It’s hard as a writer to know whether you are on the right lines or not. How do you know if you are writing anything or worth or whether it should just see the bin? There are so many books out there on the craft that even just looking for some help can be just as overwhelming. People who think that because they have studied writing they know what they are talking about: what the rules of the genre are, where to put a full stop and so forth. Most are written in a condescending tone and are just a waste of space.
To say that Stephen King’s On Writing breaks the mould is an understatement.
I have never read a book that I have related so much too.
Not only does he himself claim to detest the type of books previously mentioned, but you know he is writing it from a successful author’s point of view. He does truly know what he is talking about, even if he won’t quite come out and admit it himself.
The majority of the book is partly like an auto-biography as he explains his background, how he started writing and where his influences were drawn from. It shows that you can become a successful writer even when trying to make enough money just to put dinner on the table and that inspiration can come from even the most random or mundane things in everyday life.
However, it then moves onto more specifics about writing. There are moments of whether to use adverbs or not, or how to tell the tone of a piece. But there is nothing patronising about the way King writes, he is genuinely expressing his own feelings on what he is saying and making the point that although these things work for him, that doesn’t mean they are going to be this way for everyone.
There are not many writing guides that talks about the way the characters come alive and take over, or the way you may feel when halfway through a project and seeing no way to reach the end. But here is the distinction, the one true difference between him and others: he doesn’t say this is how you should be feeling. He explains how he was feeling. And I sat up and realised I knew exactly what he meant. He wasn’t lecturing, he was explaining and anyone interested in writing who was reading the book can instantly relate to his words. Of course, if you aren’t a writer, you might just finish the book with the conclusion we are all mad, but there you go.
I have never read something so inspiring and relatable. Not only was the advice good and things that I have taken on board, the book is written in such a way that you want to keep reading, you want to know how to be the best writer you can. The reason why is simple. His love for his job pours through every word and leaves you wanting to find that for yourself. A must-read for any budding writer.