Stephen King: On Writing


Stephen King: On Writing!


                    I have never really followed Stephen King before reading this book. I've heard of him my whole life. I never bothered to check him out. I knew that Stephen King was a successful, superstar writer who published many, many novels and some of those novels have become classic Hollywood films. For some strange reason, possibly due to the bombardment of distractions everywhere, I still never check him out. Sometime last year, I read an article somewhere where Stephen King criticized James Paterson publicly, calling him a "terrible writer". I thought that was a low thing to do and that's something rappers do to each other, not respected novelists. That further made me lose interest in checking him out. Prior to this website, I was not an avid reader. Actually, I am still not an avid reader. Sure, I have always been an avid writer but not an avid reader. Let's fast forward, 2017, February, I entered this essay contest on The Writer hoping to win $1,000 and to have my essay published in their June 2017 issue. If my essay wins, which I am confident it will, I will also post it on this website for y'all to read. Anyway, back to the story, I wrote and rewrote my essay several times. Even though I am confident in my writing abilities, I still attended an essay-writing webinar and took an essay writing course from The Great Courses Plus, for three weeks. During that period, I purchased an e-book by Ernest Hemingway called "On Writing" (which I will post a review for next week) and that book led me to Stephen King's book "On Writing". I ended up purchasing both books using the Amazon credits I earned, by scanning receipts on ReceiptPal. I read Ernest's book first and Stephen King's second. I ended up reading and re-reading that book more than once, matter fact, once a week I revisit this book. It's become a biblical book on the craft and mechanics of writing.

Advice from The King!
                   I visited the book several times during my writing process and I cannot deny that Stephen King's "On Writing" had an influence on my essay- which was an essay about the process of writing and the lifestyle of a writer. I titled the essay "Writers are Demigods" and listed Stephen King as one of the demigods of writing. What is a demigod? The classical explanation would be that a demigod is someone who is half-god and half-human. This concept was very popular in ancient mythologies and it went nearly extinct with the domination of monotheistic religions- though not entirely extinct. In the Abrahamic religions we have several human beings who became like gods, and sanctified but there was only one demigod and that was Jesus Christ- the god who was born as a man. What if we saw Jesus instead, as someone who was a man first and then became god. How about, we change the definition of a demigod and call it what it really is? Humanity. Human beings are animals who possess what could only be described as godly abilities to other humans and to animals, if they understood our capacities. We were able to fly out to space, something no other animals, not even birds have done. We were able to explore the deepest oceans, something no modern terrestrial animal had been able to do. We succeeded in mapping out the whole world, creating technology, speaking to someone thousands of miles away using a small electronic device. We can speak to millions of people without being physically in front of them. Most importantly, we have the ability to write. Human beings are the only animals on Earth to discover, develop and exploit the art of writing. We have turned it into a form of communication, replacing it and interchanging it with verbal communication. We have an ability that is so powerful, so gigantic, so complex that no other animals possess, which therefore is a godly ability and we are the ones with the paper, pencil, pen or keyboard. We are demigods but as far as writing is concerned, Stephen King is a demigod. Some people have conquered it and codified it for others to conquer and codify further. Stephen King is one of those masters who conquered, exploited and enhanced the craft of writing and was kind enough to give us a manual to teach us to conquer it ourselves too. Therefore, Stephen King is a demigod in the world of writing.

Some writing advice from The King!

                    I am quite sure that consciously or subconsciously that he is aware of it. Great people are not stupid, they are aware of their greatness in the fields that they dedicate their lives to. Michael Jordan is well-aware of Michael Jordan, Pele knows what he means to Brazil and soccer. These people know. Stephen King knows what he means to the world of literature. He made it bigger, he added more entertainment to it, he bridged the gap between novels and Hollywood (I am by no means claiming that he is the only one). Despite all this, Stephen King wrote the book not in a boastful way or with the arrogance that I thought he had but from a place of pure love and appreciation for the art form. He stated in his Foreword (The first of three) that what he was doing was "an attempt to put down, briefly and simply, how I came to the craft, what I know about it now, and how it's done. It's about the day job; it's about the language." and demonstrated further humility by stating: "This book is dedicated to Amy Tan, who told me in a very simple and direct way that it was okay to write it." The evocation of demigod is never present and what we have here is the human being with a human experience on a mission to simplify the god-given ability to write and break it down in a very mechanical way: The ins and outs of writing. Similar to a chef in a cooking class, a mechanic teaching his apprentice how to fix cars. People who become sanctified by marrying themselves with one of the god-like abilities of humanity. In the second foreword, Stephen King emphasizes his intention to make the book as simple as possible and as most relevant as possible to the craft of writing. The third foreword is about the power of the editor and he even speaks very highly of them, in a similar manner that I am speaking very highly of Stephen King.

                                        Top 10 rules for success from The King!

                   The book then begins, it begins with an interested memoir about Stephen King's earliest introduction to writing and what it was about Writing that captivated him. I think Stephen King wasn't trying to get biographical on the reader, he meant to capture the spiritual esoteric power of Writing and how it moves the writer, because as he himself states: "The writer is the first reader" for the reader to be moved, the author must be moved first. This is a long chapter (even though it's a short book, which we love here at Ray's Book Club) for a small book. From there, Stephen King sticks to his word and the book gets mechanical but interesting from there- breaking down the techniques of writing. The chapter "What Writing Is" he teaches aspiring writers what to keep in mind during the writing process and how to understand this great power. The chapter "Toolbox" lists all the accessories (interior and exterior) that writers should utilize and exploit. The chapter "On Writing" is a long chapter that illustrate the amount of sacrifice, discipline and dedication a writer must have for his craft. The rest of the book is a combination of writing techniques, personal experiences, memoir writing, recommendations (many of his recommendations, we will post right here at Ray's Book Club). The book is a gem in the literary world and the first book that we will review here. We are eternally thankful for him writing this book. I have gained a lot of respect and reverence for Stephen King and we will read all of his books and the books he recommended for us here at Ray's Book Club. Thank you for reading this book review in its entirety and I invite you to purchase his book on the link here: Stephen King: On Writing! 

                                                                                        - Sincerely Yours,
                                                                                          Ray's Book Club.

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  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 10 Anv edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439156816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439156810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces 
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews
  • Link to Purchase Book: Stephen King: On Writing!






  1. Great review man!
    I want to see more from The King!
    - Felipe.

  2. Good Review. I never read his books but watched all his movies. Love them all.

  3. It was very inspiring to read this article. Please keep writing great things like you are because I really am appreciate it.


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