The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them
Stephen King is probably one the most famous contemporary authors. His horror fictions have been adapted into different movies and TV shows, which makes him memorable. Unfortunately, being completely disinterested about science fiction, I had never read anything from him before On Writing. However, it remembered me one book from my favorite author, Marguerite Duras, Writing.
I can definitely say that I was not expecting what I read, and was believing as an ignorant, that it was a strange fiction about some writer or people getting into a book. I never actually believed it was about the process of writing. So if I can definitely my impression on this book it would definitely be “unexpected.”
Earlier this month, I talked about On Writing, when I was only a half way of the 284-pages reading. I would not consider it a novel, or at least does not present itself as such. Stephen King is not used to it, but what he presents here is no less a great adventure, in two parts.
The first part is devoted to his life, to his memoirs. He explains how writing took an important place of his life since his childhood. Indeed, he explains how it followed him during his marriage, his family, his different jobs and the numerous places where he has lived. He does not hide his personal life, and he relates everything with humility and honesty. Finally, he relates how he became more involved into his writing.
The second part is more a concentrated on advices and “tips” to write a good story, adding numerous examples. He specifies that his objective was not to give a simple basic model to follow, he wants to give general advices that can be applied to all kind of writing. It is not a writing manual, it is a drawing of a list of themes and advice for anyone who wants to get serious about writing novels, by giving amusing anecdotes and stories.
Fiction is the truth inside the lie
Stephen King speaks confidently and will tell you everything about his life, or almost. We follow the steps went through to accomplish his goals, learning from his past experiences. He worked everywhere and wrote everywhere too. This method remains as easy as it is pleasant to read, that includes practical exercises and relatively well thought-out examples.
King’s life retrospection gives a meaning to his writing and why it should inspire us. Every step of life is a reason to write, a means of inspiration. Overall, I enjoyed the reading even though I am not sure I will be able to apply every advice he gave due to my lack of interest for science fiction writing. However, I will definitely remember that if a text is bad, it must be killed, to improve my self-criticism or even to delete any superfluous words. In addition, I would recommend this book to anyone interested on improving their writing by taking the advices of one of the biggest figures of literature.
WORD COUNT: 499