Thursday, September 15, 2011

Literary Thursday: Stephen King Discusses Writing

I am sad.

When I was a senior in high school, a new shopping center opened. In the shopping center was a bookstore, Borders. That store became my "spot," a place where I could spend hours browsing the aisles in peace. It was somewhere I would go when I wanted to enjoy moments of solitude. That store closed its doors for good this week. I will miss it dearly, especially since it was only a few minutes away from my house.

With that said, I have invested in a lot of books. I think I lost count around 60 (if you think I'm kidding, come to my house and look at my bookshelf- and the pile of receipts from the past two months). What does that mean for you? A lot of Literary Thursday blogs in the foreseeable future. I already have six or seven books ready to review, but to not overwhelm my readers, I will post each review one at at time (since I tend to be more descriptive when reviewing books). Enjoy the first of many reviews coming in the next several weeks!

"On Writing" by Stephen King

Stephen King has written a part-biography/ part resourceful novel that explores the art of writing. He divides the novel into many parts: his childhood/early start in writing, struggling to establish himself as a writer, advice/useful tips for any aspiring writer, and how he was able to pick himself back up from a near-fatal car accident in 1999.

Well, I am 27 years old and have never read a novel by Stephen King... until now. I'd say I picked the perfect first novel for me to read. Yes, I am aware that this is not one of his infamous fiction stories, but it was exactly what I needed to read several weeks ago. I became a fan of his writing when I read his columns in Entertainment Weekly. They were funny, well written, and made me realize that I am as much of a pop culture geek as him. I also realized that one of my top 10 favorite movies is based on one of his short stories (The Shawshank Redemption). Anyway, about the novel...

I loved how Mr. King explained certain aspects of his adolescence and how they contributed to his writing (and to future characters). While reading it, I caught myself reminiscing about how my passion for writing developed over the years. Then, when he explained the struggles of raising a family while struggling as a writer, I was able to relate what he went through.

My favorite part of the book (which also had a huge impact on me) was his section about the art of writing. I took so many things he discussed to heart and have already applied them toward my writing/lifestyle. The most important thing he said was that if you do not have time to read, then you do not have time to write. Reading is a key element to writing because you constantly see how sentences are structured, how conversations between characters are executed, and it helps with your imagination when it's time to write something. Adverbs will never look the same after reading this book. I promise.

I recommend this book for any writer out there. He has a lot of good advice and he makes it entertaining, unlike reading a textbook on writing skills. It's personal and educational... the best of both worlds. Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

See you guys next week!