Friday, September 17, 2010

MIA and Stephen King On Writing: a review

First I feel I have to explain why I've been MIA lately... I wish I could say I was devoting hours to the craft... but actually I've been working. I love my job and I love the work I do. As it's the beginning of the semester I've been inundated. I am hoping to get back to a place where I can spend some of my free time writing and blogging, and not just working. I am hoping.

I have been able, in a few stolen moments, to start to read On Writing by Stephen King. I requested it weeks ago through paperback swap.

I should do a whole post just on PBS. I heard about it through a friend and signed on. I am REALLY loving it. I have a stack ten-high of books just waiting for me to dive in. The newest hottest books have long waiting lists, but lots of little gems are available immediately. I love to recycle and reuse... and am on a budget right now, so I have been trying to use the library and this service as much as possible. I recommend it if you have some books (any type is fine, the "paper" in paperback swap is misleading) you can bear to part with. Okay-- end of public service message.


I have to be honest. Sometimes, I get a little snarky. Sometimes I think the rules don't apply to me (I am human after all). I have read many a review or reference to this book by Stephen King. When reading these comments I've been known to roll my eyes, and mutter under my breath "who made Stephen King the final word on writing fiction! I mean, who does he think he is?"

I am here to tell you I was wrong. Oh so wrong. I have turned down so many corners on so many pages. It is stuffed with useful information. I have not finished On Writing yet, but I couldn't wait to blog about it.

What do I like about the book? He had me immediately, when he started to describe his childhood and life. The way he lets us enter his life is endearing.His writing style is engaging. He uses simple language and concise examples to illustrate his points. He's a grammar nerd, and a writing nerd, and I just love nerds so much.

At the same time, he is a harsh critic. He makes very clear what he thinks produces well-crafted writing. While he is severe, he describes thoroughly WHY he finds these things important.

I take back all those mutters, all that doubt. I was wrong about this book.

7 comments:

  1. On Writing is one of the BEST books about writing, HANDS DOWN. It was fresh and honest. And it's good to know that Stephen King has the same problems with writing I have.

    Excellent review

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  2. I love this book and aside from all the great writing tips in it, I like that he gets personal. I read SK a lot when I was younger and learning a bit about him and his life (from a reliable source - himself) was nice.

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  3. " Sometimes, I get a little snarky. Sometimes I think the rules don't apply to me (I am human after all)."

    Um, yeah. Me too. I've been avoiding On Writing for no reason except that...uh... Yep, no reason at all.

    I'll be sure to check it out now!! Thanks for the great review.

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  4. Great post--I LOVE this book. In fact, you made me want to revisit it. :)

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  5. Ha! When I first started reading your post, I was like "Who said Stephen King is the authority on writing?!" and then I kept reading...and apparently I'm not the only one who thought that. This looks great... thanks for the suggestion!

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  6. Erinn- "fresh and honest" -- Well said!
    I agree Angie-- I had no idea about his personal life, and it was interesting to hear it first hand.
    Susan- funny. Looking forward to your review.
    yay Pam, glad to hear it!
    Great minds think alike Erin!

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