Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic
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Disclaimer: I purchased the Kindle Edition of this book in May 2016. I do not know the author but follow him on Twitter. I don't think we've had any direct exchanges. I am an author of romance fiction and assorted non-fiction.
I read Stephen King's On Writing and enjoyed it . . . mostly.
The first part is an autobiography/memoir. King's childhood was far from ideal and often difficult, but it doesn't seem to have made him bitter. Twisted, maybe, but not bitter, and I say that as a sincere compliment. He covers his life, through sometimes real poverty and almost always financial struggle, up until the sale of the paperback rights to Carrie for $400,000, which changed his life forever. He also briefly touches on his battle with alcoholism and substance abuse. I was surprised how much I enjoyed not only the story itself but his humor and almost unflappable optimism in the face of adversity.
The second part is about the writing. This is the part I expected to be more interested in.
There's a part of me that wants to find a magic formula for writing success. As much fun as writing is for me, as full as my head is of ideas waiting to e written, I also know it's hard work that requires patience and discipline.
King offers no magic, but he does offer affirmation. Right now, that is almost as good as magi.
In addition to pointing out that yes, writing a novel requires discipline, King delivers some brutal honesty. Many aspiring writers are not likely to take his bluntness without protest, but I think he's absolutely correct when he states, "Sorry, but there are lots of bad writers," and "it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer."
I've seen far too much supporting evidence.