Something a little different today! Theresa review’s “Stephen King on Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” from the Master of Horror himself.
Stephen King on Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Release Date: July 2010)
Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experience, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
“Long live he 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 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.
Well, the above blurb really says it all, but I will try to do this masterpiece justice, dear reader.
I think I’m just about the last person to have read this book. For years and years I’ve heard people tell me what a fantastic read this is. I’d even started asking friends who had a copy if I could borrow theirs. Somehow it never really happened. Last Christmas, one of my best friends, who also happens to be a writer, (and who couldn’t find her copy stashed somewhere in her apartment) gifted me my very own edition. I’m embarrassed to say I let the book sit around for an entire year before reading it. And, such is divine timing—because it was this year that provided me just the right life experience to relate to King’s memoir. The only other instance I felt the stars in such alignment was when someone (a different friend) gave me a copy of Eat, Pray, Love just as I was going through a divorce. That book was delivered on angel’s wings, reaching my soul at just the right moment. I can say the same thing about On Writing. Since having gone through neck surgery over the summer, I have been struggling with pain and getting back to “normal”. So when I read King’s account of his near-death experience near the close of this book, I was not only riveted, but in tears. I can’t spoil the last lines for you (although I fight the urge to quote them as I write this), but this master storyteller speaks right to the reader (after recalling in crystal detail the horrors of his accident) with the most inspiring words of wisdom. It’s like your closest friend touches you with a wand, blessing you to go out there and create your own epic stories. And, you understand that even the almighty Stephen King has real-life obstacles to overcome—which means none of us have an excuse to avoid sitting down at the computer or pad of paper to craft a story. If writing is in your blood, make it happen!
And, that is really the spirit of the book itself. Stephen King talks right to us, casually imparting a variety of personal anecdotes, while also revealing aspects of some of his short stories and novels. Not only that, but he gives sound advice regarding the writing process and the mysteries of publishing. We get the sense that even though he has sold gazillions of copies worldwide that he is still the same humble individual who recalls vividly what it’s like to be an aspiring author.
I’m still on a high, having just finished reading On Writing just minutes ago. This will probably be a book that I reread again and again. Whether you are a fan of King or not, you will be well before turning that last page. I highly recommend this read, especially if you are ready to absorb some down-to-earth tips from the best in the business. Now, I’m off to call that friend to thank her for giving me the book…