Book Review: On Writing by Stephen King

Stephen King was born to write.  Encouraged by his mother, King spent a great part of his childhood writing stories concocted from existing movie plots and story lines.  In his teenage years – much to the chagrin of the teaching staff at his high school – King’s writing took on a satiric style which could have landed him in big trouble.  But even with reprimands and admonishments bounding at him from authority figures, there was this unspoken understanding that Stephen King was paving the way for himself in the literary world.

King captures moments from different stages of his life and weaves them together with wisdom and humour.  In all honesty, I have never managed to finish reading a novel of his; creepy things leap from the page, make their way into my core and settle there.  A feeling I don’t like.  But reading about how the stories were discovered much like ‘fossils’ that were ‘excavated’ carefully, particularly with my deep-seated interest in Creativity, gave me the chills in a way far more pleasurable than works in his genre.  And I am tempted now to brave my way through a King novel, having gained a considerable amount of respect for a man who overcame a tumultuous childhood and alcoholism, and had to work his ass off to achieve his royal status.

As a writer, I am grateful for the latter half of the book in which King delivers all the nuts and bolts of writing in a straightforward and entertaining manner.  King is a lover of his craft, but it’s not a flowery, frilly ardor.  If you don’t already have a sense of awe for what good writers do, you will after these pages.

If you are looking for a book that goes beyond the technical how-to’s of writing and which speaks to you as a respectable human being, King has written it for you.  You will shake your head, laugh and come away with a wealth of knowledge under your belt.  A must-have for your personal writing library, not just for the content but for the style with which it is written.

I’ve added this book to my Amazon bookstore – have a look here and click on the Books On Writing category.

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