Rating: 5/5 stars.
This is a fantastic book about writing – recommended to me by numerous friends and acquaintances, it did not disappoint. With most nonfiction I feel as if I do not really need to remember every detail or fact listed, but with On Writing I wish that I could. It offers an abundance of useful advice that would do any writer much good, regardless of age or experience.
At first I felt unsettled by the anecdotes – when I began the novel, I expected something like “writing = grammar + salesmanship” or something formulaic. Needless to say, King razed that assumption rather easily. His personal approach to the book enhanced its effect on the reader. Instead of reading a writer’s manual, it was like I listened to a person sitting across the table, telling me his story.
I loved the grammar section too. I have already violated some of the things he stated (see: don’t use adverbs). One major rule I’ve taken from this book is to be concise. That is one of my problem areas, and through reading this book I’ve realized how much better succinct writing can be.
I wish all nonfiction was this enjoyable. Note that I also have broken the passive voice vs. active voice rule in this review. I mean, how are you supposed to write with active voice in a book review? “This book spoke volumes to me. It taught me many things. Some of them were.. etc.” Wait, that wasn’t so hard. Never mind.