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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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Stephen King writes books that a lot of people like. I mean, A LOT of people like his books.

I am not one of them. Can’t stand horror. Not it a snide “that’s so low-brow” kind of way. More in a “Oh my god, I will never close my eyes again” kind of way. So, I’ve avoided Stephen King books the way some people avoid battery acid. I know what they will do to me.

This book, however, I sought out and enjoyed. King was writing about how to write. That subject can be scary too, but in a totally different way.

He has some good things to say, starting off with what started him off and moving on to more technical issues.

I think I might have gotten more out of the story if I were familiar with his works, but even so, I got plenty enough out. He was fairly personal, talking about his young life and influences, and even exposing his drug and alcohol addiction that came later in life.

He gave out some good advice: Don’t use adverbs, especially ‘zestfully.’ Interesting point. And he even gave some real nuts and bolts, like specific magazine and books to check out if you want to be a writer.

I will say one thing, though. I listed to a recording of this book, and that was great. I got to hear King’s memories and thoughts in his own voice with his own rhythm and cadence.
The man has the strangest way of pronouncing the sound “L” that I have ever heard in my life. He closes his throat around it. And as much as I was interested in the last bit of the book, when he got into some very practical advice, I STILL wanted to strangle him for that weird gutteral “L.”

Go get the book. READ it, and you will be glad you did.

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