On Writing

  • by Stephen King
  • Narrated by Stephen King
  • 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write." Here is Stephen King's master class on his craft.On Writing begins with a mesmerizing account of King's childhood and his early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, offer a fresh and often funny perspective on the formation of a writer. King then turns to the tools of his trade, examining crucial aspects of the writer's art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection.King was in the middle of writing this book when he was nearly killed in a widely reported accident. On Writing culminates with a profoundly moving account of how his need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life.

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Audible Editor Reviews

To begin with, you've got Stephen King, a writer so talented in the art of thrill-generation that he could insert excitement into the assembly instructions for a bookshelf. Or, say, a book about writing and grammar. And that's precisely what King does in On Writing, an improbably fascinating, relentlessly compelling trip through the mind, style, life, and work of one of our greatest popular writers.Hearing this unique combination of anecdotes and insider's advice told in King's charmingly nasal voice makes an already insightful narrative even more personal and powerful. If you want to write, this audiobook will quickly become a treasured resource, because it will improve your writing. But even if you have no interest whatsoever in writing, King's anecdotes and instructions into the art and process will probably make you a better, more informed reader.

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What the Critics Say

"Spunky, vivid prose are the prime ingredients of what must be considered not at all the usual writer's guide." (Booklist)
"On Writing contains some of the most harrowing pages he has ever written." (Salon.com)
"These rare glimpses into King's personal life - as related in his earnest tone and real (thank God) Maine accent - are fascinating.... If you write - or want to - get this book." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Honest and moving memoir + simple tips on writing

I am never a fan of stephen king. In fact, I read one of his books and decided that I will never read another. But this one is "on writing", a topic I am very interested in plus the review of other buyers are good so I gave it a try. It turned out to be such a good listen. Memoirs of the writer interwined with useful tips on how to start and improve one's writing. I turned from a non-fan to someone who gave high respect for Mr. King. This is a book that is written with ulmost honesty and sincerity. The memoir parts are moving with tears and laughters. I have the urge to call my struggling to write friends to stop and listen. Highly recommended
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- Martina K M

Instructional Manual, yes  But a real Keeper

Content

This work is divided into two general parts.
King opens with a lengthy memoir that "attempted to show some of the incidents and life-situations which made me into the sort of writer I turned out to be." He works his way through his stages as a writer from childhood to novice to apprentice to worldwide success.

King addresses his battle with alcohol and drug abuse, when it started, how it evolved and how he eventually was forced to confront his problem. He adds some wonderful information about the books he wrote (I don?t want to give these away ? they are fun to discover on your own.) And his own opinions about which of his books he thinks are good, and those he finds deficient.

Here is the opportunity to read King on King, and on his books. He describes the symbolism in many of his novels, rarely planted intentionally on the first draft but discovered during the writing of the second draft.
The second part is the instructional part.

This part of the book is full of advice, much of it common sense ? some of it uniquely King's. His description of the writer's toolbox: Common tools on the top shelf (vocabulary and grammar), elements of grammar and style on the second level, along with an understanding of the paragraph as the basic element in fiction, and a synthesis of all of these along with innate and developed skills at the bottom.

Recording

Stephen King records this selection himself. He does a brilliant job.

Favorites

King gives a very thorough account of his nearly fatal accident in 1999. This passage is very humanizing.
Throughout the book, King pays tribute to wife, Tabitha. She is King's "Ideal Reader," the person for whom he writes all of his books. His love and admiration for her shines through the book, from a touching scene from their courtship, to her organization of an intervention confronting his addiction problems, and all the way through to her support and encouragement of him during his convalescence.
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- Dionne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2000
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio