Monday, 20 September 2010

What have I read? Oh, it was Stephen King's 'On Writing!'

I have been reading books on writing lately.  One of the best so far that I have read was Stephen King's On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft.  Yes, the bestselling American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy fiction.  The author of 'Carrie', 'Green Mile', 'The Shining, 'It', to give you a few.  If you wish to know more of his writings, please click here to go to his website.

To be honest, I have not read any of his novels.  When I was young, I wasn't into horror stories.  I could easily get scared.  Perhaps you will find it weird but you know when I read, my whole world gets transformed into that of the book. I deeply get into another place deeply - into the world of the characters of the story.  After reading 'On Writing', which I find to be so excellent, full of wits, candor and knowledge on the craft, I got intrigued and very interested to read Stephen King's works so I got five of his books so quickly - 'Needful Things', 'Thinner', 'Firestarter', 'Dreamcatcher', and 'Misery.' I made myself a promise - that I will read each one of these books and no matter how scary, I will finish them (fingers crossed).  So, pray for me.

Now, this wonderful book, 'On Writing', is something that every book lover must read, whether or not you are writing, you will love it.  It is about his life and the accident he had in June of 1999.  I don't write reviews and the very first 'review' (if you really would like to call it that way) was after reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson - The Lightning Thief.  But I thought what I'd do this time is to write the parts of the book that struck me, inspired me and that I loved the most.

Here they are:

1.  Must you write complete sentences each time, every time?  Perish the thought.  If your work consists only of fragments and floating clauses, the Grammar Police aren't going to come and take you away.  Even William Strunk, that Mussolini of rhetoric, recognized the delicious pliability of language. "It is an old observation," he writes, "that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of the rhetoric."  Yet he goes on to add this thought, which I urge you to consider:  "Unless he is certain of doing well, [the writer] will probably do best to follow the rules." - On pages 133-134

2.  Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex and work.  Especially work.  People love to read about work.  God knows why, but they do.  - On page 185

3.  If you want to be a successful writer, you must be able to describe it, and in a way that will cause your reader to prickle with recognition. - On page 202

4.  If God gives you something you can do, why in God's name wouldn't you do it? - On page 174

5.  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. - On page 326

My eyes welled up when I was reading the last page.  It really touched me.  This book is the best!

Note: The above are quotes from Stephen King's On Writing, any future changes in the book after today's date, 20 September 2010, will not be reflected on this post.  This is not a paid advertisement.

Disclaimer:  This is my web blog, the opinion expressed above are 100% mine and not that of the author's or publisher of the above-mentioned book.  This site makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness of any information and will not be liable for any errors, omissions in this information arising from its display or use.  All information is provided on an as-is basis.


Old Kitty said...

This has been on my ever growing wish list since the beginning of the year - so I'm looking forward to reading it soon! I have read some of Stephen King's novels (Carrie, Christine, my favourite- Salem's Lot) and wish I'd not seen the movies first though! LOL!

Anyway - thanks for these fab snippets here - they're great tasters.

I wish I could say that writing makes me happy! At the moment it's the overwhelming failure to the one or two minor successes of getting my stories acknowledged that's putting a damper on the real happiness I get from finishing writing a story! LOL!

My goodness but I'm glum today! Maybe it's cos it;s Monday and I'm at work! but I must remember your no. 2 point here - use work to enrich my writing! :-)

Take care

Jen said...

Love your blog! Found you over at Christine's Journey and now a happy follower!

I have to say that Stephen King's On Writing is probably one of my favorite writing books. It gives you the raw emotion that a lot of books don't let you in on. The days you feel like the crap, when you think a book sucks you shouldn't stop, it could turn up to be one of your best sellers. I learned a lot from him and keep his book close to my heart!

Anonymous said...

I love Stephen King and I think one of the biggest misconceptions about his novels are that they are just horror. It's more than that! I hate being scared, but I love his writing because he brings interesting characters to life and his books make me feel.

Theresa Milstein said...

Len, you should do reviews more often.

I loved this book too. And I mentioned it in a post, but I didn't do a through review like you did. Of all the books I've read on writing, this one is my favorite.

Glynis said...

This is interesting because I read it and found it to be OK, not as exciting as others have found. I think I have to read it again. I found good information there, but preferred Fire in Fiction by Donald Maasse for writing outlines.

Great post, thanks for sharing your view, Len. ♥

DoanLegacy said...

I know Stephen King is a great and famous writer, but like you, I don't like horror and didn't read his novels.

On Writing is a the only one I read..Thanks for visiting!

Gina said...

I guess that book will be on my 'to -borrow' list the next time I get to visit the library.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I still need to get a copy of that book.

Loree said...

I have not read this book. I did read Misery though and it was OK. Not a book that I loved however.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Number five is what I've been searching for my whole life! Thanks so much for sharing with us and for dropping by my blog today...

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Len, following you over from my blog, thank you for stopping by! You're the only one so far that even recognized Gilmore Girls, thank you! Seems we like a lot of the same shows.

And books. I'm rereading "On Writing". I love that Stephen makes me laugh out loud while revealing intimate insights in to his life. The man is truly a master. Ihe only other of his books I'd read was Hearts in Atlantis.

Great to meet a new friend, that rebel, Olivia

Len said...

Thanks so much for all your excited to be making new friends once again!

@Old Kitty - I hope you get the inspiration back, I need it too!

@Jen - I love your blog, too! Thanks so much and I'm glad we're friends on Facebook now too :)

@Kathie - with what you said in mind, I will now start reading all my Stephen King's.

@Theresa - thank you for always giving me the encouragement...I will try to do more reviews, in the process I'm learning and hopefully improving as well.

@Glynis - that happens to me at times, too. Some books can be inspiring to my friends but not to me :) I will check the book you mentioned out and thanks for mentioning it :)

@Icy, Gina, Alex, Loree - thank you guys :)

@ Sharon - I love number 5 as well! :)

@ Olivia - I love Gilmore Girls...have you ever wondered why they all talk the same way - they don't pause and breath so nobody knows where the sentence starts and ends, LOL. I still love them though. Yes, I love this book, Olivia, it did make me laugh out loud. It is an inspiring book. Glad to be friends, too :)

Ann said...

Great review Len. I have this book, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Now I must.
Things have gotten a bit hectic, but I will be in touch soon Len.

Len said...

Hello @Ann - Thanks for dropping by. Talk to you soon :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Your blog background is gorgeous! Thanks for finding and following me, Len! I am happy to return the compliment. And you already know I love On Writing! :-)

Madeleine said...

Len I agree this is a fabulous book. I leant it to a friend and never got it back. One day I will replace it. :O)

ruthi said...

thanks for sharing this. i will check it out when i get the chance.

Jennee said...

This book has been on my list for a while. Thanks for the reminder. Gotta run to the library or book store this weekend! :)

Rachel Morgan said...

Thanks so much for posting about this book. I had it in my online trolley for a while and then thought, "Nah, I'm probably wonn't enjoy it much..." and took it out.
But I think it's going to go back in now!

Jenn said...

This is definitely on my to-read list. After reading your review on "Misery" I'm definitely contemplating adding that to my list. Thanks for the recommendation! :)