June 13, 2010
Which well-known author wiped his ass with poison ivy? Did you know that The Shining was written about himself: an alcoholic and ex-schoolteacher addicted to cocaine and Nyquil? Two words: Stephen King. He needs no further introduction.
I never had an interest in reading any of his books. Although in my journey to write a novel, I thought I’d read his memoir On Writing. If I were to take advice, it would definitely be from one of the bestselling authors of all time. He describes his childhood, how he was formed, and his struggle early on in his career, and some of the life situations that made him a writer. The meat of the book is filled with valuable information and writing tips. The last section even describes his near death accident in 1999.
I opened the pages and began reading equipped with my highlighter to later reference the tips I’ve learned. Below are some of the tidbits I learned:
v ♡ Write with the door closed. Rewrite with the door open.
v ♡ You must not come lightly to the blank page.
v ♡ Construct a toolbox.
v ♡ Adverbs are not your friend.
v ♡ To write “he said” or “she said” is divine.
On Writing will benefit writers and provide a glimpse into the mastermind of Stephen King. Keep in mind the tips and tools are what worked for him and may not necessarily work for every aspiring or achieved writer. But remember, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
I cannot agree with the critics and reviewers more. It is simply the best book on writing. Ever. After reading the last page I felt like I cheated Stephen King. Within the 297 pages is a professional class on writing and I’d only paid $7.99.