1. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    On Writing by Stephen King

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Daniel, Oct 14, 2013.

    Daniel submitted a new resource:

    On Writing by Stephen King - A Memoir of the Craft

    Read more about this resource...
     
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  2. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I know we already have the books on writing thread, but I thought I'd add On Writing as a resource and set up a separate discussion thread.

    Personally I found it a source of motivation. I haven't read it in a few years but I'm going to start re-reading soon. I know some of you are fans. :p
     
  3. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I absolutely love this book. It was so amazing to read that someone who is as well known and famous as he is, once suffered from rejection as well. And if I had the schedule were I could sit down and right everyday like he recommends... I really, really would.
     
  4. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    Great book.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Some of us are not fans. On Writing is okay if you treat it as an insight into how one particular author thinks and works, but awful as a guide to how one should write.

    I think this book should come with a large warning seal in red letters, "Not a route guide. Follow closely at your own risk."
     
  6. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    In fairness, I don't think any book is going to bring instant change, but King's book is certainly worth reading...there's some real pearls in there.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's an interesting book in that you get to learn about his journey as a writer. As far as the advice on writing is concerned, I'm not too interested.

    Something I've mentioned several times is that there is no authority when it comes to writing creative fiction. These how-to books are simply one author's particular way of doing things.
     
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  8. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I think if anyone reads any book on writing and expects it to be a route guide, then they're going to have a bad time.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nevertheless, many do, especially new aspirants looking for shortcuts to success.
     
  10. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I read it years ago, but it's still floating around here (and I did just have a thought to re-read it recently). I recall it being very enjoyable, and mostly an autobiography more than any kind of instruction on how to write. However, I think it does have some use to the aspiring writer. I do agree with Cogito that it should not be viewed as some sort of gospel on writing just because it was written by a tremendously successful author. King sells a lot of books on his reputation...some are really good, and others are real turkeys. I've read and loved some of his work, and others I've put down without finishing. It's certainly worth reading, but be judiciously skeptical in what you take from it as far as 'guidance'.
     
  11. Michael Timothy
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    Michael Timothy Member

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    Stephen King is one of my favourite writers. I admire how prolific and willing to take risks he is, as well as his imagination. Even I'll admit he's written some books I just wasn't interested in, but that also comes with having written 50 novels and 200 short stories. This is one book I haven't read, but am extremely interested in if I get a chance to acquire a copy.
     
  12. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    It's still in print, Mike. Just saw it at B&N the other day.
     
  13. Michael Timothy
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    Michael Timothy Member

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    Excellent. I should be able to get it when money isn't so tight.
     
  14. Fantomas
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    Fantomas New Member

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    As a King fan, I found it to be utterly compelling, particularly the back stories behind writing his novels.

    The autobiographical section is by far the best aspect of this book.

    The writing tips are alright but shouldn't be taken to heart.
     
  15. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    I found it interesting and re-read it several times. I don't find it particularly inspiring or instructive, to tell the truth, but more entertaining. It's more biography on writing than education on writing.

    I agree --
    And also with Cogito who states many do anyway. I think that can be true of any book on writing though.
     
  16. Chiv
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    Chiv Active Member

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    I'm reading it a bit at a time. Found some great things in there. I particularly like the advice he gives on adverbs though. "I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs." Now by a long shot I'm not taking it to heart but this I particularly agree with. The occasional adverb can be put to good use but constant adverbs slow down the pace of the story. We should be able to tell by the situation how an action is done. Also the comparison of writing to telepathy was a good point.
     

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