August 31, 2004

On Writing by Stephen King

onwriting.jpgI've only read a couple of things by Stephen King (The Shining and The Stand, both long, long ago), but when Becky's brother Steve (as opposed to Becky's sister's husband Steve) bought a copy of this book on a recent visit, I read the first few pages and ended up sailing through the whole thing.

The book is about 50/50 memoir and advice on how to be a writer. I most enjoyed the memoir bits even though they recounted a life that doesn't sound like it was a whole lot of fun to live through even after Carrie sent it on a drastically different path. I guess it shouldn't come as any surprise that Stephen King can tell a story, but there it is. He's good at this.

The parts of the book that match the title seemed like basic common sense to me, but I think that's because I've spent so much time reading things like rec.arts.sf.composition, and Making Light (and, for that matter, Making Book), and Uncle Jim. To King's credit, his advice seems to mesh nicely with the things I've learned reading those other luminaries in the field of writing about writing.

The hardest part of the book to read was the section where he recounted the details of how while walking along a country road he was run down by a drunken jackass driving a van. The attempted murder happened while King was in the process of writing the book. I'm glad he survived to finish it.

Posted by jeffy at August 31, 2004 08:20 PM
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