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On Writing by Stephen King- Review

Sometimes I include a few good quotes in my book reviews. I quote things I found particularly funny, lines that provoked thought and, most of all, sentiments that I relate strongly to. In all seriousness, CAN I JUST QUOTE THE WHOLE BOOK?

Okay, no, but here are some favorites:

“I think timid writers like them [passive verbs] for the same reason timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

“Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?”

“If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

“You’ve blown up your TV and committed yourself to a thousand words a day, come hell or high water.”

Firstly, I related to almost the whole book. When King talked about his personal writing process, I often found myself thinking, I do that too! Some things I do that I thought were abnormal were proven not-so-insane by the world’s most famous horror writer! Yes!

Secondly, this book was funny as hell. I’ve always said that King is one of the funniest writers I know- and been given some very weird looks for saying so. These looks, however, come from the people that know the name of the king of horror but have never read a whole lot of his work. The truth is, King is hilarious but it takes a bit of a morbid sense of humor to appreciate it fully. In this book, however, even those with the most vanilla sense of humor will be able to chuckle. I found myself laughing out loud in the most public of places (because, like King, I bring a book everywhere I go). While there are certainly more comprehensive books on writing, you won’t find a funnier one.

I doubt you will find one that is more entertaining on the whole. A glimpse into the life of Stephen King was simply delightful. The reader gets some tidbits from his youth, a look at the struggling writer lifestyle that I’m sure we’re all familiar with to some extent, and the down-low on the accident that changed his life. Throw in some talk about storytelling, adverbs and theme and Presto! An entertaining book on the art I so love.

The best thing about On Writing is that it helped me to remember why I love writing. Every writer goes through upswings and down periods- even King- and this book has helped me to refocus when everything in my life is trying to drag my attention elsewhere. Regardless of where I am, who I’m with or what else I am doing, I want to be writing. Occasionally I need a slap in the face to be reminded of this.




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