Review: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King

Product Details

         Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages

         Publisher: Pocket; Reprint edition (July 1, 2002)

         Language: English

         ISBN-10: 0743455967

         ISBN-13: 978-0743455961


I’ve just finished reading this. I began it last night as something to read before turning out the light, and found I had to put it down reluctantly, when the graininess of my eyes told me it was time to sleep. When I left for work this morning it was in my bag.

While computers were running maintenance programs, I was reading. While I ate my lunch I read. During smoko, it was my companion and when my wife went to umpire netball this evening, I sat on a sofa and read till I finished it.

I found it to be a compelling read. And extremely funny in places. Stephen is up front with his experiences that helped develop the writer, millions have come to love. His thoughts on how to write, the mechanics, what works and what doesn’t, is thought provoking at worst, eye-opening almost always. He passes judgement on other writers across a multitude of genres, makes comment on the tools a writer needs, critique groups, readers, schedules, word counts and even provides a book list of the titles he’s read over the four or five years preceding this book’s publication.

He also talks candidly about his accident in 1999.

I’ve heard in reviews, from other writers, and on the grapevine that as a new writer, I should definitely read this. Now, in this review, I’m repeating that advice. Every writer should read this.

Not everything in it will be of use to every writer. But there will be something that strikes a chord with anyone who has ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) with the goal of publication.

I’m not going to go into detail on the contents of the book—you need to go out and buy your very own copy. At less than $10AU at just about anywhere that sells books, not just any good bookstore, you will gain more than your money’s worth.

In case I haven’t made my opinion clear on this book—go and buy it. I’ll be referring to my copy for many years to come.