On Writing

A Memoir of the Craft

King, Stephen

Book - 2000
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
On Writing
"If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write."In 1999, Stephen King began to write about his craft -- and his life. By midyear, a widely reported accident jeopardized the survival of both. And in his months of recovery, the link between writing and living became more crucial than ever.Rarely has a book on writing been so clear, so useful, and so revealing. On Writing begins with a mesmerizing account of King's childhood and his uncannily early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, will afford readers a fresh and often very funny perspective on the formation of a writer. King next turns to the basic tools of his trade -- how to sharpen and multiply them through use, and how the writer must always have them close at hand. He takes the reader through crucial aspects of the writer's art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection. Serialized in the New Yorker to vivid acclaim, On Writing culminates with a profoundly moving account of how King's overwhelming need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life.Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower -- and entertain -- everyone who reads it.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2000.
ISBN: 0684853523
Characteristics: 288 p. ;,23 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 07, 2014
  • gusmcrae rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I'd be lying if I said I'd never dreamed of writing that great American novel. What English major hasn't? I think for myself that I prefer reading over writing, so it'll probably never happen. But I still enjoyed Stephen King's "On Writing" and think some of his tips will improve my day-to-day writing. King's memoir is part lifestory and part writing manual. King's writing shines through in both places. He can tell a good story, and he can make potentially boring writing guidelines fun to read. If you get a chance to read this book, try out the audiobook. King reads it, and I really felt like I was in the room with him listening to his stories and advice. I would give the book 5 stars, but I wish there were more stories about writing his individual novels. I love listening to authors talk about their work--where they get their inspiration, the process, the challenges. And I would have loved a few more tidbits on King's writing experiences.

Jul 03, 2014
  • AUBURN LIBRARY BOOKLISTS rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book is supposed to be 'thee' book for aspiring writers. I found King's process fascinating and his advice priceless.

Jul 03, 2014
  • angeye87 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I checked this book out because Stephen King is my favorite Author :) I'm glad I did! It was nice getting a peak inside his world, and was pretty helpful. It helps give you motivation on those times that it can be hard to write.

Mar 11, 2014

This is one of the many books recommended by NaNoWriMo & Camp NaNoWriMo.

Dec 26, 2013
  • annanina rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I saw the main value of this book in his autobiographical material. There are things in life, especially in the childhood, that are so painful that many people are unable to revisit them in their memories, let alone write them down and publish them. He did, truthfully and honestly. The love of his mother, the story of her illness and death - so touching! The story of his addiction is incredibly well written. The chapter about his accident , the way it is described, how long it took him to heal - great writing.

Aug 22, 2013
  • XiaoXinBi rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Nothing ground-breaking about writing, but does help a lot, and Stephen King's style is instantly likeable.

Jul 15, 2013
  • Missnothing rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I had to read this book for my AP LA class. I actually enjoyed it. I like how his language doesn't sound too academic or sophisticated. It sounds like he's actually having a conversation with the reader and at times is vulgar. What I liked most is that he cuts the BS and just gets straight to the point. Over all it was very inspiring and encouraging. His advice is splendid.

Dec 17, 2012
  • AuntJane rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great book, very interesting reading.

Jul 25, 2012
  • whetstone rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is inspiring, moving, and encouraging. If you are a writer, or want to be one, I highly recommend it.

Jul 24, 2012
  • britprincess1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A good guide for fiction writers from one of the most acclaimed and commercially successful fiction writers of all time. In addition, the memoir was an interesting addition, as it prefaced the guide in a way that explained how he came in his life to the conclusions he uses. Not only does this book explain how, but it provides the why. Fantastic read, and I would definitely recommend it, as it has some interesting tips that you don't hear too often. It's so honest and insightful, I would recommend it to pretty much anyone.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Dec 17, 2013
  • angeye87 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"... sometimes even a monster is no monster. Sometimes it's beautiful and we fall in love with all that story, more than any film or TV program could ever hope to provide. Even after a thousand pages we don't want to leave the world the writer has made for us, or the make-believe people who live there."

Dec 17, 2013
  • angeye87 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

Dec 17, 2013
  • angeye87 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair--the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page."

Jul 15, 2013
  • Missnothing rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

Jan 23, 2012

stopped at page156


Add Age Suitability

Jul 24, 2012
  • britprincess1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

britprincess1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at CLEVNET