This is first in WBD history – the premier non-fiction book review. When I got serious about my writing this year (a resolution you can read about here) I devoured online content about writing. We live in an amazing time. What writing-on-their-lunch-break rags-to-riches writing story 20 years ago could have a virtual college writing course at their fingertips? While unraveling the mysteries of the craft, not only did I learn that I have some bad habits to break (complex dialogue tags much?) and some new directions to think about, I also stumbled across a revelation. It was a jewel that I am sure many of you, readers, have unearthed, but which was news to me. The literal king of horror wrote a how-to/autobiography.
This I had to read.
I review what I read and I read a variety of genres. As always, if you have a book you are interested in seeing reviewed in this space, feel free to contact me.
Title: On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Non-fiction, autobiography, educational
Publisher: Pocket Books, 2000
Y’all know who Stephen King is. Carrie. Salem’s Lot. The Dark Tower saga. The Stand. The list of smash-hits goes on. The first half of On Writing is a roughly chronological time-skipping autobiography that hits the highlights of King’s life experiences that made him who he is as a writer. At times, it was anything but a charmed life.
The back half of the text is a brief writing seminar which is 60% how-to and 40% encouragement. He keeps the number of topics brief and explains them in an engaging, conversational tone.
Why this book might be for you:
If you are a writer, you should read this book. The instruction is simple, accessible, and memorable. The inspiration is ready. The life story is engaging. If you are not a writer, but are a fan of King’s work or of inspirational autobiographies, this may still be your cup of tea.
Why this book might not be for you:
If you are not the type to wonder how the sausage is made, then you should skip the whole affair. If you need a more focused, linear structure to your autobiographies, this is not the book for you.
Where can you find more?