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Readings and Ramblings

This is Readings and Ramblings. It is readings because this is a site for blogging about books and I intend to do that. It is ramblings because I might want to write about something else now and then.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King This is a really short book for Stephen King. He usually has a hard time coming to a stop. I say that not as a criticism. Sometimes you want a book to go on and on because you are enjoying it so much and Stephen King tends to do that for you. In this one, though, he wants to give the aspiring writer some basic advice and it just does not take long to do that. Without the autobiographical material that is included it would be considerably shorter too. I will also say that the autobiographical material is good to have. Most of it is funny and all the more so for the fact that it is true. If you don't laugh at the part where he used some leaves in the woods as toilet paper and then found out that it was poison ivy then you have no sense of humor. Stephen King taught me that it was okay to like highly popular literature. I used to disdain bestsellers. Then one time because of circumstances that I will not go into here I had his book, The Stand, on hand and I decided to read it despite the fact that it was a bestseller. I was very surprised to find out that I liked it and liked it a lot even if there were some annoying things about it. I then went on to read some other Stephen King novels and found them very good. I can't say that I became the type to rush out to read every bestseller that came along just because it was a bestseller and because, oh, just everyone is reading it. I am still disdainful of ostentatious attempts to be fashionable. However, because of Stephen King I now give myself permission to read a bestseller if the subject matter interests me. When I read The Stand and when I read subsequent novels by Stephen King I was impressed by the fact that he was a bestselling author and he could actually write too. This book, and Dance Macabre which I read years ago, show that he carries his writing abilities into his nonfiction too. The book gave me some insights into how a prolific writer goes about writing and it kept me entertained throughout too. There is something that I kept in mind though. I have read some essays by other successful authors explaining how they do their job too and they do not all do it the same and, specifically in relation to this book, they do not do it the way Stephen King does it. That means that what he is really describing here is what works for him. He does occasionally admit this in the book too. I would suggest, if you are an aspiring writer who is looking to this book for advice, that if the advice works for you then by all means take it, but if it doesn't quite fit your comfort zone then do what works for you instead.