Stephen King: On Writing

27 Stephen King On Writing Book

I’m afraid of the dark! There, I said it. Always have been, always will be. It goes along with my overactive imagination and my early years watching Horrorama on Friday night TV. I loved the old black and white classics. They were scary, but not in a this could happen to me sort of way. I mean I didn’t live in Transylvania or Germany. So Dracula and Frankenstein were scary fun movies. And, a whole ocean separated me from London, so party on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But then it happened. Psycho…showers became terrifying. And those movies where someone was hiding under the bed or behind a panel in the bedroom or…you fill in the blank. There was even a movie where they used binoculars to blind someone. I can’t describe the fear this produced. I gave up my dream of becoming a famous Ornithologist and tore up my members card to Bird Watchers of America.

I mention this because a few years back, Joe Landsdale, writer extraordinaire, recommended I read the book, Stephen King: On Writing. Seriously? Stephen King? Don’t get me wrong, I respect Mr. King and his amazing talent. But he writes scary things. Things that go bump in the night. Well, recently I was in Barnes and Noble, my home away from home, and I saw this book. I decided to be brave, because I’ve been practicing this lately, and read it.

This is where I have to tell you, there were a couple of times I had to put the book down and go get some chocolate and watch an episode of the Big Bang Theory (please don’t judge me). The book is part memoir, part lessons on writing. The memoir part explained so much about what he writes. It was really fascinating, in a scary sort of way. I must say, the book is FANTASTIC. I loved it. Truly. I highly recommend it if you love to write, and/or love to read, and/or love Stephen King.

Alright, there it is. Now that I’ve written this and been reminded of all the scariness I’ll leave you with this lovely imagery. I will be heading to bed at some point and will surely take a running leap so that no hand can possibly reach out from underneath and grab me. Just like when I was six, and seven, and ad infinitum. Even though, I’ve certainly looked under said bed earlier. BECAUSE YOU JUST NEVER KNOW, DO YOU?

4 thoughts on “Stephen King: On Writing

  1. I read Stephen King’s “On Writing” years ago and got a very good, practical writing tip that I’ve never forgotten. He said after you write go back through your writing and eliminate the adverbs. Instead try to show the action the adverb is describing and if you can’t it probably wasn’t that important to begin with. I hardly ever write with adverbs anymore because I learned how to show action instead of tell. However, this was a very good tip for a beginning writer.

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed his book as well but I really did. I recommend it as often as I can. Thank you for posting.

    • I think that’s what I loved about the book. I found a number of very practical nuggets I could immediately put into practice to improve my writing. Great reminder about adverbs. Thanks for your comment, Deborah!

  2. I love Stephen King (most of his stuff :-), love reading, and have a Barnes & Noble gift card balance. I think I will order his book—thanks for the recommendation. And keep writing your blog; I love reading it.

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