This book is On Writing by Stephen King (291 pages). So I’ll start this out like any other book review. It starts with 3 forewords where King talks about why he decided to write this book. Then he goes into his own story, his childhood, and how he discovered his writing talent. After that, he goes over several topics about writing and the mechanics of it.
This book was just outstanding. When I first started this book I was concerned that because it was a book about writing, it would be boring. I was completely wrong! This book actually kept me hooked. I learned so much about King that I had never known before. When I was finished with this book, I didn’t feel like I’d read a book, I felt more like I had just been listening to King talk to me personally for days. I felt like he was a friend or something which sounds weird, I know, but that’s such a cool thing for a reader to feel.
“Thin description leaves the reader feeling bewildered and nearsighted. Over description buries him or her in details and images. the trick is to find a happy medium… I’m not particularly keen on writing which exhaustively describes the physical characteristics of the people in the story and what they’re wearing.” – Stephen King
The topic that he covered that I enjoyed the most and felt like I benefited from would be the section on description. I agree with King that writing that has too much description buries the reader in details. He says that it’s not really about what the character looks like, the reader is more interested in the development of said character and story. This is very important advice in my opinion.
“To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. by then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s – gasp!! – too late.” – Stephen King on adverbs
I also enjoyed reading his section on dialogue and adverbs. People sometimes don’t pay enough attention to how a character speaks in their writing but that is a bad thing. The way a character speaks tells us so much about them without having to describe anything. The section on adverbs is great too, King really hates adverbs and after reading this book, so do I! I never knew how annoying and pointless they are. Adverbs aren’t all bad, it’s really about how the writer uses them and how frequently. King basically says that if you show the reader what is happening in the situation, adverbs to describe character action are unnecessary.
After reading this book, I feel like I’ve gotten some unique and helpful advice about writing. I also know more about Stephen King and am now inspired to read a few of his novels. He really knows his stuff and you can tell by the quality of information. He was so snarky and blunt in this and I loved it because to get a point across, you have to be. Also, he and his wife are ADORABLE!!
I definitely recommend this book to any beginning or seasoned writer. Everyone could use a little advice, especially from the King!!
Until next time my friends! Keep writing!