tricks along the way that help to make your book successful. He tells LOTS of what to do and what not to do – and then references examples from his own books. This was a really awesome approach because even though it doesn’t read like a sales pitch at all, I still want to read a few books that he mentioned continuously that have been on my to- read list already. I’ll surely be bumping them up!!
King talks about writing content first, he doesn’t plot (which works for some and not for others). He focuses on getting the content out fast and fresh all in one pop. Then he’ll take breaks to revise and rewrite along the way. One full round is for removing adjectives and adverbs, which is awesome. He also recommends taking a super long break before the final round of edits and revisions before passing it off to an editor. I want to say he recommends 6 months, but don’t quote me on it! I loved this approach as I too wait to do a final round with fresh eyes. There were several times that I wished I was reading rather than listening, just so that I could highlight and save some of the advice. I highly recommend this book for both seasoned and new writers (and everyone in between). I also recommend forking out the cash for a paperback so that you CAN highlight for real and reference it! I personally will be buying an actual copy soon and re-reading it so that I can do just that!
ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S TOP 100 NONFICTION BOOKS OF ALL TIME
Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
“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.