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Writers are Readers: “A Memoir of the Craft”

REVIEWER: Vanessa Stephens

BOOK TITLE: “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”

AUTHOR: Stephen King

GENERAL SYNOPSIS: In the first half of this novel-length book, King takes us through his life from childhood and aspiring writer through adulthood and the sale of his debut novel, Carrie, which launched him into becoming arguably one of the greatest and best-known author of our time. The second half of the book becomes more instructional as King lays out the fundamentals of writing, as he sees it, and gives great pointers for anyone interested in the craft.

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: I loved the biography aspect of the book as well as getting down to the nitty gritty of what makes a writer great. King remains entertaining throughout.


When I read this book for the first time many years ago, I had not yet finished a Stephen King book. Despite growing up surrounded by them, as my mother has been and remains one of his biggest fans (she owns every one of his books, and that’s a lot of books) I never had the desire to read them. Shame on me. Once I started taking my own writing seriously, I stumbled across this book and decided to give it a read. I thought, “Heck, maybe I’ll learn something.” I’d like to say I did. However, it wasn’t until years later when I came across the book again that it really impacted me. I felt that I could relate to his early struggles better now as I’ve gone through some life events of my own. I also gained a better understanding of the tactical parts of the book. I love reading and exploring about what makes other writers tick and what works best for them, as I am still learning about myself as an author. Especially, someone as successful as Stephen King. I’ve read the book twice and am certain I will read it again. In another five years it will be fun to see what new things I learn and how I will relate to it as the future me and the writer I hope, with the help of this book, to become.

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