Steven King’s ON WRITING…

On Writing On Writing by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Steven King’s ON WRITING is part memoir, part Elements of Style; it’s also one of the most modest, generous, thoughtful, and succinct books on fiction writing I’ve ever read. Most how-to books on writing are full of blarney and mustard; Steve’s book focuses on a few important stylistic and structural insights, and makes their value clear. The book also sheds useful light on the role writing has played in his own life, and shines light on his struggle with “the drink.” And it winds up with a harrowing re-telling of his awful 1998 accident, and the way he managed to find his way back to the world, mainly due to the love of his wife Tabby–and the muse itself. A short, brilliant, clarifying work. It brought me new appreciation for all of King’s fiction, and sent me immediately into re-reading his work. Which means, guess what, right now, I’m deep into THE STAND…. hope I don’t “come down” with anything….

View all my reviews >>

This entry was posted in books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Griffin
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    On Writing is awesome! I recommend it to everybody, but all of my writer friends sort of scoff at it.

  2. Gina James
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I reda,reread,the Stand last year!Hadent read it since it was new.I picked up one book Steven id don writing a few years back.It was great.Ill look into this one also.
    See ya soon!G

  3. Posted August 21, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I finally read the unabridged The Stand earlier this year; I get a little freaked out now every time I see another epidemic coming ’round. Just such a great piece of character-driven fiction, using the plague as the background setting. Characterization to me has always seemed the strength of King’s work; his plot devices sometimes sink or swim, but the characters usually make the stories worth reading. Stephen’s writing style has definitely impacted my writing, and I first really got the sense of story as being an “unearthing [of something that already exists]” rather than a “wholesale creation [of something new]” from his comments and especially from the metaphor in his Tommyknockers novel.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • The Boylan Family, summer 2010

    DSC_0063 "You hang around our family, you learn all kinds of stuff."
  • Will Forte as Jennifer Finney Boylan on “Saturday Night Live”

    WiFo-Jennifer Finney Boylan-1
  • Jenny with Barbara Walters, December, 2008

  • Jenny atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin

    2036947979_34bfbec240 August, 2002.
  • Surrounded

    boylanWith President Clinton and Maine's Governor John Baldacci, fall 2006.
  • JFB and Edward Albee


    Edward had been my teacher at Johns Hopkins in the winter of 1986. He visited Colby in fall, 2007. As we took our leave of each other, he kissed me on both cheeks and said, "We have done well. You and I."

  • Jenny and her teacher, the great John Barth


    Jack was my professor at JHU when I did my thesis, back in the day. After many years, I can now confidently say I finally understand his definition of plot. Which is, of course, "the perturbation of an unstable homeostatic system and its catastrophic restoration to a new and complexified equilibrium."