Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Book Notes: "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" by Stephen King

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


On Writing is a page-turner. Once I was in to it, I couldn't put it down. I recall a few Stephen King stories, but I have only ever seen the movie versions. Many of these I have not liked, especially the B-grade versions. Yet most of his stories are familiar, and many of the movies I have enjoyed were Stephen King stories - but I didn't know. The book ends quite abruptly, but King's personal story hasn't ended so why should his book? King shares some of his writing and his edits. This is something readers are rarely privy to, unless it is by accident. Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon was my first glimpse into the mind of a genius. King is less the myth and more the real thing. Writing is a job, writing is hard work, writing is a story unto itself. The process is vivid: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft - 10%; kill your adverbs verily. Booze and drugs are bullshit. These were the key lessons for me. The first two I learnt from Hemingway; the third exposes Hemingway's ability to portray the false and make it believable. Here, King delivers Fitzgerald's On Booze, and Hemingway would not be impressed. Yet it is the lived experience and King's work deserves the jacket-spiel "a one-of-a-kind classic".



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