Tuesday, March 5, 2013

On Writing

I'll cut to the chase since I've already talked about Stephen King several times.  The last hundred pages of On Writing weren't too bad.  Most of his misfallings I pointed out already, ranging from disregard for the growth of writing abilities and slamming TV.  The only other thing Mr. King did to tick me off in his On Writing section was to diss Robert Jordan.  I suppose it's a taste thing, but it was still very off-putting.

From start to finish, the words themselves were masterful, even if the content wasn't 100% glam.  The memoir section is still my favorite, although I never caught why it was called C.V.  His life experiences definitely made it easy to see why he ended up a horror writer.

Mr. King's writing methods are odd.  Exclusively discovery written with situations in mind, it's crazy that he generally only has two or three drafts.  I'm not a particular fan of his "I live in Maine.  Therefore, most of my books will take place in Maine." approach.  Furthermore, he implanted himself into some of his books, most chiefly The Shining.  It's about an alcoholic author for (insert choice deity here)'s sake.  Edgar Allan Poe displayed the same habits.

On Writing gets an 8/10 in my book.  It was a nice, quick read, yet some of the ideas presented in it are despicable.  It would have gotten about a 19/20 if it weren't for about ten pages.  Was it worth my time?  Yeah.  Could it have been better?  Maybe, although the parts I didn't like were generally subjective anyway.  And the biggest question of all: Should you read it?  Put it midway on your list.


  1. I do hope that midway point is on my "books about the craft" TBR list. Otherwise, midway would place it around #180. And with that statement, I just realized I'm categorizing my to-be-read pile just like Amazon.

    1. I have a trim 56 books on my to-read list, footnotes notwithstanding.

      I used to break my reading into categories, but I've decided now to finish the books I'm reading and then read one book at a time, whichever book I'm most excited for. The Dragon Reborn is up next.

    2. That's a good one! Let me know how you like it.