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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
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...
Published on April 19 2011 by IDGS

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and enjoyable but doesn't teach you much
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...
Published on June 9 2001 by daanfan


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, April 19 2011
By 
IDGS (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: On Writing (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
2.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and enjoyable but doesn't teach you much, June 9 2001
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Geat book, but no need to buy this new one., Feb. 2 2012
By 
Jeremy E. Sale (T.O.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to On Writing. Now Start Writing., Sept. 6 2012
By 
Scoopriches (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: On Writing (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. Upon completion, he submitted the manuscript, and waited. The mounting bills and disconnected phone plague them as time rolls on. Then one day King receives a telegram. His first book has been bought by a major publisher. For $2,500. And this was 1973. The book was Carrie.

At this point, after Carrie finally saw publication, King's career skyrockets and the legend is born. But while the sales and his life radically improve, his alcoholism grows exponentially as well. By the late eighties, after numerous interventions, he finally swears off booze and drugs forever. What ruins this renaissance is when King almost dies after being hit by a van in 1999. A long painful recovery culminates in his finally taking back the keyboard, and storming up the bestseller lists as if he never left.

When you hit the second part of his testament, King dwells into all his sundry ideas and thoughts on the actual craft of writing. Working religiously all mourning, pounding out page after page till he meets a certain goal. It it takes three hours, fine, if it takes six hours, okay. It takes what it takes. The rest of the day is spent consuming hours of various reading materials of all types and styles. King goes everywhere with something tucked away to read. You must feed the engine. And along the way, he embarks on a walk in order to clear his head and let ideas simmer and ruminate. The ending for The Stand came about from one of these wanderings.

King also mentions repeatably early advice he trusted. Make your second draft ten percent shorter. And the next draft even shorter. And so on. And so on. Get the idea? How this is done is up to you, but one of King's favourite methods is by changing characters names, making them shorter. Details are included with one short story being dissected quite mercilessly. Learning how to be cold-blooded with your pet, your wonderful story, is not easy, but King shows you how with startling results.

One of his final steps is to show his finished offering to a few trusted confidantes. As he puts it, if they find a logic hole, then everyone else will find the same hole. Many more great concepts of how to get your idea out are included, and all creative folks should pick and choose and try out what suits them. But this volume is filled with a metric ton of thoughts to keep you moving, so their should be no shortage of tricks to try.

On Writing is the second best book I have ever read on the art and craft of writing. And it was incredibly well worth the read. King plums his own past, showcases his career, admits to his foibles and failures, and lets us peek into his personal comebacks. And how ideas, large and small, can be found anywhere and anytime. While it sounds all so simple, it took lots of hard work of the actual doing for King to succeed.

So now we switch from the earthly to the practical.

So get writing. Start right now. And keep going. Stephen says so.

Scoopriches

P.S. All images are copyright 2012 to Stephen King. And like all Stephen King books, it is rated R for language and subject matter. All those easily offended should avoid.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Wanna Be a Writer, June 29 2014
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars On Writing is On the Money, May 20 2014
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This review is from: On Writing (Paperback)
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.

His accident is explained at the end of the book, which , not being a fan, I was hearing about for the first time and was suitably horrified for him. But the details of the event are written so damn well that I'm planning on giving his books a shot.

The verdict? All in all it's interesting and full of valuable advice, and it would be a crime not to recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books for writers, May 5 2014
By 
8thCyn (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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I don't tend to read books about writing: I'd rather write. But I had heard such good things about this book that I really needed to see it for myself. And it was a fantastic read. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Writing Book, Feb. 7 2014
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I was asked to read this book for a class and I'm really glad that I did. Of course Stephen King is an excellent writer, great writing tips and real honestly about his life struggles and setbacks. The point is, he didn't get published right away but his love for writing kept him motivated and he 'worked hard' at his craft. I think this book is a great inspiration for writers of all levels of experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s, Feb. 4 2014
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The master storyteller packs a punch in this work of non-fiction; part autobiography, part resource, On Writing is both captivating and loaded with useful information for writers of all levels. This is a must-read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for writers!, Feb. 1 2014
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This review is from: On Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
Great book! The first half comes across as a bio of The Master himself. The second half is what serious writers need to follow. There are no rules to writing, but this comes as close to being them. Forget every other book about writing (except for Strunk & White's as indicated by Stephen), as this is the only book needed.

I would LOVE to meet Stephen King and spend a day with him. If I were to ask him for writing advice, I would expect him to ask "Did you read On 'Writing'??" It's all you need (and some practice, patience, and perseverance).
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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (Hardcover - Oct. 3 2000)
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