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On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft Paperback – Jul 6 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 10 Anv edition (July 6 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439156816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439156810
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (575 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By IDGS on April 19 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
To start, I'm an author. I need to preface this review with that fact, as I don't know how engaging this may have been, had I not had such an investment in the topic myself.

That being said, anyone with absolutely any interest in the craft of writing can surely benefit from the wisdom between these pages. Much less a 'how to write' book and so much more, as it says, 'a memoir of the craft,' King comes off as nuturing rather than preachy, and entertaining rather than dry.

His advice is sound. Think of the last book you read that left you feeling a little less than satisfied. After reading On Writing, I promise you can pick out exactly what made that book lackluster, as King is a master of analyzing not only the faults of others, but his own as well.

A window into King's otherwise fairly unobserved writing life, I highly reccomend this to any writers, King fans, or anyone just looking for a good non-fiction read.

Overall, 5/5.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "daanfan" on June 9 2001
Format: Paperback
It was a pleasure to read this book. It gave me some inspiration and more will to write. If this book was prose, I'd definately give it full 5 stars, but the fact is that this book doens't teach you almost anything about writing. Yes, it tells you to write each and every day, preferably at the same time and at least some specified amount of words, but who wouldn't figure it all out himself? Besides, the book tells in fact mostly about Stephen King himself; his past and stuff like that. What does it have to do with writing? If you're a fan of King and interested in writing, this book is for you. Otherwise, it's not worth the money. There are better books out there, just go and find them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy E. Sale on Feb. 2 2012
Format: Paperback
There's no point in explaining how terrific this book is. Other reviews have already covered it. Still... don't waste extra money on the newest edition. Nothing of consequence has been added. Thus 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scoopriches TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 6 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second greatest book I have ever read on the greatness of writing is actually the more practical of the two. While Zen in the Art of Writing provides the motivational jumpstart you require to get the creative juices flowing, this volume, also a collection of previously published essays, is the more nitty gritty one.

For On Writing by Stephen King paints a vivid picture of the how's and why's of his creative process. And when he explores all the facets he has gone through, you will walk away with a very profound feeling inside.

In the beginning, King gives you his autobiography, a cleansing of his soul, so we can understand the man he was, the man he became, and the man he is now. The earliest childhood recollections do possess a certain Stand By Me vibe, with some memorable traumas evoking sympathy for the man who scares us so much. After all these decades, it always felt like nothing could terrorize the horror master. But now we learn different.

On Writing churns through the rest of King's life. His first foray into alcohol, starting when he was a teen, with brutal effects. The massive love and admiration for his wife Tabitha, right from the moment he locked eyes on her. His first rocky years of adulthood and marriage and having children and low wage soul-sapping menial jobs. Poverty and misery was his existence. Pounding out story after story was his future.

At this point, the tangential connection of two very disparate ideas collide in Stephen King's mind. This spark of a random comment combined with an obscure article he remembered brings forth a few typed pages, which he then promptly tossed into the trash. Tabitha fished them out. Told him to finish it. To get it out of his system.
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By Bambi on June 29 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a closet writer for years. I have only read a few chapters, but I am inspired by the simplicity with which Stephen King writes about how he got his start as a writer. Basically experience life and write about it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Part autobiography and part writing guide, On Writing is one of those books you keep seeing from the corner of your eye for some time before you realize everything you read seems to be leading you to it so you may as well give it a go. I haven't read any of Mr. King's works simply because I'm not one of those brave souls who enjoy jumping at shadows for weeks after the fact. And since his genre is very much a part of him I went into this book doubting I would enjoy it. I'm pleased to say I was wrong; it's one of the best books now on my bookshelf.

The first half gives a quick but interesting look at his life up to the publication of his first novel, Carrie, and a summary of his life thereafter, which leads into the second half of the book: all the things he's learned in his career that might help writers looking to get their own Carrie's off the ground.

I've read a great deal of writing guides before (too many) and I was thrilled that On Writing was entirely different from all those others. While I was expecting the usual bits on dialogue, story arcs, and the like, I got chapters on grammar, how to edit, how to pace yourself but stay focused and keep up until it's done. But my favorite and most enlightening chapter by far was the one on agents. I've never read a guide that explained agents, and the only one that mentioned them just said that I needed to get one, then continued the chapter as though one had appeared in the room upon reading those words. On Writing explains where to find agents, how to pick the right ones, how to introduce yourself, what they're looking for, and how to <i>get </i>what they're looking for. Basically it answered every question I've had since reading that one guide back in the 90s.
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