Jun30

On Writing by Stephen King – Book Review

There is a reason why On Writing by Stephen King is a recommended read for all indie authors.

No matter if you love or hate Stephen King’s work, there is something magical imbued into the words of On Writing. It’s not necessarily a book that will teach you how to write, nor is it a book about writing theory, but it does have the potential to open your mind to new ideas.

On Writing is Stephen King’s personal experiences with the writing process. He describes how he writes and how he edits, but not through step-by-step instruction. Instead, he leads us through his childhood and adult life. In each era, he details the moments that influenced him most as an author. If you’re hoping for lesson plans or mechanical how-to manuals, you will be sorely disappointed.

On Writing is a memoir, not a manual, of Stephen King’s life.

Does he share some great tips on craft itself? Yes he does. Is it just about the craft? No it is not. Honestly, because so many Youtube videos and blog articles have covered this, I am not going to discuss what writing tips he shares. If you want to know the specifics, read the book or google a top ten list, his tips always come up.

Instead, what I want to talk about is what you, an indie author, would potentially get out of reading this book.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that On Writing is gospel for pantsers and an insult to plotters. King is famous for telling interviewers that you don’t need to outline, you just need your imagination. But I will warn you pantsers out there, this book might reaffirm your writing style, but it doesn’t mean you can pull it off as easily as he can. I should know, because I was one.

I preferred writing without an outline. If given a choice, I would prefer pantsing over outlining any day of the week.

But as I learned from publishing my first two books, writing without an outline is like transcribing dreams into words. Sometimes they’re coherent, and sometimes they are pure gibberish.

My pantsing style led me to performing massive rewrites on almost all of my novels. I would write myself into dead ends and contrived plot situations because I didn’t know what to do next. Writing without an outline could lead you to scenes that don’t advance the plot or create character depth. As a result, the last book I tried to pants ended up delayed by three years.

Nowadays, I’ve evolved into a hybrid plotter/pantser. I will outline the general structure of the story, identify the villains, themes, and key plot points. Then I will pants scenes in order to figure out if the scene is interesting and fun to read. Or, I’ll do it to fill in gaps in my outline where I couldn’t think of what is supposed to happen next.

What this book will do is give you a peek into how the most prolific author of our lifetime goes about creating his novels.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of his work or hate it, On Writing will teach you something about what it takes to be a writer. Life experiences, reading a variety of books, writing as frequently as you can, obstacles, all these ingredients are needed to master your craft.

And I know Stephen King is a master of his craft because he made me cry while reading On Writing.

Somewhere between the middle and end of the book, King discusses the death of his mother. But this is a book about writing. And for the most part, King stuck to the theme. So how would a story of his mother’s passing make me cry?

I hadn’t noticed that throughout the beginning of the book, King told us the important things his mother did for him. When he tried to write comics or stories as a kid, his mother would buy them and read them and encourage him to write more. Whenever he aspired for sports, she gave him a reality check and told him he was better suited for writing than Basketball. After all, he was practically blind without his glasses.

So when the time finally came for his mother to pass. King included a quote that left me devastated.

“My boys.”

I dare anyone, who has a loving mother, not to cry after reading that passage.

In truth, On Writing is a story, and a good one. Not only does King tell you his personal tips on crafting a story, but he shows it to you by leading you through the book with his life experiences.

I wholeheartedly believe that this book is a must-read for any new authors looking to jump in. It’s not going to teach you everything you need to know about writing, but it will give you an idea of where to start.

My only suggestion is to ignore King’s advice on adverbs. He says not to use them and then proceeds to use them. Which, I think, illustrates the point he’s trying to make in this book perfectly.

Use whatever advice works for you. Break the rules only when you fully understand what the rules are.

I give On Writing by Stephen King . . .

5 Stars.


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A Bitter Winter – The Silver Ninja book 1

A Bitter Winter – The Silver Ninja book 1

$14.99 [Paperback] | $26.00 [Hardcover]eBook: $6.00
Author:
Series: The Silver Ninja, Book 1
Genres: Action Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Superheroes, Urban Contemporary
Publisher: Silver Pencil Books
Publication Year: 2018
Format: Paperback | E-Book | Hardcover
Length: Novel
ASIN: B07DD8GFMV
ISBN: 9781732221307

A disgraced cop takes matters into her own hands when the murderer who killed her partner comes after her family. To stop him, Cindy Ames fuses with a prototype suit and transforms herself into a superhero.

But the suit has a mind of its own and is determined to execute its hidden agenda.

The puppet has become the master, and the hero has become the monster.

Super powers can save a city but break a hero.

A Bitter Winter is book 1 of The Silver Ninja series.

Buy now!
About the Book
The ultimate weapon is a woman with a vengeance. In this action packed superhero fantasy, the powerless becomes the powerful. As the Manhattan snow fell on her shoulders, Cindy Ames stared in disbelief at her bloodstained hands. Her fingers ached from violence. All she wanted was revenge for what happened to her sister. She stole a prototype suit and absorbed its incredible power. With it, she tore through criminals and terrorists in search for the killer who ruined her life. But something went horribly wrong. The red liquid pooling in her hands didn’t belong to her or the criminals. The suit has taken control of her mind and is using her body to fulfill its own purposes. The puppet has become the master, and the hero has become the monster. Can she regain control before she takes another innocent life? “It’s refreshing to read about a character (especially a female superhero), who isn’t perfect and has actual problems she must overcome.” – Kitiera Morey, Author of Meant to Bleed. “Wilmar Luna has taken the usual superhero saga and deconstructed it, shattering any expectations of the ordinary lawful good hero. Cindy isn’t quite an anti-hero, but she is certainly not playing things by the rules.” – Valerie, Cats luv Coffeez blogspot. Curious if this is the right book for you? Read a sample chapter and see for yourself!   A Bitter Winter 2018 promo artwork by Alexander Chelyshev

Wilmar Luna

Couldn't be a superhero in real life so he decided to write his own. When he's not creating empowered female characters he can be found watching films, reading books, and playing lots of video games.
Buy his books here: https://www.thesilverninja.com/purchase/
Wilmar Luna
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About the Author
Wilmar Luna

From the time he put on Superman pajamas and leapt off a flight of stairs, Wilmar Luna has been captivated by stories of heroes saving the day. As he grew older, his fascination with 90's pop culture, video games, and movies filled his overactive imagination with fantastical worlds and legendary heroes.

He found an outlet for his creativity by studying video editing and motion graphics design at Mercer County Community College. After graduating in 2008, he freelanced throughout New York City and has edited numerous indie films, freelanced for the NFL, and also worked with the cinematics team at Rockstar Games. He assisted with the launch of Grand Theft Auto V and was also involved in the creation of cutscenes for Red Dead Redemption 2.

After years of watching his name scroll in other people’s credits (please don’t remove me), Wilmar wanted to develop his own projects and ideas. He decided that if he wanted to tell stories of empowered female characters, paranormal detectives, and ghost stories, he would have to venture off on his own.

Wilmar published his first novel in 2012 and his second in 2014. He also published several horror short stories on Wattpad, as well as concept ideas for a gothic fantasy novel. In 2018, Wilmar completed his novel The Silver Ninja: A Bitter Winter, fulfilling his childhood dream to create an empowered, independent, brand new superheroine for a generation of readers hungry for new stories.

For updates on his latest projects, please visit https://thesilverninja.com or follow him on Twitter @WilmarLuna.

Look Inside
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wilmar Luna

Couldn't be a superhero in real life so he decided to write his own. When he's not creating empowered female characters he can be found watching films, reading books, and playing lots of video games.
Buy his books here: https://www.thesilverninja.com/purchase/
Wilmar Luna

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