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Essay on Stephen King's Guidebook: On Writing

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Stephen King’s “On Writing,” is a memoir of the author’s experiences as a writer and serves as a guidebook for those who choose to enter the craft of writing. Stephen King writes about his childhood and young adulthood, relating stories that made him the writer he has become. Stephen King then moves into the mechanics of writing, offering advice and insight into a successful career that has worked so well for him but remains distant for thousands of others.
“On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft” is not written in the traditional textbook format. The structure of this book works as an educational tool is because it offers a personal look at how writing has affected one successful novelist's life. Each section of the book contains something important about the craft of writing. The book also includes a great deal of about the personal impact writing has had on Stephen King's life.
In the First Forward, Stephen King looked to his peer Amy Tan for a justifiable reason to work on this piece of non-fiction. Amy replied, “No one ever asks about the language.” King states, "What follows is an attempt to put down, briefly and simply, how I came to the craft, and what I know about it now, and how it's done. It's about the day job; it's about the language." (xiv). As a successful novelist, King has lived the experiences that a writer would not only like to learn from, but perhaps live someday. Discovering how success happened to someone that the aspiring writer might admire makes the dream seem more real, almost attainable. This success as a writer makes Stephen King an expert on this subject, thus making his perspective authoritative.
The base of non-fiction writing is research. In a soc...


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...s educational system on traditionalism that focuses on fluency, appreciation, and comprehension. King states, “no one can be as intellectually slothful as a really smart person” (138). As a whole we are “creatures of habit”, thus resisting changes in the traditional sphere of academics. King uses his spin on popular culture to engage future readers and inspire the next generation of writers. “Some of this book—perhaps too much—has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it—and perhaps the best of it—is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will.” (King 269-270). “On Writing” is a poignant, educated, and inspiring book, a book that is sure to help hundreds of struggling writers and will motivate others who may pick up the book not for inspiration, but mere curiosity.


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