I recently purchased Stephen King | On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft.
No matter how you slice it, the man is a professional, knows what-the hell he's doing and as such, it behooves me to pay close attention when he writes about writing—impressive, to say the least.
First, producing a seminal book on writing is a stellar achievement, and not an easy feat, as Stephen King would remind us with the opening sentence of his Second Foreword: ". . . most books about writing are filled with bullshit." Yet, Stephen King has managed to shoulder his way onto an elite list with an incomparable reference for writers.
Personally, I was tickled to find that many of my writing routines are similar to Mr. King's and I agree with most everything else. (We all have our professional preferences.) I was also elated to discover his pearls of wisdom. You can bet I will put them to good use.
The only shortcoming is attributable to timing. On Writing was first published in 1999, long before the current Print On Demand/Self-Publishing evolution; and his advice on agents and publishers is outdated. Otherwise this is a timeless classic that belongs in every writer and reader's library.
Secondly, the method Mr. King uses to convey these pearls of wisdom is captivating, cloaking practical advice in a revealing glimpse into the man and his life. It's a man of honesty and integrity that will speak the truth about his personal life—too tempting for most to air grievances and/or pound a bully pulpit. Stephen King does not flinch, giving you both barrels of the bad and the ugly. Well Done! While from afar it may look like a bestselling author's existence is a dream come true, he lets us know his life hasn't exactly been a bowl of cherries. (But then, whose is?) Trust me Stephen, we all have our Bryan Smiths to confront. And the more fortunate among us have our Tabitha Kings.
I found myself not only agreeing with his astute observations on writing, but flat out liking the guy. This is a fascinating read for anyone—writer or not. As a result, I'm eager to read more of his fiction. Here's to Mr. King's continued success.
I highly recommend Stephen King | On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft.
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