Book 4: On Writing by Stephen King
Title: On Writing
Author: Stephen King
Page Count: About 300
F/NF: Non Fiction
This novel is split into four main parts: a memoir on King’s life, a summary of the tools every writer needs, an examination of what writers need to know, and a look into the accident that almost took his life in 1999. The memoir takes up the first half of the book.
I went back and forth trying to rate this book. At first I thought I would rank it a 6, but in the end I couldn’t do it. The last half of the book was too good. That said, I had to force myself to get through the first half of the book, the part where he described his life before he became a famous author (and a little bit after). If I had been a huge Stephen King fan growing up, I probably would have been more interested in the first half of the novel. I know that if JK Rowling wrote a book about her childhood, I would read it happily. That said, the only King book I’ve read (besides this one) is Carrie, and that was a long time ago. I found myself pushing myself to get through most of the pages. The parts directly related to writing were interesting, but for the most part I didn’t care.
The second half of the book, though, was where things really got interested, and those pages were what bumped my rating up from a 6 to a 7. It took me over a week to read the first half of the book and a single afternoon to read the second half. If you pick up this book because you’re a huge Stephen King fan, I highly recommend reading the entire book, as you will learn a lot of information about him and his early days of writing. If you’re reading it (like I was) because you wanted a book on writing, I would skip ahead to the second half, aptly titled “On Writing.” I found that section highly interesting and informative.
On a related note – Stephen King appears to be an endorser of NaNoWriMo, whether he knows it or not. He suggests writing the first draft quickly, before the self-doubt can creep in, which is the main premise behind NaNo