On Writing

stephen king by martine johanna

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’ by Stephen King, published in 2000, is a memoir of the prolific author’s experiences as a writer, and also serves as a guide book for those who choose to enter the craft. The first section of the book is an Autobiography mainly about King’s early exposure to writing, and his childhood attempts at writing. King talks about his early attempts to get published, and his first novel ‘Carrie.’ He also talks about his fame as a writer, and what it took to get there. This includes his relationship with his wife, the death of his mother and his history of drug and alcohol abuse.

The second section is practical advice on writing, including tips on grammar and ideas about developing plot and character. King himself describes it as a guide for how ‘a competent writer can become a good one.’ This includes his beliefs that a writer should edit out unnecessary details and avoid the use of unnecessary adverbs. He also uses quotes from other books and authors to illustrate his points. The third section is also autobiographical, in which he discusses the 1999 automobile accident in which he was struck by a vehicle while walking down an isolated country road. He describes serious injuries, his painful recovery and his struggle to start writing again.


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