Thursday, May 7, 2015

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King | Book Review


"Long live the King" hailed "Entertainment Weekly" upon the publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 -- and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it -- fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.



I've never read a Stephen King book before which is odd considering my love of all things horror. I'd actually never even been tempted to pluck one of his books from the shelves in my local bookstore, despite him being incredibly well-known as one of the Greats.
Why that is, I'll never really know... all that matters is that I've read one of his books now.

On Writing fell into my hands when I needed it most - and it was given to me by a very special person in my life... Handsome Bearded Fellow's mum, Cathy.
She's a published author of a book I still have yet to finish reading but from what I've read thus far - I can confidently say that it is absolutely terrific!
She told me upon giving On Writing to me that this was the book that gave her so much inspiration, advice and guidance when she was writing her novel.

She wasn't wrong.

As you all know, I'm in the process of having my book published... or perhaps that's a bit optimistic.
I've sent my manuscript off to literary agents in London and have received an acceptance letter from one so far (no rejection slips just yet.....fingers crossed...). The agent requested the rest of my manuscript along with a handful of other things which I prepared and sent off to her as fast as I possibly could.
That's where I am today - Waiting... Holding my breath.

This book had a calming effect on me. To be damn bloody straight, I couldn't put the damn thing down. Ask Sam (my fiance.... smile), he lost me for a couple of days. I was enraptured in the first book I'd ever picked up of King's and also the first book on 'writing' that I have read as a writer.
The book acted as a guide, it was extremely clever and had an endless supply of (witty) wisdom on the craft at hand.

Another review on this book that I read mentioned that King came across as a 'pretentious sod.' 
More than a couple of reviews had similar things to say.
At times, yes, I admit he seemed a bit condescending... a bit of a knob... but you know what? He says somewhere in this golden little book that  "...if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway."  - Too true. So anyone who feels his book is written by a bit of a dick - then that's because he's just telling you the cold, hard truth. Someone has to.

Every writer / aspiring author should definitely treasure a copy of this book.




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4 comments:

  1. Jade... with all the reading I have done in my life... I too have never read Stephen King. I've seen plenty of the movies, although I know the movies a rarely as good as the books.

    Maybe when I retire I will have plenty of time to read all these books ♡xox

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  2. sounds like an interesting book! and i've never read stephen king either, even though he's been on my to-read list for ages. need to change that, haha! xx

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  3. yes, a writer's bible! It's amazing. :) and I'm keeping everything crossed you hear something SOONNNNN from the agents!! xoxoxoxo

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  4. That's so exciting that your book is potentially being published. I would love to see a blog post on tips for a new writer on how to get into the freelance business or how to prepare your manuscript to send into publishers. Excited to see what happens with your book.

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Jade