Organising My Thoughts “On Writing”


Cover for “On Writing

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Title: On Writing

Author: Stephen King

What page am I on? 284


At first glance, this book may seem like it can be completely explained through the title of the book. It is a novel “on writing” written by Stephen King. However, the actual book is so much more than that. It is a series of detailed and intricate flashes of King’s past, mixed with perspective changing tips that will should any writer.

What I Liked:

My absolute favorite thing about the book was the format. In the opening of the memoir, King explains that his childhood memory is more like lucid snapshots, and less like a clear, lengthy, detailed moments. The early parts of the book is comprised of shorter recollections that get longer and more detailed as the book progresses. Then the book changes pace completely toward the middle. Something I feel I have to mention is my favorite part, King’s dissection of quotes by different authors.

What I Didn’t Like:

I’m not really a fan of non-fiction, at all. So reading something like this is always a struggle for me. However, once I start the book and get to a certain point I get interested and lose the ability to put it down. 

My Favorite Quotes From the Book :

“[My childhood] is a fogged-out landscape from which occasional memories appear like isolated trees… the kind that look as if they might like to grab and eat you”

– Stephen King

“Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up”

– Stephen King

“You must not come lightly to a blank page”

– Stephen King

My Favorite Moments of the Book:

I really enjoyed when King discusses how writing is like transmitting messages to the future. He wrote the book in 1997, it was published it 2000, and now I’m reading it 20 years in the future in 2017.

My favorite section of the book is the “Toolbox”. King breaks down the elements of the art of writing and gives them thorough explanation. He writes about everything from vocabulary to paragraph structure.

General Impression of the Book:

I really enjoyed this book and genuinely believe that it would be good to have on hand when writing. If not to reference it when correcting your writing and shaping it, but to read it for encouragement and inspiration. King does not only explain the ‘craft’ of writing, but he also simplifies it and humanizes himself. This leaves the reader feeling empowered and capable.

Word Count: 437


3 thoughts on “Organising My Thoughts “On Writing”

  1. I thought it was interesting that you noted the recounts of his life get lengthier as her got closer to the present. I hadn’t thought of this when reading, but it’s likely attributed to the fact that these memories were getting closer to present King who had a clearer image of these more recent events.


  2. Ah, I love the quotes you picked out, and I also loved that bit when he said writing was like transmitting messages into the future, or even the purest form of telepathy. As a reader, I agree that he left you feeling empowered and capable. I felt like I learned a lot from that book, and that I can apply his teachings to my own writing. Nicely organized review!


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