On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early care...


Details On Writing

TitleOn Writing
ISBN9780743455961
Author
Release DateJul 1st, 2002
PublisherPocket Books
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages320 pages
GenreNonfiction, Language, Writing, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography
Rating

Reviews On Writing

  • Madeline
    2009-11-28
    Let's be honest: Stephen King is not one of the greatest writers of all time. He will never win a Pulitzer or a Nobel (he might win a Newberry though, if he ever decides to tap into the Kids/Young Adult market), and on the few times his books are featured in the New York Times Book Review, the reviewer will treat the book with a sort of haughty disdain, knowing their time could be better spent trashing Joyce Carol Oates. None of this should sugge...
  • Fabian
    2012-06-22
    So it's become very clear to me now that very few writers actually write about the craft. The only Latin American writer to do so? Mario V. Llosa (who took several years off of his busy novel-writing to write about his now-ex-pal Gabriel Garcia Marquez). But I suddenly forgot who the King was (no, I mean literally: I've not read him in years! High school being the prime time for Stephen King, and all): the guy has useful insight, no shit, because...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2007-12-17
    I read this shortly after finishing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, actually it would be more accurate to say I devoured it. This is full of great writing advice, and I'll need to get a copy and read it 1-2 times a year. Most helpful? The section on grammar! Seriously, I never really learned grammar."Gould said something else that was interesting on the day I turned in my first two pieces: write with the door closed, rewrite w...
  • Wil Wheaton
    2010-01-02
    I know it's like saying "puppies are cute," but it bears repeating: everyone who wants to write, whether for a living or not, simply must read this book.On Writing did more for me as a writer than anything, and any success I've found as a storyteller can be traced to my reading it.
  • Riku Sayuj
    2011-08-29
    The book is great and if you like writing, it is probably a must read.I could write a summary of the book, it is easy enough to summarize and there are only a few important points that King presents, but then I dont want you to get it for free. :) Go and read the book yourself, it is worth it. Rude? As King says, "...if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite so...
  • Dan Schwent
    2008-02-07
    Stephen King shares some stories of his past and some writing tips.This was either my fourth or fifth time reading this. I got it for Christmas around the turn of the century and I've buzz-sawed through it a few times before. The first time, I was just cutting my writing teeth. Now, with seven or eight first drafts of novels writing around, I came to the book with a completely different perspective.Most books about writing, as I've said before, a...
  • Cecily
    2016-11-22
    Like the curate’s egg, this is good in parts. I can see why writers, and budding writers find this book inspirational, and fans of his oeuvre will enjoy learning how certain stories came to be. But it’s several very different books and booklets, within a single set of covers - curious that a book about writing doesn't seem to know what sort of a book it is.In one of the three forewords, King says “Most books about writing are filled with bu...
  • Lizzy
    2016-09-03
    It's rare to find an author that adventures into writing about his craft, but Stephen King, with On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, is not one of them. Great book: good tips (best one: write something you would want to read!) on how to write along with a nice memoir. Recommended.
  • J. Kent Messum
    2013-08-16
    There are countless books out there on writing, storytelling, screenwriting, style, etc. A lot of them are too formulaic and more than a bit bloody cliche. To be honest, the majority usually prove to be a waste of time. But there are a few that are great, and 'On Writing' is definitely one of them. Stephen King is a household name, no doubt, but of all Mr. King’s books, this is the one I praise the most. Part biography, part ‘How-to’ manual...
  • Hannah Greendale
    2016-11-21
    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft offers an illuminating look at Stephen King's life, highlighting moments that shaped him as an author and revealing lessons he gained from decades of practice and publication. King is unapologetically himself, blending whit and honesty with sophomoric humor and the occasional curse word. For example, when discussing the sin of using passive voice, King provides an example of how not to construct a sentence, follo...
  • Jason Koivu
    2010-06-16
    On Writing is for me hands-down the best book I've read about the craft of writing and living the life of a writer by a writer.This is not a textbook on grammar and sentence structure. No, the subtitle very succinctly describes the contents. This is about Stephen King's journey to become a published author and his experiences in wrestling with words. To hear stories about how one of the world's most popular authors once upon a time struggled just...
  • Diane
    2017-01-10
    This book on writing was even better than I expected. I loved that Stephen King shared some memories from childhood and explained how he became a writer. This book helped me knock off two goals in one: I've been trying to read the best Stephen King books (good grief, the man is prolific) and I'm trying to read more books about writing. King has good advice on ways to improve your writing, but he also has some knockout stories about his life and h...
  • Lou
    2010-05-20
    This is a must read for writers, readers and Stephen King fans. Fully laden with inspiration to walk the walk and start that journey of writing a story of you're own from short story to a full novel. Imagine great writers of the past like Dickens around to give advice to aspiring writers it's a real opportunity to grasp. This man, Stephen King, worked hard to make himself into a writer and had sheer determination, from working all hours to pay hi...
  • Andrew Smith
    2015-11-26
    This is very much a book of three parts. In the first section, King provides a series of anecdotes that seem somewhat fractured and random. They loosely cover his early years, the time before he became a successful writer. Some of the tales are a little spooky, to be honest. Others clearly portray what it was like for him, his wife and his children when he was spending long hours writing whilst also holding down a day job. He had a number of jobs...
  • فهد الفهد
    2015-02-17
    On Writing حصلت على هذا الكتاب وقرأته على الكندل، كأول تجربة لي مع هذا الجهاز الرائع والذي صنع بعناية للقراء، أكثر ما أعجبني في الكندل هو أنه يخبرك عن السطور التي أعجبت الكثير من الناس فقاموا بتظليلها، هكذا تتشارك القراءة مع كل من اشترى الكتاب وقرأه عل...
  • Becky
    2009-02-01
    I love Stephen King. I'm not IN love with him, but I love his writing, his stories, his characters, and now, his advice: "Read a lot." (4-6 hours a day, even!) Yessir, Mr. King! Finally some advice I want to heed! OK, I should say that this is really only a small fraction of the wisdom he imparts in this book, and I neglectfully left out the "write a lot" part that immediately follows "read a lot". But I have never actually aspired to be a writer...
  • Leah Heard
    2007-07-04
    I wish I could give this book more than five stars. The first 100 or so pages were highly colored anecdotes from SK's childhood (did you know Stephen King had an obese, negligent babysitter who used to sit on his head and fart? me neither). I thought the whole book was going to be like this--a personal history intertwined with the occasional tip about persistence, and that was OK with me. That's how entertaining the first bit is. It certainly mak...
  • Elizabeth Sagan
    2016-03-10
    This is a good read for someone who is either interested in Stephen King’s life or wants to become a writer and needs either tips to do it better or some motivation to keep going. If you don’t find yourself in these categories, skip this book.I’m the kind of person who would read this guy’s socks label if I could, so yeah, 5 stars.
  • Stepheny
    2015-08-17
    What better day to post a review for this book than on Stephen King’s birthday? Happy Birthday, ya crazy bastard. ;) Anyway- as most of the GR community knows I am the real life Annie Wilkes a huge fan of Stephen King. He has been a major influence in my life since I was about 10 years old. His writing changed my life. His books changed my mind; my way of thinking.Listen, not everyone knows this but I’m about to out myself. I am an aspiring w...
  • ConstantReader Paul O'Neill
    2017-02-04
    The master shares his recommendations for all writers, they should pay attentionOverview – 4 starsI found this book to be more interesting than I thought it would be. There's a lot of King’s personal thoughts about his experiences in the writing business, and what made him a writer in the first place. He covers his rough experience when he got smacked by an idiot in a van in between writing this. (On) WritingThe majority of this book is dedic...
  • Arah-Lynda
    2013-02-11
    I think that this was a very courageous book for Stephen King to write. And I loved the casual, conversational tone as King shares with us, glimpse’s into his life both before and after his initial success. He doesn’t pull any punches either; we see the good, the bad and the ugly. It is somehow, not at all, and exactly what I expected. In truth, I loved the memoir part best but even those parts that are instructional in the art of writing are...
  • Char
    2016-04-08
    Although I have no intention of writing anything other than reviews, I found this book about writing to be interesting and chock full of good information. The first portion was autobiographical in nature, and that was the part I enjoyed most. Hearing about King's menial jobs and how hard he worked, combined with the drug and alcohol abuse and other obstacles he's overcome, made him seem more real to me, somehow. More like a regular guy. The parts...
  • Vitor Martins
    2015-04-29
    "Escrever é mágico, é a água da vida. A água é de graça. Então beba. Beba até ficar saciado."Eu nunca tinha lido nada do Stephen King, . Comecei por Sobre a Escrita e sinto que conheci esse homem por toda a vida.Mais do que um manual sobre a arte de escrever, esse livro traz muitos ensinamentos sobre a vida. É um livro curto, direto, didático, divertido e muito envolvente! Marquei minhas passagens favoritas porque Sobre a Escrita é o ...
  • Blake Crouch
    2016-07-02
    Simply the greatest book ever written about the craft of writing. I have read it more times than I can count, and each new encounter teaches me something new. I imagine even non-writers would thoroughly enjoy Mr. King's memoir.
  • Julie
    2011-03-13
    100 percent loved this. I may even knock it up to "It was amazing" as its treasure trove of advice sinks in. Here's the thing: Stephen King knows how to tell a story. From the early to late 80s- junior high through mid-university years- I read nearly everything he'd written. His novels are the only of the horror-genre that I've read; it's never been my cup of tea, either in print or film, but King's writing has always been a cut above. He is the ...
  • Thomas
    2010-03-27
    This is a fantastic book about writing - recommended to me by numerous friends and acquaintances, it did not disappoint. With most nonfiction I feel as if I do not really need to remember every detail or fact listed, but with On Writing I wish that I could. It offers an abundance of useful advice that would do any writer much good, regardless of age or experience.At first I felt unsettled by the anecdotes - when I began the novel, I expected some...
  • Sonia
    2016-10-25
    “La clave de escribir diálogos buenos, como en todos los aspectos de la narrativa, es la sinceridad.”Uno cree que no existen manuales para aprender a escribir. Y de haberlos, por lo general son bastante inútiles. Pues bueno, cuando empecé a leer este libro tenía la firme convicción de que sería distinto, apenas he leído un libro de Stephen King antes de este y fue más que suficiente para tenerle un profundo respeto y mucha admiración...
  • Steve
    2011-08-18
    Nice memoir, solid tips. Take-away point: cool it with the adverbs. Oh, and leave out the boring parts.[Note: I ill-advisedly spent a terribly long time turgidly opining about a tremendously lengthy book called, somewhat ironically, Infinite Jest, so I’m not really giving my absolute best, it would apparently seem, reviewing Mr. King’s solidly written effort.]
  • Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
    2008-12-16
    Well now. I have never read any of Stephen King's work, and after reading this... well, now I don't really want to.He came across as a pretentious sod and honestly, I'm put off by his tone and how he ... well, he really sounded condescending in many parts of this. I hesitate at saying such things over an author who everyone else seems to love, but... well, I'm just saying 'What I Learned from this book.'It has some good parts, yes, but the main t...
  • Franco Santos
    2014-04-22
    Escribir es mágico; es, en la misma medida que cualquier otra arte de creación, el agua de la vida. El agua es gratis. Así que bebe. Bebe y sacia tu sed. Es uno de los libros más curiosos de King. Yo pensaba, antes de comprarlo, que iba a ser muy pesado y aburrido. Me equivoqué. Stephen logra enseñarnos el oficio de la escritura de manera distendida, fluida, entretenida, y hasta graciosa. Los libros son una magia única portátil.Esta nov...