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27 August 2011

Stephen King's On Writing

On WritingOn Writing by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first started to read this one after my husband couldn't rave enough about it. I'd never written more than a few poems and short stories for school before and never really felt like I was the creative writer type. Still, I figured I'd check it out. I'm glad I did.

The thing you need to understand before you even open up "On Writing" is it isn't a step-by-step guide to writing a novel. That's the point. You can't really take a creative task and put a rigid set of rules on it. He does give some tips that worked for him and encourages the reader to try them out as well as try out other things to see what works for them. There are three things he is, however, very firm about.

1) "LY" adverbs are evil. Avoid them at all costs.

2) After you finish a book, set it aside for at least 6 weeks before you attempt to re-read it to make edits.

3) Put a set amount of time aside every day for writing and stick to it.

Besides some writing tips, this is largely an autobiography. He shares a lot of stories from his childhood and adult years. One of the big things he talked about was how many rejections he received before finally selling that first story. He had a whole wall covered in them. He also recalls the days when he was abusing substances so badly he barely remembered the creation of one of his favorite works. It's definitely a fascinating read that will help inspire you along your own path as a writer.

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Bryce said...

I read a lot of his books! I think this one is something I need. :D Will check it out.

Jamie B said...

Let me know what you think of it when you do! :) What are your favorite King books?