Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shephen King- On Writing

The first thing I have to say about On Writing is that, after all the books on writing I've read in the last few years, I wish I would have read this one first. Or maybe not. Maybe I wouldn't have felt such a connection, such an understanding of King's words if I hadn't read all those other books first. It's so great to finally read something put into words so perfectly that I have always felt/known, but have been unable to articulate. At the end of the book Stephen King talks about an accident in 1999 that nearly killed him. I found myself crying, thinking what if he had died? I wouldn't have been reading his book, not to mention the book he wrote a few years ago, 11/22/63, that got me hooked on his writing in the first place.

I'm just in awe of this man. Not just his writing--because he's an amazing storyteller--but Stephen King as a person. He's been through some crap in his life, which he talks about in the book. The first half is his memoir of sorts. He talks about growing up and the moments he remembers as being important in how he became a writer. Then the second half is the 'on writing' part where he describes the tools writers need to create a novel, very geniusly using a comparison story from his childhood about an actual toolbox. Seriously, the man knows how to use comparison. It's like an artform, one that I'm not very good at.

Even if you aren't interested in writing novels, and even if you have never read Stephen King's novels, I would still recommend this book. One of my favorite things he says about writing goes something like (and I'm paraphrasing), "we may be talking about carpentry and tools, but we are also talking about magic." I just love it.

Oh, and another good one: There is a section titled "What is writing?" and his first sentence is "Telepathy, of course."

So true.

Thank you, Stephen King.

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