Yay! I am very excited to announce our first Stephen King review today. No, we’re not starting at the beginning and no, we’re not starting with a novel. Where we turn instead is, perhaps, his most important piece of non-fiction. On Writing is a very personal essay on what Stephen King believes makes a writer, a writer.
On Writing has sold millions of copies and it is regularly brought up in writer’s groups as one of their favorite texts. It’s a split between two styles of writing. The first is autobiographical as King shares what shaped him as a human being and then as a writer. The struggles he faced and the challenges that he overcame on his journey to become one of the world’s best-known authors.
The other half of the book comes in more practical format. These are the tips that aspiring writers will want to read whereas the rest of the book is accessible to all. “Kill your darlings,” for example, is not an instruction to do wrong to members of your family but rather to go through your prose and viciously remove words that don’t add value.
Overall, On Writing is sheer entertainment and explains why the book has sold so widely beyond the strict audience of wordsmiths that might, originally, have been envisioned for it. It will make you laugh, cry and bring you tips that you can use in any walk of life. It’s truly brilliant.
Amazon says, “Some books I rate with 5 stars just because of my pleasure
in the story. These aren’t always well-written or creative, or something
someone else would like. Then there are those books that are so well-crafted,
not just with character development or storytelling but in the writing itself.
This is one of those books. I’ve always given Stephen King credit as the
“king of the flashback” and here he gives us some of what he does
best, but he also shows again his ability to get inside the head of the
character in the present. From making up lyrics to songs sung by a fictional
boy band and the brand names of fictional ice cream treats, to details of a
Midwestern city that make those of us living in Midwestern cities think ours is
the one in the story. I wondered in the beginning of the book if King was
making a game in paying homage to himself with hints he dropped to reference
some of his previous best sellers, but he played this game for just a short
while. There are plenty of other pop-culture references in the minds of the
various characters that do well to establish their ages and backgrounds.
As the story unwinds after the climactic events, my emotions surprised me. I’ve cried while reading books before, but not while reading the words of a bureaucratic proclamation!”
You can win a copy of On Writing by Stephen King too. Mom Reads is happy to give one lucky reader the chance to read this for free! Enter Now!