Monday, June 04, 2007

Stephen King's On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft

Along with the Elements of Style, I would recommend this short book to anyone attempting to write fiction. Stephen King, the author of over 40 horror novels, reveals his induction and experiences as a writer of fiction. Using the analogy of a toolbox containing different layers and compartments, King advises amateur writers to have basic tools in order to be a competent writer, such as the fundamentals of English grammar and composition, to which he gives examples. One of the other necessities to being a good writer, according to King, is a voracious appetite for reading (and the elimination of the television). Although I have heard this many times from college professors, King tells us why exactly it is important: in order to understand the craft, to gain a vast knowledge of what has already been written, and in order to blend many author's writing styles into your own, you must read...a lot.

The book is told in a no nonsense style with a sense of humor that surprised me. I laughed out loud in a few different spots, but I also found myself nodding in agreement to almost everything that was said and worrying about my own writing style in the process. Am I an adverb addict? After reading, or I should say listening, to this book, I want to go back and take a good hard look at my writing with what I have learned to find out if I am, indeed, a "competent writer". I suggest that you do the same!


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