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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is certainly much more readable than most books on the subject of writing. Anyone who has read Stephen King's fiction will recognise his direct, lively and conversational style. I think a lot of his suggestions on writing fiction are sound advice for any writer, but there's also a strong element of 'horses for courses' when it comes to certain elements of King's approach. Not everyone will be able to produce their best work with King's way of writing, which seems to be to start writing as soon as you have a basic starting premise in mind and not to worry about having a plot because that will more or less write itself. It's also worth noting that the world of publishing has changed a great deal since King's first novel, Carrie, became a bestseller. Nonetheless, King writes about writing very well - it's small wonder that so many of his protagonists are authors.

King's writing advice, however, is by no means the whole focus of the book. A large chunk of it is a nostalgic memoir about King's childhood, adolescence, marriage and struggles with drugs and alcohol, which are reasonably engaging but somewhat digressive and not directly connected to his craft. We learn that King became a keen reader as a child when he was suffering from repeated bouts of ill health, but we don't need a long description of his recurrent ear infections to make this clear.
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on 24 May 2017
Part of me is appalled that this is the first book by the King I'm reviewing, but I suppose we all have to start somewhere :P

I didn't expect it to be so hilarious, honest, open, and encouraging. I feel like I can come back to this any time I'm stuck with my writing or feel bad about any part of the writing process, and it'll lift me up. It's such a wonderful book, friends. I can't believe it's sat on my shelf for a few months before I finally read it!

I'm not entirely sure how to review it beyond that, besides telling you that, if you're a writer, you need to read this. We writers tend to put ourselves under a tremendous amount of pressure and self-doubt. It's so important you see that every writer struggles at some point, even legends like Stephen King. You want the encouragement you get from this. And you will learn something. I've made so many notes I had trouble deciding which quotes to include and which ones to leave. Once I've got a bigger shelf (or just a second shelf would do, actually) I will have a separate space for inspiring books, and this one will be right up there at the front.
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on 8 November 2016
I found a fair amount of it useful, but this is more for Stephen King fans than for me as there is a lot of autobiographical content in it. It wasn't uninteresting, it was just that I want to cut to the chase and know what he had to say about writing.
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on 1 June 2015
This is the book I recommend to anyone who wants to get better at writing. I read it because it had been likewise recommended to me, even though I wasn't a Stephen King fan. I fell into the dumb and elitist prejudice at the time that anyone as popular as Stephen King couldn't possibly be any good as a writer, and as such I had never actually read any of his work. On Writing turned me into a Stephen King fan - it's a searingly insightful work of absolute genius, managing to weave real 'nuts and bolts' advice into a semi-autobiographical overview of his own evolution as a writer. More than most, it's clear Stephen King earned his success - while many may dismiss the personal stories as self-indulgence, they're actually little vignettes of perseverance against the long, long odds of writing success. They help explain the kind of mindset that a writer must have, and how tough the journey might be. Having set the reader up with the necessary perspective, he then effortlessly helps construct a genuinely useful writing toolkit. This book isn't just useful for those who might want to learn how to write fiction - it's all but required reading for anyone who wants to express themselves through the written word.
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on 6 April 2017
I got through the book quickly. It was interesting to learn about his life and the on writing section is helpful. As with any advice, it's exactly that and what works for him won't necessarily work elsewhere. It is a book I will probably go back to, I mean for the on writing part.

He came out with the classic statement that all wealthy people do, that he doesn't do it for the money, this is later in the book, while earlier in it he was clearly glad when the money began to come in, even when it was small amounts to start with.
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on 18 April 2014
If you're serious about the business of writing, then read this!
You've heard this before, listen up.
Also, if you're serious about the business of people, of success or of just life, this is a great book.
King exposes himself in a way he didn't need to do, but the book is by far the stronger and rounder for it. A brave tale of a man who stuck at it, even when it looked like it would be little more than pin money.
The lesson here is that there is much to be said for poverty, King hadn't much of a choice, it was either write or live the life that had gone before.
There is no highly strung artiste here -- just a guy with a story, and we know already, that this guy tells a great story.
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on 26 April 2017
Quick service and received in excellent condition. Read and loved this book. Stephen King shares some stories from his life that was a pleasure to read. He then gets into his style of writing and what types of grammar he hates and tries to avoid. He walks you through his process of writing and it is entertaining as hell. SK simply states, if you want to be a writer, you have to write a lot and you have to read a lot.
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on 22 June 2017
This is the most conceited lot of rubbish I've ever read. I was advised by a literary agent to take a look at this book with no reason proffered, maybe it was the one I discovered? As a manual for writing it's useless, as a read, obnoxious, I couldn't begin to recommend it to anyone.
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on 21 May 2017
Anyone who wants to be a writer MUST read this book. So many insights that it would otherwise take you years to learn. Improved my writing discipline no end! Plus, a fascinating autobiography of the life/writing career of one of the worlds most successful writers. NB: When I bought this book I had never read a Stephen King novel. I am not a horror fan at all.
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on 23 July 2017
A bit of biography, lots of advice on story writing and language, and an example of what King considers a good story at the end. Highly recommended, not only for King fans but also and in particular for those who enjoy to write or would like to enjoy to write
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