This is Stephen King’s first book I took up to dig into his thoughts about writing. The curious kid in me had somehow got hold of this pretty famous book.
As I kick started, I found the book to follow a storyline, as against my expectation of being more of a self-help book. Stephen talks about his initial days, the struggles he has had and how he keeps up with his writings and publications while dealing with personal experiences. This section is more of a narrative piece that simply goes on.
As I keenly awaited for the actual content to catch my attention, I see a separate section completely dedicated to ‘On Writing’. Ah! I get to feel this is the point I and may be fellow writers like me had been waiting for!
And then there he is, hitting on the main pointers when it comes to the technicalities about writing. He elaborates about some pillars of writing with their usage, importance and building them up;
- Parts of speech
- Elements of style
It’s such a pleasure to read about Stephen talking about how one should take up the discourse to writing. He gives away noteworthy pointers to the readers with ample instances.
Stephen emphasizes a lot on mastering the fundamentals of writing by getting a good grip on them. And then he extends his argument to imply that it takes a great deal of hard work, persistence, nd dedication to reach up to the next level of being a writer. He then proceeds to stress on how important is reading towards writing. Stephen also sheds an ample amount of time in explaining about the importance of building characters and storytelling, which is his genre.
Stephen, then elaborates more about drafting and proofreading. And towards the end, leaves the reader with his personal choice of recommended books.
Few of my favorites lines from the book would include –
“Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.”
“Writing is seduction. Good talk is a part of seduction.”
“But there is that matter of commitment, whether a book is good or bad, a failure or a success. Words have weight.”
“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”
“The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing.”
“The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.”
“When you’re writing, you’re creating your own worlds.”
“You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
A definite worth-reading book for all those budding writers around! 🙂