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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft av Stephen…
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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (utgåvan 2000)

av Stephen King (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
15,339450262 (4.21)330
Stephen King reflects on how his writing has helped him through difficult times and describes various aspects of the art of writing.
Medlem:stellamarie23
Titel:On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Författare:Stephen King (Författare)
Info:Scribner (2000), Edition: 1st Edition, 288 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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I have never read a proper Stephen King novel. I am one of those shameless people who doesn’t like horror or thrillers, even though I have never read any. But I have read The Long Walk, a novella written under King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman. Part of the grade 9 curriculum, that story has bided in my mind ever since, and is one of the reasons I considered reading On Writing in the first place. However terrifying I’ve made King’s mind out to be, I was curious what he would have to say about the craft.

For memoirs, especially those read by the author, I prefer to listen to the audiobook. The Simon & Schuster version of the book, narrated by Stephen King himself, felt like sitting at the feet of a master. Over the course of 8 hours, he details his personal life: how he came to writing in childhood, his path to success, his relationships, his addiction, and his recovery. He answers the common questions people ask and those he wishes people would ask while describing the tools that every serious writer best be aware of. He lets us in on his writing process while encouraging us to develop our own. His writing style is conversational and is perfectly complemented by the audiobook medium.

I approached the book from an editor’s perspective. Rather than looking for inspiration and encouragement to write, I was listening for how he navigated the publishing world, how he looks at the writing process (he is a pantser—he doesn’t plot out his manuscript beforehand, preferring to write by the seat of his pants), and his take on specific literary devices like dialogue, exposition, accommodating backstory, etc. He asserts his opinions humbly. My editor curiosity was satisfied, and for the little creative writing that I do, I felt validated and encouraged to not let the practice fall to the side.

While I enjoyed hearing his thoughts on what makes a good writer and good writing, I was surprised to find myself captivated by the little behind-the-scenes insights into his pivotal works. If his style of writing and speaking hadn’t already endeared him to me, these little revelations have enticed me to give one of his novels a try. I hope his words are enough to provide me a tether amidst the abject terror of his storytelling that I remain convinced will make me lose my mind.

I’m giving this book 5/5 stars for being exactly what it promised and making me want to expand my reading wheelhouse. I will undoubtedly read it again. ( )
  BookNeurd | Mar 29, 2021 |
I didn't think I was going to like this book because I've never been a huge fan of his work. Then again, I've only read one or two pieces and I actually did like The Stand and the first book of the Gunslinger series. His advice is honest, frank, and well laid out. And reading about his life was a delight. I had no idea that he struggled for so long with addiction. A very good read. I have about 200 highlights from it. ( )
  jplumey | Feb 24, 2021 |
Stephen King offers advice for beginning novelists and reminisces about his own development in his profession in this well-known writers’ guide. His personal story has a certain amount of nostalgic charm, but I was more interested in practical tips. Most of the grammar and usage advice I’ve heard before, and his lifestyle recommendations, like finding a partner to earn money and run the home while the family writer spends hours per day on the craft, remain elusive. King is at his best in the later chapters, when he writes about what writing has meant to him and the accident that nearly took everything away.

This guide isn't the only book about the the craft that the aspiring writer should read, but it is definitely worthy of the short time it takes to read it. ( )
  akblanchard | Jan 29, 2021 |
When I started writing myself, I did research. Many people recommended this book as essential reading. It was interesting, but it wasn't the groundbreaking revelation I expected. King's life is interesting and his style is easy to read. I suspect my expectations were too high. ( )
  TS_Simons | Jan 22, 2021 |
That Stephen King's “On Writing” (2000) is as much a memoir as it is a how-to book may surprise other readers as it surprised me. Before he addresses the usual stuff about avoiding passive verbs and unhelpful adverbs, he writes about about enjoying horror movies as a kid and getting disciplined in high school for writing satire about faculty members. The latter details, however, may be more interesting, and they tell us something about how this particular writer was formed. Not made, as he points out. He was born a writer, a storyteller, he believes. But his early life shaped him into the kind of writer he became.

Even when King gets to the how-to portion of his book, he displays a gift for making the familiar seem fresh. When writing about those passive verbs, for example, his prose surges with enough active energy to keep us engaged. Yet he also throws in original writing advice left out of “The Elements of Style,” still the basic handbook for writers. He writes about closed door writing and open door writing. The first describes the beginning stages of writing when the ideas are just forming and you still don't know whether you have anything worthwhile or not. Keep the door closed, figuratively speaking. Don't talk about it with others. Don't let anyone see what you you are writing. You may even want to literarily keep the door closed. The fewer interruptions the better. Later on input from others may prove helpful. A trusted reader may see faults you miss and have the courage and sufficient tact to tell you about them without destroying your confidence.

His thoughts about descriptive writing strike me as being on target. Describe just enough, but never too much. That just slows down your story and bores your readers. He offers examples about how to do this.

King returns to memoir later in his book. During the writing of it, he says, he took his usual walk down a country road in Maine one day when he was struck by a vehicle and seriously injured. (He mentions the name of the driver not just once but numerous times, which seems a bit cruel.) He describes the event, the injuries, the long recovery and especially his struggle to return to writing. You might say a broken writer was reformed. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Dec 25, 2020 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (15 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
King, Stephenprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Hobbing, ErichFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Juti, RikuÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Knudsen, BertilÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kuipers, HugoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rekiaro, IlkkaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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Motto
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Honesty's the best policy. — Miguel de Cervantes
Liars prosper. — Anonymous
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This book is dedicated to Amy Tan, who told me in a very simple and direct way that it was okay to write it.
C. V.
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I was stunned by Mary Karr's memoir, The Liar's Club.
[Foreword] In the early nineties (it might have been 1992, but it's hard to remember when you're having a good time) I joined a rock-and-roll band composed mostly of writers.
[Second Foreword] This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit.
[Third Foreword] One rule of the road not directly stated elsewhere in this book: "The editor is always right."
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"I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs and I will shout it from the rooftops."
"... there is a huge difference between story and plot. Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty and best kept under house arrest." (page 170)
(p79) Look — here's a table covered with a red cloth. ... Do we see the same thing? We'd have to get together and compare notes to make absolutely sure, but I think we do. There will be necessary variations, of course: some receivers will see a cloth which is turkey red, some will see one that's scarlet, while others may see still other shades. ... and a cat with an 8, clearly marked on its back in blue ink ... This is what we're looking at, and we all see it. I didn't tell you. You didn't ask me. I never opened my mouth and you never opened yours. We're not even in the same year together, let alone the same room ... except we are together. We're close. We're having a meeting of the minds.
(p102) The object of fiction isn't grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story ...
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