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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by [King, Stephen]
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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 388 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

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.

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 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.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1132 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (11 March 2010)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003BVFZ4Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,556 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I had this book for a lot of years before I actually read it. I don't read books telling me how to write but found this one on my book shelf, the Stephen King shelves, and wanted to see what the Master had to say about writing. Turned out I couldn't put it down! He shows just how generous a person he is by sharing himself and his journey to become, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers ever. He shows how hard it is to make it in this world and how he did it, although it's a different world these days. Even he turned to Twitter in the end! It isn't overly instructive about the rights and wrongs and the rules of writing - I liked that because it is clearly his opinion. As a rebel I refuse to read books on writing because they are generally written by people who, well don't have as many books of their own to share. What he did for me was to reinforce that the way I write books is just as valid a method as anyone else who plans, and prepares, and follows all the rules. He helped me to believe in myself and to be able to say "I am a writer, author of......" which up till that point I couldn't say. Thank you for that Stephen King. And he shared the story of his dreadful accident, a time when we fans who have all his books (real hard back not kindle!) thought he would never write again. A long hard slog to get back. Little knowing that I would find this useful this past year after a brain tumour operation when I couldn't write or type, but managed to publish two books during the long hard slog back to health. What an inspiration you are Sir, thank you. Pat McDonald British Crime Author
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By Iola TOP 50 REVIEWER on 6 December 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I used to think I'd never read a book by Stephen King (well, I don't like horror. Why would I have?). Then one day I was looking at an edition of a science fiction novel I'd read as a teen, The Running Man. I found it now appeared to be by Stephen King--he'd published it under the pen name of Richard Bachmann. As far as I recall, it was well-written, if a little violent for my tastes (but not nearly as violent as the movie).

I've recently read On Writing, so now I've read two Stephen King books. On Writing is part memoir and part writing tutorial. The memoir was honest, funny and sad. The writing tutorial was pithy and funny, and draws in large parts from King's own writing, so parts of it were (still) a little too violent for my tastes. I admire his writing, but don't think I want to read any more of it.

But he has some great advice that works for writers across all genres. He advises all writers to read--he personally reads around seventy books a year and listens to more as audiobooks. King is opinionated: he says if you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. I agree (and I'd go further and say it's not good enough to read the classics like Austen and Dickens: the modern author has to read other modern authors to understand what readers read. Otherwise they'll be writing in a style that slipped out of fashion decades ago).

One thing that surprised me was his view on plotting: he doesn't. He says:

"My basic belief about the making of stories is that they pretty much make themselves. The job of the writer is to give them a place to grow ... I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren't compatible ...
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition
Early in this book Stephen King recounts a discussion with a fellow author. They laugh about how often fans ask them where they get story ideas. "But they never ask about the language," muses King. This book is his answer to that oft-unasked question.

The first section of the book describes King's childhood fascination with horror and early writing experiences--including articles in a newsletter his brother "published" from their garage. In the second section King gets down to business, providing practical advice ranging from word choices to editing practices and how to pace the long-term work of writing. King returns the book's focus to his own life in the final section. He describes being hit by a car while walking along the road and the challenges and insights of his recovery.

This book is recommended not just for Stephen King fans, but for anyone who wants to improve their writing. After enjoying it myself, I convinced two of my children to read it. Both found it a helpful perspective on their writing, in school and out in the world. Satisfied readers may also want to try Danse Macabre, Kings exploration of what makes us afraid, and Secret Windows, his collection of short stories and essays on writing.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
This was money well spent. This book is more than the title implies. First it is a selected biography of Stephen King. I enjoyed the poison ivy episode. This is not a deviation but an explanation of why he writes the way he does and the background that he draws on. Secondly this is a "how to write like Stephen King" book it reflects his likes and dislikes. I agree with most of them. I suppose that that is why I like his novels.

However I can only guess that he must spend a lot of time around people that cuss. It is not like he is not aware of it. I feel that he is somewhat proud of the fact that he cusses a lot. Luckily he said it is not necessity to be excessive.

I share his dislike for flashbacks. And he also expresses several dislikes for other stilting crutches, including excessive description of Back-story.
An added bonus is his description of the van accident that a certain comedian commented about saying that Stephen lost his Tommyknockers. Stephen forgot to mention that he bought the van that hit him for destruction purposes. Talk about revenge.

Over all after reading this I was compelled to try my hand at writing.
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