On Writing by Stephen King

I’m reading “On Writing” by Stephen King and enjoying it a lot.  Much of what he says (outside of his own story) isn’t new to anyone who’s read a few books on writing or has taken writing classes or has done a writing program.  In fact, on that front, he actually says nothing new.  But how he says it is, well, different.  I hate the word “plainspoken.”  It insinuates too many things to too many people.  I guess what I like is that he’ll swear in a kind of writing that is usually very cool, professional, and polite.  He’s gritty.

He portrays writing well. He says you have to work your ass off, all the while feeling like you’re spending hours at the playground.  I wish this book was around when I was an MFA student.  He started it the year after I finished, and the book was released while I was in Japan.  I missed it until now

King is a kind of odd duck for me.  The last time I read anything by him, I was a freshman at the University of Hawaii.  I read several of his books and viewed them as a mixed bag.  Just after I graduate with my MFA, he won the O. Henry Award, which is not the first award I would think of when thinking about Stephen King.  I’ve always had a mixed opinion about his writing.  But regardless, this is a good book if you’re interested in writing.  Less technical than Zinsser’s “On Writing Well,” the last writing book I read, and a little more fun.

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