Wordy Thursday: On Writing by Stephen King



Genre:
Nonfiction, Autobiography, Instructional, Writing

Rating:
Five out of Five Stars

The following is a duplicate of my review on Goodreads for this book.

If readers purchase the book through the above preview link, I will earn a small commission from Amazon.

I have been a fan of Stephen King for many years. I read this book when it first came out and enjoyed reading it again. Of course, I am very glad that he survived his terrible accident and is now doing better.

I would not thrive writing the way Mr. King recommends: by shutting myself in a room for two hours with everything tuned out. I would start to feel as if I was in a dungeon fairly quickly. I am based in my living room where I can look out the window. I don't know if he would like my writing. I enjoy some of the elements that he recommends eliminating. However, I did learn two things from him a long time ago: mind the adverbs, and watch out for overly long and descriptive sentences.

I am glad to have this book in my library again.


1. Stephen King says, “You can read anywhere, almost, but when it comes to writing, library carrels, park benches, and rented flats should be courts of last resort."
I reckon you've gotta write where you've gotta write. However, I doubt I'd get much writing done on a park bench. Probably nothing more than a bit of note-taking would transpire there.

QUESTIONS: Where do you like to write? Have you written in the places King says should be last resorts and found them to work better for you?
I usually write in the living room with my butt parked on the dilapidated couch that doubles as my bed. I don't write much of anywhere else at this juncture.

2. QUESTION: King states that story comes first, never theme. I disagree. Do you think a theme only develops after the story has come together or can a good story be developed from a theme?
I usually don't think much about the theme beyond it planting a seed in my disheveled brain. I probably have a theme in mind when I start.

3. QUESTIONS: What "tools" do you find most indispensable when you write? Are there any you would add to King's toolbox (which includes grammar, vocabulary, elements of style and form, character development, descriptions, dialogue, tools for revision help)?
Coffee.

4. QUESTIONS: King believes that stories are "found things, like fossils in the ground." Let’s discuss King's extended metaphor of "writing as excavation." Do you agree with this theory? How would you describe writing if different from his point-of-view?
Sometimes my story ideas come sailing through the air and smack me on the head.

5. QUESTIONS: Was this your first time reading a book by Stephen King or were you a fan before? Either way, what did you think of his book On Writing?
I've been a big fan since I was about fourteen years old. Stephen King is one of those people that I'd love to meet except for the fact that he'd probably think I was the biggest loser to ever be plopped down on this lousy planet, so I imagine I'd slink off into the shadows if the opportunity to meet him ever arose.

I think that On Writing has many excellent suggestions. Not all of them work for me.



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2 comments:

  1. I have never warmed to Stephen King's writing. Horror is not usually my first choice.
    That said I did pick up one of his books (and can't remember which). I couldn't complete it because it creeped me out so much. The man can certainly write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like horror because it gives me a metaphor for the real-life nightmares. I always hoped that I'd become the next Stephen King, but I don't imagine that anyone likes my writing even a little, so that will remain an unrealized dream.
      Stephen King's eldest son looks just like him and is also a writer. I'm suspicious that Mr. King may have cloned himself. ;-)

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