The Critique Circle Public Library

On Writing
by Stephen King
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherPocket
Release Date2002-07-01 (added to CC 19 May 2004)
Amazon Sales Rank1,446

"Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 -- and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it -- fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.


Member Reviews
(15 Dec 2016)
(8 Sep 2016)
(7 Oct 2015)
Good advice. A bit heavy on the autobiographical side. Reminds me of Isaac Asimov's memoirs.
(12 Sep 2015)
(13 Dec 2014)
(4 Oct 2014)
I read this book when my writing tutor told me it would be useful, in short... it wasnt.
he spends the first two thirds of the book ranting about his childhood and early life (which would be fine if the book was marketed as an autobiography) i read the whole book and got around six lines of useful notes and to save you time I'll just list them here.
points he makes that are plain ridiculous...

don't describe anything ever (or at least, barely describe anything)
don't use adverbs
don't describe how somebody says something, only use said.

at this point I genuinely thought he was trying to remove any competition.

point that is useful

second draft=first draft- 10%

instead of reading this book I would suggest something more constructive and enjoyable... like putting a toothpick under your toenail and kicking a wall
(8 Sep 2014)
(18 Aug 2014)
(23 Jun 2014)
(30 Mar 2014)
(28 Feb 2014)
(16 Sep 2013)
Having read all things Stephen King from an early age and being told he was in an accident, I was deeply saddened. But being the great writer that he is, he took the opportunity to write this book and I for one am a big fan. A great read for novice to experience writer from my all time favourite writer.
(8 Mar 2013)
(4 Mar 2013)
One of my favorite memoirs on the craft of writing, Stephen King's book gave me insight into the books he published and what state of mind he was in at the time. A good example of what does not work for writers. His suggestions for how to improve my writing were not something new. However, I enjoyed the manner in which it was all presented. I purchased this in paperback because I wanted a hard copy for making notes and bending pages where I liked something. Yes, I love to bend the pages. Stephen King's book was a page bender for me.
(4 Mar 2013)
(2 Oct 2012)
(11 Aug 2012)
I keep this book on my Kindle and have read it several times. It's more like an account of how life has affected his writing, and vice versa. The toolbox analogy is clear and down to earth. I also like his advice that you should find yourself an Ideal Reader. His was his wife, Tabitha, who rescued Carrie, his first big success, from the waste paper basket. He'd been researching girls like Carrie and had ended up not liking his character.
(1 Aug 2012)
(28 Jun 2012)
(6 Dec 2011)
(27 Nov 2011)
Really good book on the craft of writing and it's very honest. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. King this past Sept 23 at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, and found him to be as personable as the book, On Writing. Easy going and put my nerves to rest as soon as his lecture began. I recommend this book to any aspiring writer, not just horror, fantastic advice for anyone who seriously wants to become an author.
(3 Sep 2011)
(26 Aug 2011)
(28 Jul 2011)
Perhaps the best book available on writing the commercially successful novel in our current market......
(5 Jul 2011)
I enjoyed his "Toolbox" lecture in part II. He has some great, straight-forward advice that I really respected.
(13 Apr 2011)
(6 Feb 2011)
A fantastic blend of story and information.
(25 Dec 2010)
(24 Nov 2010)
No nonsense book about writing. First and last sections are autobiographical and is an attempt to show how a writer gets made, and how personal experience finds its way into novels. The middle section is short, but gold. When it comes to the craft of writing he has basic down to earth advice - write the first draft with the door shut, open it after that, set a word count for each day (his is 2k), etc.

The whole book reads like a personal communication rather than a lecture. Great read.
(13 Nov 2010)
Stephen King although he makes it look so easy, has paid his dues along the road.
(9 Sep 2010)
(18 Jun 2010)
There is a reason he is considered to be the "King"
(17 Apr 2010)
(17 Sep 2009)
(2 May 2009)
(22 Jan 2009)
I've had this book for a long time and it's great. I read from cover to cover and found a lot of info that will help me in my writing. I also learned a lot of tidbits I didn't know, like Stephen King has some lost work that he had written when he first began his writing career. He's always been one of my favorite authors and I've learned a lot from his book on Writing.

Cathy
(4 Dec 2008)
(11 Jun 2007)
No nonsense down to earth advice. He writes as if to a friend who is considering a career in writing. It's interesting to note that even King had trouble placing his early works and worked, like the rest of us, at a day job to pay the bills. He now has the luxury of writing full time and can write a novel in three months. But, he has paid his dues. Aside from The Green Mile and Rita Heyworth and the Shawshank Redemption, I have found it almost impossible to read any of his novels. But, this book is a must, if only for the complete hatchet job he does on one of his own stories - to illustrate how the first draft can be developed. It isn't hard going so read and enjoy!
(23 May 2007)
(12 Oct 2006)
This book really helped me FINISH my first novel. It is geared towards the aspiring writer of any genre. I gained insight into how a writer can turn his lifetime of experiences, thoughts and imaginations into a good story. Of course the writing part is up to you. Although I am not a big fan of Stephen King's novels, I suggest you browse through a couple of his books. He is a superb writer and you will learn a lot about the craft from his work.
(15 Feb 2006)
Not everyone realizes it takes a lifetime commitment to be a great writer. I have a small bookshelf for books I find of value. This is one of those books.
(22 Aug 2005)
This is an engaging book on many aspects of the art of writing. It's written with humor and anecdotes—not your typical piece of dry non-ficiton.
(22 Aug 2005)
This is a very good, practical guide to writing. If you are sensitive soul though, still struggling to turn out your first novel after years of trying, beware! King is of the opinion that there is something wrong with anyone who can't churn out a novel every 3 months or so, and is quite scathing of authors (however great) who can't or don't choose to do this. Frankly, I think the world would be just as fine a place with the one and only Harper Lee novel and none of the scadzillions of Stephen King novels.
That said, it's a very engaging and extremely practical read. Buy it!
(12 Oct 2004)
I found this to be a straightforward, common sense writing book that tells you what you need to succeed. A good motivational book if you are sitting on the fence and are thinking about jumping in.

If you are looking for earth-shattering revelations, though, this might not be the book for you.

A great read.
(15 Jul 2004)
Great personal antecdotes from the "King" of horror. Also a great guide for those of you who want tips on style and the how-to's of getting your work done, and getting it published.
(25 May 2004)
Other books on CC by the author



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