Book: On Writing
Author: Stephen King
Year: 2000 (10 yr anniversary edition)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
I don’t read a lot of books about writing any more. Gone are the college days of memorizing Strunk and White and reading John Gardner’s book about fiction writing. But I’ve enjoyed Stephen King’s books for a long time, and I heard such good things about this book that I had to check it out. What surprised me was that much of the book wasn’t so much about how to write, but an autobiography of how a bestselling author came to be. Even when describing his childhood, King shows what a storyteller he is. There’s a lot to learn just from that.
In his “Toolbox” section, he gets more into the–oh God, here it comes–nuts and bolts of things. I like that he does mention Strunk and White and grammar in general, as well as the active vs. passive writing. I also agree with the “closed door” policy, at least in that the first draft shouldn’t have your editorial side looking over your shoulder. He gives a nice example of a short story before and after editing, which I found encouraging, because it looked like what I already do.
Some information regarding publishing is outdated, but overall, I found this a good book for aspiring writers to read, both for information and inspiration.