On Writing by Stephen King is memoir where the writing legend describes his writing journey, his technique, some pet peeves, and other author insight. The volume of Stephen King's work surpasses perhaps any modern author when combining the number of pages written and the level of sustained quality. By pinning On Writing, King evolved. "King isn't simply a writer," said Tim Appelo, "he a true teacher."
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. ―Publishers Weekly
Stephen King is a writer who reminds me of Shakespeare. The volume of his work is so great one could forgive somebody for believing 50 writers were working the pen-name Stephen King behind the scenes. The only reason future readers will not debate this about King as they do Shakespeare is because modern technology enables us to prove King exists and responsible for the work released under his name.
Almost everybody I know has a favorite Stephen King book. I polled my friends and the majority of them named It, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, or The Shining. My wife favors Insomnia. I choose The Stand as my favorite Stephen King novel.
As a writer, however, On Writing by Stephen King is my favorite King book. Choosing On Writing as one of the top twelve writing books was an easy call!
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