On Writing by Stephen King

I’ve never read a Stephen King novel, although it turns out I have seen some films and tv programmes based on them – I never knew he wrote The Green Mile, for instance.
I bought this book because everyone seems to recommend it as a great read for would-be writers. I admit, I wasn’t convinced, fearing it would be pretty dull for someone who wasn’t a fan. Well, I was wrong.
This book is incredibly easy to read. The writing style is so easy and flows so well that you just don’t want to put it down. The book is divided into different parts – one part is about his life and the other about writing. At the end is a separate part which deals with an horrific accident that the author was in and about his recovery and return to writing after fearing he had lost the ability for good.
I didn’t think I would be interested in his life story at all but I am not the sort of person who can skip half a book so I was forced to start at the beginning, and I’m very glad I did. He doesn’t go into massive detail about his life – this isn’t an autobiography. What it is a collection of memories about his childhood and beyond which had an impact on his later career. He recounts these memories in a really interesting way and it’s certainly no chore to read them. On the contrary, they are fascinating and amusing and poignant, and a delight to read.
The writing section is fascinating. One of his tips is to forget about plotting and just go with the story…see where it takes you. As someone who has plotted to within an inch of her life and found myself struggling with feeling stale as a result, I found this a very interesting tip. I am now trying it and feeling happier than I have for a long time with the writing process.

I can see why this book is recommended over and over again and I would add my recommendation to the growing pile. Much more than a “how-to” book, it may even convert me to reading some of his novels! 5/5

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On Writing

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