Review: On Writing

On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I haven’t read much from Stephen King, as I’m not a big fan of the horror genre, but what I have read I liked. This book is no exception.

The first part of the book is about his life up to and becoming an author. A lot of it dwelled on traumatic events, but let’s face it, those are the things most of us remember most clearly. The second section is general advice on what has and hasn’t worked for him in his writing. Most of it was useful, some I already do, some probably wouldn’t work for me. As with all advice, it’s best just to take what you can use and ignore the rest. The final section was a sort of “looking to the future” bit. It talked about an accident he was in that nearly killed him, and how he got back to writing.

Unlike fiction books, where I generally read in stretches as long as life will let me sit still, this book had more of a put down, pick up, put down, pick up rhythm in which I read only a few chapters at a time. That tells me two important things. 1- It was actually making me think. There was information my mind wanted time to process before moving on. 2- It was engaging, the non-fiction equivalent of a page-turner. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have kept picking it back up after those breaks. There have been books, both fiction and non-, that I’ve set down to take a break from and just never picked up again. Those books tend to lay around my end tables making me feel guilty for weeks or months on end before I finally admit defeat and put them away. This book was engaging to the end, and a wonderful example of King’s superb writing abilities.

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