O is for On Writing

Unknown-2On Writing, by Stephen King, is probably one of the best books on writing that any writer can read.

It doesn’t matter if you like Stephen King’s books; what he has to say about writing applies to everyone.

The book is part memoir, part writing instructions.  I like much of what Stephen King writes (I’m a horror fan, after all), but I think that this book would appeal to people who aren’t fans of horror.  He talks, at times, about where different ideas for his books came from, which is interesting.

Some of what he talks about is basic (like avoiding adverbs) and some is more advanced, but all of it is a good reminder of how to write better.

This was the first writing book I read.  I was doing a lot of reading online, trying to find advice on how to improve my writing.  There’s so much writing, and while a lot of the advice is repetitive (like avoiding adverbs), some of it ends up being contradictory.  No one can deny that Stephen King is a successful author, so he must know something about what he’s talking about.

I think what struck me most about it was how simple some of the advice was, but what a huge impact it made on me.  Not only was it a good book about writing, but it was also entertaining and encouraging.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

– Stephen King

14 comments on “O is for On Writing

  1. Janet Miles says:

    Oh this looks like an interesting book! Thanks for sharing. I love Stephen King too.

  2. I haven’t read it but sounds interesting. I will look into it.

  3. Great quote. I swore off buying any more books on how to write. Not because I now know everything, but because I have way too many. But everyone seems to really like this one. As a book addict, I’ll check it out.

  4. grazona says:

    I almost wrote about this book! It was such an eye opener for me, even though I don’t write fiction. I listened to the audio book, read by King, so it felt extra powerful, receiving this advice directly from him! It was what I needed to hear to take writing seriously and make space for it in my life. It also helped me realize how important reading is to being a writer and that I should never feel guilty for it!

  5. One of my favorite writing books too!

  6. I have so many writing books but I’ve heard this one is good. I really should pick it up.

    Susan Says

  7. I wasn’t aware of this book! Looks fascinating, and very instructive.

  8. Cynthia says:

    I love ON WRITING. It was particularly interesting for me to hear about Stephen King’s early days as a writer.

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