On Writing Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of On Writing

The first half of King's book is not about writing. The reader is opened up to a new side of Stephen King--the child he once was, the life he lived growing up, the person he has become over the years.
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King relates how he began writing as a child, making his own novel version of a horror film he saw, and selling copies of the book at school (which he got in trouble for).

But he kept on trying to make his writing pay off. For several years he wrote a serial story for his brother's homemade newspaper called "Dave's Rag." And eventually, with the encouragement of his mother, he began sending stories to magazines.

After a fairly lengthy biographical section, King goes on to talk about the craft of writing. He covers some of the basics that are obvious to some of us, but not worth rehashing for many of us. But he also covers less obvious matters such as style, and encourages his readers to give writing a try if they really have the desire and the ability.

King finishes with a chapter about the time he was hit by a van while taking his walk. He describes what he remembers about the accident, and what he was told about what he didn't remember. And he tells about how he overcame the difficulties and kept on writing.
The review of this Book prepared by Megan E. Davis

This is a first hand account of what Stephen King went through during his life becoming a writer. It is honest and touching. It shows his dedication payed off, and suggests that the reader can do the same. I also have the audio version read by King himself. I play it and get re-motivated everytime I hear him speak.
The review of this Book prepared by Juanita Chronowski

His horrific plots aside, Stephen King is very good company on the page: sensible, good humored, honest. In this book he presents a brief tale of his life leading up to his first bestselling books, devotes a long middle section to pointers and advice to the aspiring writer, and finishes up with a description of the accident (hit by a weaving van while strolling down a country road) that almost took his life in the summer of 1999. Most of his advice to would-be writers will be familiar to those who have read and talked with other established scribblers, but it is all offered in a pleasant, good-spirited fashion.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Stephen King reveals his life, feelings, and thoughts in "On Writing". He also takes the opportunity to take the reader into the elusive world of being a literary author, offering pointers and advice to guide newcomers into the craft.
The review of this Book prepared by Kevin P. Grover

Chapter Analysis of On Writing

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   writer Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Phys disability/mental struggle?    -   Yes Struggle with    -   alcohol Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   1 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   encouraged    -   like laughing Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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