Synopsis: The author of The Stand, The Shining, and other great books shares his insights into the craft of writing, offering a breezy, humorous perspective on his own experience as a writer. 500,000 first printing. BOMC Main. QPB Alt.
Short and snappy as it is, Stephen King's On Writing really contains two books: a fondly sardonic autobiography and a tough-love lesson for aspiring novelists. The memoir is terrific stuff, a vivid description of how a writer grew out of a misbehaving kid. You're right More...
King also evokes his college days and his recovery from the van crash that nearly killed him, but the focus is always on what it all means to the craft. He gives you a whole writer's tool kit: a reading list, writing assignments, a corrected story, and nuts-and-bolts advice on dollars and cents, plot and character, the basic building block of the paragraph, and literary models. He shows what you can learn from H.P. Lovecraft's arcane vocabulary, Hemingway's leanness, Grisham's authenticity, Richard Dooling's artful obscenity, Jonathan Kellerman's sentence fragments. He explains why Hart's War is a great story marred by a tin ear for dialogue, and how Elmore Leonard's Be Cool could be the antidote.
King isn't just a writer, he's a true teacher. --Tim Appelo
Review: "[King's] warmly conversational book about literary craftsmanship should interest even those who find something oxymoronic in its inception....[H]e may not be the most noble of stylists, but there is no denying that he knows how to make a story fly."
Janet Maslin, New York Times, 10/05/2000