Thursday, March 14, 2013

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King

One hobby that seems fairly easy but isn't (at least in my experience) is writing, specifically fictional writing. I have come up with a few ideas for fanfics, and I play them in my head like a cerebral cinema, but it's difficult to put it all down in words. One of my current problems with my presently unfinished fanfic is how to connect one scene with another, what should happen, what should be said, how into detail should I go, those sort of things. As a result, I haven't updated said fanfic in about five months or so.

As for Stephen King, I have definitely seen more movies based on his work than read any of his actual work. I started reading Carrie at one point, but never finished. So really, On Writing is the first Stephen King book I've read so far.

In a nutshell, On Writing is one-part memoir and other-part writing handbook. The first half covers certain moments from King's life that he wishes to share with the reader in order to give them an idea of how he formed as a writer. King then transitions into the writing advisory section, with advice about how to form a story (he often refers to the story as a fossil the writer must uncover with the right tools), how to get in touch with agents and publishers, and how to get rid of unnecessary adverbs, among other things.

This book was published in 2000, meaning that he had been working on the first draft for sometime before his near-fatal car accident (rather, he was hit by one) in 1999, so there is a part of the book that deals with this experience.

While I don't have much to say about King's fiction, I can say that he himself seems like an interesting character, from his witty observations to his precise use of the f-bomb. On Writing was a fun read, and hopefully I can figure out how to finish my stories with its help.

Up next: The Perk of Being a Wallflower. Oh joy.

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