Review: STEPHEN KING ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT


New York: Scribner, c2000, ISBN 0684853523, $27.00

STILL Amazing AFTER ALL THESE YEARS…

STEPHEN KING ON WRITING: 
A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT

You just can’t swing an undead zombie in a room full of writing books without hitting Stephen King’s classic On Writing. While times have changed somewhat since its initial publication, this book still offers so much for the horror writer of today – partly because it normalizes horror icon Stephen King. It reminds us that there are no real “overnight successes,” and that most writers are just average folk with the same worries as the rest of us while trying to “break into” the world of the published author. King purposefully talks about those basics and the hard elements of craft that we all want to forget are instrumental in any success – from having a support group of friends or family, to keeping up with your grammar rules. You also get to meet the “real” Stephen King, at once irreverent and likeable as he relates growing up the a less-than-perfect circumstance of a single-parent home, communicating his knack for getting into trouble because of his writing subjects, and how the horrors of working in poor paying, mind numbing, blue collar jobs shaped many of his characters and plots.

King’s book reminds us that success in writing is subject to many variables. So if you haven’t read this classic or it’s been a few years, it’s time to pick up a copy and revisit a staple in the how-to-write-fiction section. Who knows better about successful story-telling than a man who has published more than 50 books already? I still give it four tentacles, all waving, the second time around…

KC Redding-Gonzalez

3 comments:

Tim Knight said...

Best book I've ever read about the subject of writing. Okay, ONLY book, but after this I didn't feel the need to read any others.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have it but haven't read it yet.

DL Hammons said...

I consider King's book a gold standard of how to writing books. Excellent read!!! :)