April 2008 • Journal 01 • Issue 01

“On Writing” – Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King

  • Title: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
  • Author: Stephen King
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; Reprint edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743455967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743455961

I am not a Stephen King fan. I don’t like scary movies and not surprisingly have never been interested in reading any of his books. However, I have heard that as a writer he is rather amazing. So, when I heard good reviews of his book on the process of writing, I thought he deserved a shot. It was the right call.

Far more than a textbook, this is a story-driven invitation to consider his development as a writer, the practices that shape the rhythms of his writing, and his insights into what makes for good and bad writing. Yes, sometimes he is a bit crass and certainly he is focused on writing fiction, but the book is loaded with lessons and ideas that have implications for everyone who writes. I loved his notion that writing is magic-a form of telepathy. The thoughts, ideas, and images in the mind of the writer are teleported through the page into the mind of the reader. In the end, people you have never met are touched through the magic of what you write. The book includes his insights on:

  • when and where to write
  • where good ideas come from
  • daily practices that make a difference
  • the role of vocabulary, grammar, etc.
  • the relationship between the first draft and the re-writing processes

My personal bias is that non-fiction writers would do well to consider how to better tell stories. Decide for yourself, but if you have contemplated any significant writing, it is a worthy read.

No Comments, Comment or Ping

Reply to ““On Writing” – Stephen King”

Articles

Resources

Overcoming the Half-Life of Vision

Understanding the concept of a half-life: simple... Recognizing its impact on those you lead: profound... Knowing it was birthed out of a parallel to radioactivity: ominous. The point? “Vision has a half-life of seven days!” A half-life of seven days means the potency of your vision in the minds and motivations of your people diminishes by half every week. It also means that in a mere 28 days what was originally powerful will be impotent.

Redefining Visionary Leadership

We frequently talk and act as if the most important criteria of leaders is the ability to create and communicate vision single-handedly. We expect leaders to develop vision from scratch and then articulate it with god-like inspiration. As a result, scores of people devalue their capacity for leadership for the simple fact that they don’t excel at this full-feature visionary role. This article attempts to redefine visionary leadership.

The Power of a Stump Speech

This unique challenge of politics is the territory that gave birth to the notion of a stump speech. Others have called it an “elevator speech.” No matter what you call it, the point is simple: if you cannot communicate your central message in 30 seconds you won’t be able to communicate it effectively in 30 minutes.

Crafting Vision

The power of vision does not come from believing it is important, but in the vision itself. This simple article is written as a primer to provide you with a process for crafting vision that is compelling and clear enough to communicate.

Reviews

WP-Highlight