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On Writing

A Memoir of the Craft

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

There is a reason why Stephen King is one of the bestselling writers in the world, ever. Described in the Guardian as 'the most remarkable storyteller in modern American literature', Stephen King writes books that draw you in and are impossible to put down.

Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.

King's advice is grounded in the vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999 - and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery.

From Publishers Weekly

02 October 2000 – "No one ever asks about the language," Amy Tan once opined to King. Here's the uber-popular novelist's response to that unasked question a three-part book whose parts don't hang together much better than those of the Frankenstein monster, but which, like the monster, exerts a potent fascination and embodies important lessons and truths. The book divides into memoir, writing class, memoir. Many readers will turn immediately to the final part, which deals with King's accident last year and its aftermath. This material is tightly controlled, as good and as true as anything King has written, an astonishing blend of anger, awe and black humor. Of Bryan Smith (who drove the van that crushed King) watching the horribly wounded writer, King writes, "Like his face, his voice is cheery, only mildly interested. He could be watching all this on TV...." King's fight for life, and then for the writing life, rivets attention and inflames admiration as does the love he expresses throughout for his wife, novelist Tabitha. The earlier section of memoir, which covers in episodic fashion the formation of King the Writer, is equally absorbing. Of particular note are a youthful encounter with a babysitter that armchair psychologists will seize upon to explain King's penchant for horror, and King's experiences as a sports reporter for the Lisbon, Maine, Weekly Express, where he learned and here passes on critical advice about writing tight. King's writing class 101, which occupies the chewy center of the book, provides valuable advice to novice scribesDalthough other than King's voice, idiosyncratic and flush with authority, much of what's here can be found in scores of other writing manuals. What's notable is what isn't here: King's express aim is to avoid "bullshit," and he manages to pare what the aspiring writer needs to know from idea to execution to sale to a few simple considerations and rules. For illustration, he draws upon his own work and that of others to show what's good prose and what's not, naming names (good dialogue: Elmore Leonard; bad dialogue: John Katzenbach). He offers some exercises as well. The real importance of this congenial, ramshackle book, however, lies neither in its autobiography nor in its pedagogy, but in its triumphant vindication of the popular writer, including the genre author, as a writer. King refuses to draw, and makes a strong case for the abolition of, the usual critical lines between Carver and Chandler, Greene and Grisham, DeLillo and Dickens. Given the intelligence and common sense of his approach, perhaps his books' many readers will join him in that refusal. 500,000 first printing.

Customer Reviews

On writing, by Stephen king

I never expected Stephen king to be the main protagonist in one of the most compelling stories that I have ever read. Why he felt that his life story didn't deserve a book of its own is beyond me. I found his 'cv' to be very funny, a great snapshot of the times and a really compelling read. You couldn't make it up!

Oh, and he may have taught me a few useful things about writing too....

On Writing, by Stephen King

A "How to" book on writing by someone who's been heard of for writing books OTHER than "how to write" books. The info is, as you'd expect,very good; and reading this has helped me get very close to finishing my first novel (I've started several, but the research required is prohibitive at present, due both the subject matter and time constraints). Extremely helpful!

On Writing

Complete. Instructive and explanatory. Stopping short of directive. Written in an unnecessarily modest voice; it accompanies the steadily galvanising thoughts of the aspiring writer. Tried and tested techniques coupled with the utterly obvious and natural insight of THE greatest creative writer of the last half century. At least. Don’t put pen to paper without having read and digested this.

On Writing
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  • £7.49
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: 01 September 2001
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings