Reddit Reddit reviews On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

We found 88 Reddit comments about On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
writing advice from horror-meistro Stephen King, a fine softcover
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88 Reddit comments about On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft:

u/speaksonlythetruth · 31 pointsr/asoiaf

If you haven't already you should check out On Writing by King. It's incredibly fascinating and gives a brilliant insight into him, how he writes and moreover his process behind it, his absolute revulsion at adverbs, coming up with ideas, advice for beginner authors, etc. It also contains a postscript about his accident (he was hit while he was writing it and it was the first book he finished after it when he thought he might never be able to write again) and how it effected his writing.

And, of course, it's pretty well written too. Informal, pretty short, and very interesting especially when he goes through early drafts of his work (like 1408, indeed he even wrote that short story for this book to be an example) and explains his reasoning behind things, why he cut certain things, put things in, changed things (like changing Ostermeyer to Olin - because it shortened his story by 15 lines and he realized that in the audiobook he'd be better off saying Olin a lot instead of repeating Ostermeyer!), etc.

Would recommend.

u/clifwith1f · 16 pointsr/books

They are all national bestsellers. Everyone should read On Writing, as it is very barebones and no BS when it comes to getting into writing. In fact, it's inspiring in almost any endeavor one wishes to pursue. Highly recommend it.

As far as his fiction, I'm partial to his Different Seasons collection which includes Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil and The Body (of which the movie version is Stand By Me).

u/helltoad · 11 pointsr/AskLiteraryStudies
u/likesdarkcoffee · 9 pointsr/japanlife

I'm a software engineer here. I made mediocre money with 10+ years of experience. I freelance now, make less but do things on my own terms

Programming in Japan is not what it is in the U.S. or other tech hubs around the world. You're more likely to make 4 - 7 million / year ( roughly 40 - 70K USD ) instead of the starting 8 - 9 million yen ( 90K ) / year in the U.S. Entry level in Japan is both competitive and hard to get (IMO). There are a lot of talented junior engineers or soon to be engineers so the market isn't really in need of them. It's mid - senior positions that are obtainable.

I also fancy myself an amateur writer, but could never go through what Steven King details in his book, "On Writing." Reading every moment and writing 8+ hours a day just sounds daunting.

If you really do want to get into programming, I would bank on your personality, language skills, and tenacity to get you a job vs. your programming skills. My recommendations:

- Start going to dev meetups and make some friends. People are often the best way into a good position. Finding a mentor is good, too.

- Put 40+ hours into a personal project that you show off to people. Could be a command line utility or some sort of web application that makes your life better.

- Start practicing with You should aim to solve easy problems in less than 45 minutes. Don't let "easy" fool you, optimal solutions are difficult. You'll need to start studying CS concepts to get through them.

u/MichaelRHouston · 9 pointsr/Screenwriting

Welcome to the community! Happy to see a new face join in; I'm a little new to reddit myself, but, I've got a few places and lessons that have helped me develop my craft in a major way.

  1. You don't need film school to be a filmmaker. Period. The only things you need are an idea, the ability to make the time develop it, and the passion to see your project through to any kind of distribution. Actually, coming from an IT background might put you in a better position than many of us; some of the more customizable screenwriting tools like Scrivener could benefit from an understanding of coding so as to make the program truly your own. Never feel like just because someone has a degree in the field that they are somehow more qualified to tell a story than you; write, write honestly, and write often. Those are the only prerequisites.

  2. I recommend two books as primary sources: Story by Robert McKee and The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier. The former is for actual story development and the latter is the only formatting book you'll ever need. These books were very formative for me, but, it still takes a lot of practice to master the craft; above all things said in these books, nothing replaces sitting down and just writing. That first draft will be rough, because it is for everyone. To keep yourself grounded when it feels like it's impossible to save your current draft, I read Stephen King's On Writing. This book, while not directly related to screenwriting, is one of the most inspiring books I've ever read. It's so much more than just instruction, it's an honest memoir that is meant to speak to the writing process and its tribulations. I cannot recommend it enough.

  3. For free blogs, I recommend for anything screenwriting. His prose is fantastic, and always a joy to read, and most of his blogs actually center on aspects of screenplays oft neglected by theory and craft books.

  4. Video Essays are a mixed bag. Some channels are fantastic and consistently informative, like Lessons From The Screenplay (YouTube). Others are designed to hook you in to a watch loop; which is dangerous when you're starting out as a writer. It's recommended to disengage and recharge your batteries with these between writing sessions, but, be careful not to over-indulge. The worst thing you can do is get caught up in criticisms of other works and neglect creating your own.

  5. There are dozens of legitimate options for screenwriting software, each with their own merits and drawbacks. Final Draft is the (expensive) industry standard, Fade In is an emergent favorite among some circles, Celtx is web-hosted freeware, and Scrivener is a robust and intimidating toolbox with nigh-infinite possibilities. At the end of the day, it will not matter what you use, just the efficiency at which you write with it. Experiment. Try each one when you have the ability to use their trials. Decide for yourself, because no one can be certain they'll love any particular software over another.

  6. Finally, read screenplays! It is so under-spoken how much reading produced speculative scripts (meaning scripts that were sold for production) will help your writing. My personal favorite screenplay is Bill Lancaster's second draft of The Thing (1981 for the draft, 1982 for the final film). Study how the characters interact with one another, the situations their own paranoia brings them to, and how the author creates mystery through ambitious writing. Just as in the final film, Lancaster is able to evoke unease in the reader by scene set-up and bare-bones character conflicts. It differs wildly from the film at many points, and arguably would have been a worse film had it been produced verbatim. It's a perfect example of how the first, or even the second, draft will not be the end of things; you will ALWAYS rewrite, and that is a god send! Your script may become a classic in the third or fourth draft, but you'll never know if you're satisfied with the first.

    Welcome to the craft. If you want some coverage on your draft, I'd love to give feedback once you're ready. Cheers!
u/kbhthrkk · 8 pointsr/writing

Can't tell if this is a sarcastic jab at the lack of capitalization of the book's title, or if you couldn't see the title of the book in the corner. If it's the latter, it's a nice read!

u/RyanO44 · 8 pointsr/todayilearned

In his book "On Writing" he goes into detail about his life, his habits, addictions, etc that led him to his creations. It also shined some light on just making things simple. To write something how you say it. It's one of my favorite books, highly recommend.

u/PCBlue22 · 8 pointsr/writing

I tried reading your first paragraph aloud; it felt like my mouth was full of thumbtacks.

Climbing out and onto the fire escape two stories above the food vendors of the sixth district of the city, Moonrow, the street food's scent made him instantly hungry and the harsh sounds of the busy night below somehow relaxed him.

What is the subject of this sentence? The street food's scent? The scent appears to be climbing onto a fire escape? You're stuffing too much shit into one sentence. He climbed onto the fire escape, and he smelled food, the smell made him hungry, and he heard the city, and the sound relaxed him, somehow.

He sat on the metal steps leading to the apartments above and watched the people move in between the rusted bars below his feet.

Is it important that the words "above" and "below" fit in the same sentence? This is awkward. Again, trying to stuff action and description into the same sentence.

The Sixth was the mutually agreed upon best place to be on weekends like tonight, and because of that every district throughout the city was represented.

This should be two sentences, or at least attacked with a semicolon. And this is telling, not showing. And "mutually agreed upon" is an awful way of saying "considered."

I respect that you're trying to get into writing. Continue writing. And study the basics:

The Elements of Style

On Writing

Later, if you're serious, get into a workshop full of people who are much better than you, who will openly tell you when your work is bad and that you should feel bad.

u/H_G_Bells · 8 pointsr/writing

Hello and welcome!

There is a helpful FAQ in the side bar. I'd recommend reading some books on writing, such as On Writing and Characters and Viewpoint. You can definitely get published without a degree (my sci-fi book is coming out in a few months, hurray!) but you do need to put the time in to learn what you're doing, formally or informally.

My best advice is to write, a lot, and keep writing.


u/alexanderwales · 8 pointsr/rational

Writing Excuses is a great podcast that covers a lot of important concepts.

I'm a big follower of Sanderson's First, Second, and Third laws of magic.

Stephen King's On Writing is one of the only books that I'd recommend on the subject. There are a ton of books about how to write well, but don't read too many of them, because at some point you're doing the equivalent of buying a bunch of running shoes and never actually putting them on to go jog around the block.

Dan Harmon's Story Circle Method is my preferred method of structuring stories; it's a prescriptivist version of Joseph Campbell's descriptivist The Hero with a Thousand Faces. (Glimwarden's plot is structured as story circles within story circles within story circles next to story circles.)

Also, /u/daystareld and I will be putting out a podcast in the next few weeks, "Rationally Writing", which is about writing rationally, so keep an eye on that.

My number one advice is to read a lot and write a lot, and do both of those with an analytical mindset. Break things down to see how they work and why they work, or in some cases why they fail. If you need help getting into an analytical mindset, try reading some in-depth criticism of something that you like or are at least familiar with. (Though they're not about writing, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud and the Youtube channel Every Frame a Painting were both things that influenced how I think about telling stories.)

Edit: Oh, also TV Tropes, which is itself a form of multimedia criticism.

u/hgbleackley · 7 pointsr/writing

I plot out the major arcs of both the story and the characters. I make sure to nail down the essentials of what is happening when, as well as developing a good understanding of my character motivations.

For me, a lot of planning involves just taking the time to mull over the themes I want to work with, or explore questions I want to raise. This involves asking a lot of questions to everyone I know, everyone I meet. It makes for great party conversations!

It takes a few months, during which time I'll also explore what's already been written/said about what I'm hoping to do. I look at similar movies and books, anything at all that's already been produced that has themes or topics similar to what I'm developing.

I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books.

As a concrete example, my most recent novel is about what would happen if everyone in the world stopped sleeping.

I spent months asking everyone I knew what the longest was that they stayed awake. I also read pretty much the only comparable thing on the topic, a fictional novel called "Sleepless" by Charlie Huston. I also read articles on sleep and neuroscience, as well as watched TED talks and other related videos.

Then I conducted a sleep-deprivation experiment on myself. I wanted to know what it would be like to not sleep. (I am a wuss and didn't make it that long- I need sleep more than the average bear apparently!)

This novel is in the style of World War Z (early title: World War ZZZ, huehuehue) and so it involved a lot of characters. Too many to keep track of in my brain, unaided.

I had index cards for each one, as well as drafts notes (using Scrivener- hurrah!). I got really comfortable with character creation. I read Stephen King's On Writing and O.S. Card's Characters and Viewpoint.

I was able to craft an overarching narrative by determining which characters would inject the story with which elements, and placing them where they needed to be. They got moved around a bit as I went on, but throughout I was very aware of the overall flow of the work.

Through careful planning, the actual writing (80,000 words) only took about seven weeks. I am a machine when it comes to word output, if I've done my (months and months of) homework. A second draft saw a lot of that cut, and more added in to bring it up to 86,000 words in three weeks of the hardest work of my life.

For me, planning is super important. If I don't plan well enough, I waste days. Days where my story goes off the rails, or my characters do things which don't make sense.

It's wonderful to see some things happen more fluidly, and I've had lovely surprises this way, but I always stop and think about if that is really what I want to be doing before I proceed.

I hope this long winded reply answers your question. I do enjoy sharing this sort of thing, and I hope it helps other writers do what they love to do.

u/anywhereness · 6 pointsr/digitalnomad

I recently read a book by Steven King called "On Writing: Memoir of the Craft" which has some realistic advice on how to deal with rejection, especially for fiction.

Maybe you're just writing to the wrong audience? Maybe it's better to avoid the bottom of the barrel? I can't say, but $15 an article sounds like slave labor to me.

u/Kalranya · 6 pointsr/FATErpg

I think this is another one of those "actor-audience" versus "actor-writer" things. The powers might appear random to the characters, and if you're in actor-audience mode, that means you feel like it should be random to the players as well. But that's not how Fate works; you have to take a step back from being purely a participant and assume some aspects of the creator's mantle in order to get the most out of the game, and I think a lot of people trip over that, since it's exactly the opposite of what most RPGs encourage you do to.

...which I suppose is all a long-winded way of saying that the best Fate resource books I own are this and this.

u/dice145 · 6 pointsr/Journalism

Well, the obvious answer would be to read this:

Elements of Style

But Stephen King's On Writing is well respected (I'm reading it now, and it's told in a narrative. It doesn't feel like taking your medicine, if you're worried about getting bored.)

If you're looking for examples of quality writing that translate well into journalism, anything by Hemingway would be a good investment.

u/Menzopeptol · 5 pointsr/writing

I don't think you can beat On Writing. And you can always adapt suggestions/rules from screenwriting if fiction's your thing. Other than that, check out Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules for Good Writing.

Or think about what your favorite authors do, and have a long think about what you can do differently/more fitting to your you-ness. That's what I started off with, and I've had a few pieces published.

Edit: Linkage.

u/dpowers7 · 5 pointsr/writing

He's just... a badass. I loved It, need to re-read it someday soon. King has a way of creating a vacuum when the front cover is opened, you just find yourself turning pages. I've often felt that this is necessary sorcery.. The black art of tricking a reader into getting themselves ensnared. Like a Chinese finger-trap, you can resist, but it will just get tighter.

Also, for anyone who missed it. Stephen King wrote (in my opinion) one of the best pieces available for other writers, titled On Writing.

u/RedJetta · 5 pointsr/writing

These are the sources I would use if I were to give a class on writing. Totaling out at about fifteen bucks if you don't mind used books or, you could go online and find a PDF I'm sure.

This book is widely considered the holy bible for logophiles.

Do that first, practice the core conceptsas you go along, then read this.

and lastly, since you're interested in fiction, I would read this.

The take away is understanding, so don't just skim if you can help it. Meanwhile, I'd write short stories. (aim for about 2-3k words at first) Monthly, one hundred words a day and keep at it for three-four months. See how you improve and such along the way and then, increase your goals. two hundred words a day. One story instead of different short stories.
*The most important thing is setting a goal for yourself and seeing it through to the end.

u/written_in_dust · 5 pointsr/DestructiveReaders

Welcome to RDR! Congratulations on publishing your first thing for critique, it's a big step as a writer.

Disclaimer: The usual - I'm just an amateur like most people here, take my comments (and everyone elses) with a healthy helping of salt, pick the comments that resonate with you. You're the writer, not us.

Disclaimer 2: You're a special snowflake, because you get a second disclaimer that nobody else gets :) I have to admit I feel a bit uncomfortable critiquing a submission about suicide if you tell me upfront that the guy who told you it was good was your psych. I'll just assume that you didn't come here to hear the fluffy duffy "things get better" stuff, so i'll just focus on what you wrote, and give you my blunt impressions as a reader, same as I would with anyone else.


I think you're an asshole for being able to write this well at 15yo. Shit man, the stuff I wrote at that age was nowhere near this. So yeah, good job in general. There's plenty of room to polish and learn to improve, but I would say you have definitely got talent, and if you develop it well you can build yourself up into an awesome writer. Don't underestimate how long that takes though - people sometimes forget that a guy like George RR Martin had been writing professionally every day of his life for 25 years by the time Game of Thrones came out.

Every now and then there will be people on r/writing asking for tips on how to become a better writer, read some of the tips there, like the responses to this guy's thread. As resources, I would definitly recommend Brandon Sanderson's lectures on youtube, Stephen King's book, and the Writing Excuses podcast.


I'm not the intended audience for this. I'm a 34yo with 3 kids, I've had my teenage angst years and I'm glad I'm past them. I'm also glad facebook and whatsapp weren't around when I was your age. I liked the quality of your prose and the overall style. I didn't enjoy the 2nd person POV (more on that in a second), and I wasn't a big fan of the ending. Some parts got a bit repetitive, and I found the story a bit lacking in interactions. That is, what makes a character in a story interesting is the interactions with other characters or explorations into the setting; we got very little of that here, and spend most of the story inside his head.


Okay, let's talk about the big one here: you choose to write this piece in the 2nd person. Writing in 2nd isn't easy, and there are not many people doing it. Most people nowadays write in a tight 3rd person limited POV. This article has some good insights into the effects of writing in 2nd person.

For me, 3rd person allows us to empathize with a certain character, and go through their emotions by mental association. But 2nd person more or less forces the emotions down my throat. When you write something like this:

> You laugh at yourself. “Oh wow, you really fucked this one up man… priceless”

That doesn't work for me, because my psyche rejects it like a bad transplant. It's like you're forcing me to feel those emotions, and it feels dishonest because I don't feel that. But if you tell me in 1st or tight 3rd person about somebody else who does genuinely feel that, chances are very good that I will empathize by association.


> “Fuck it. If I’m going to die before the next time I wake up, I might as well ask her out… just to see what happens.”

  • Works for me as an opening, although on a technical level the sentence can be improved.
  • I'd question whether you really need "before the next time I wake up" in there.
  • The "just to see what happens" is already more or less implied in the "might as well", so explicitly spelling that part out for us felt a bit redundant to me as a reader. But whether or not you cut that should depend a bit on your audience - in prose for a Young Adult audience, writers tend to leave stuff like that in to make it a bit more obvious to the readers, while in prose for an older audience it tends to be left implied. Basically YA books are sort of "training" the audience in this type of things, while older audiences tend to be better at filling in the blanks.
  • The sequence you chose for the "if i die - ask her out" construction is descending in tension rather than building up, which makes it less punchy. Consider flipping it around into something like "I might as well ask her out, if I'm going to die anyway." That is of course, assuming that you consider "asking her out" to be a less daunting prospect then "dying" (which you really, really should :p ).
  • There's a concept in writing called "promises" which basically mean that the start of your story more or less telegraphs to your audience what the story will be about. The start of a James Bond or Indiana Jones movie show them in full action, which tells the audience what to expect in the rest of the movie. You do this well, although my expectation after the opening line would be that the story would be about MC asking out the girl, not about MC killing himself.


    > With a push, an asphyxiation, and a squeak of wheels against bamboo floor,
    > You end it.

  • So the main character dies. Too bad, I was just associating with this guy.
  • For me as a writer, this felt like the easy way out of the story (I don't mean to imply that suicide is the easy way out of whatever problem, that's a whole different can of worms which I am not equipped to have an opinion on, I mean this just from a writing point of view as a way of resolving the story here).
  • The "asphyxiation" is too on-the-nose in my opinion, too much rubbing it in our faces. We know quite well what's happening and don't need it spelled out for us. Trust your audience to fill in the blanks, your writing will be better for it.
  • Same with "You end it." It's not needed, the previous sentence implies it.
  • So a simplification could be something like "With a push, the wheels squeak against the bamboo floor.

    (more to come in part 2, gotta run to a meeting now, will continue this evening)
u/ekofromlost · 4 pointsr/stopdrinking

I recently read Stephen King's "On Writing: a memoir of the craft" and It's very biographical. He tell his story about booze and how It affected his life and writing. It's an awesome book. Read it. You are not the first one to face these things.
Also. It seems like you have 97 meetings to go to, and 20 mile weeks, too.
Run it off. It helps a lot. Good luck on the race! Cheers.

u/InkKnight · 4 pointsr/writing

Allow me to help on a few notes, listen if you want

  1. Asking people for stories isn't really a great way to find a good story. If people have a good story, they can probably write one themselves. If it's not a good story that they'd want to write... then why would you want the crappy story? It's also lazy and won't help you yourself build a good story, that's part of being a writer.

    B. Often times your story starts with a character idea. Seriously, it doesn't even need to be the protagonist, but most of the time it will be, or the antagonist. A story doesn't need to be thought as a lego building instructions, you don't have to follow the steps from beginning to end. You could write from the middle out, just as story building you can start with a character and world build around that character. Ask yourself why this character exists. What kind of story would fit this character? What event would they be good at. Then figure out how they got there, how they are in the state they're in, and what they'll do till the end of the story.

    3 or C or the little roman numeral triple "i" thing: Stephen King made a fantastic book on writing. It's titled: On Writing: A memoir of the craft.
    Amazon has it for like 11-12 bucks, and by personal experience it's a must have in any writers arsenal from novice to expert.

    4,D,iv: Good Writing my friend
u/PatricioINTP · 4 pointsr/books

On Writing by Stephen King, a combination of auto-bio and the craft from the well known author. < 300 pages.

u/Human_Gravy · 4 pointsr/NoSleepOOC
  • Don't worry about plagiarism. Some people believe that there are only seven basic plots while others believe there are Thirty-Six basic plots. The point is that you wish to write, so go ahead and write what you wish. If it seems like someone else's works, you'll be bombarded with people telling you, "Hey, this story was similar to X, Y, Z story". Here's an example of what you are worried about. I've had 2 stories that people mistakenly thought were very similar to other sources. People thought my story called Aiden's Special Power was based on a video game called "Beyond Two Souls" which a character was named Aiden that vaguely had a similar power. I never played the game and yet managed to hit upon two common similarities despite the inspiration coming from a dream that I had and the fact that my girlfriend loves the name Aidan. The other story was Declassified: The Last Transmission which the first comment was saying that this was the ending to Pacific Rim, another movie I never watched, and the inspiration to write this was more Cthulu and monstrosities from other dimensions invading our world.

  • This is unfortunately one of the bad parts about writing online. People like to take credit for your blood, sweat, and tears. My best suggestion is to start an independent blog or website and post your stories there too. Google does it's magic and sifts through the most direction version of what you wrote. For example, I Googled my story I Have Evidence My College Covered Up A Murder and here are the results. The Top 8 results link back to either Reddit or my own Blog page. The 9th result is from another website that posted my story (without my permission) but at least they credited me as the author. It's not going to completely stop theft but at least you'll be able to curb the results in your favor.

  • There's no avoiding people attaching the Creepypasta label to your stories. That isn't a bad thing though. In fact, it might actually help. There have been a few of my stories narrated on YouTube that have reached audiences I never would have gotten. Linking back to my answer to your first question, Aiden's Special Power has 65,000 views and is considered Creepypasta. A Letter to My Future Self has 9,000 views and was read on the NoSleep Podcast. I guess what I mean to say is that you shouldn't try to push away an audience that is willing to embrace you.

  • As the common advice goes, "Read alot. Write alot". I also suggest listening to the Writing Excuses Podcast which is pretty awesome. The Round Table Podcast is awesome too. Read On Writing by Stephen King. Mostly, try to read the works by the masters of horror, Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft. Also read outside of the horror genre. You'll get ideas from places you never imagined if you combine horror with elements of something else you might be interested in.

    I hope I helped.
u/JustSomeFeedback · 4 pointsr/DestructiveReaders

Some of the best I've used:

Story by Robert McKee -- As its title indicates, this book takes a look at story construction from a more theoretical perspective. McKee works mostly in the realm of screenplays but the ideas he puts forth are universally applicable and have already helped my writing immensely -- story itself was one of the big areas where I was struggling, and after reading through this book I'm able to much better conceptualize and plan out thoughtful stories.

Stein on Writing by Sol Stein -- if McKee's book is written from a theoretical perspective, Stein's takes a practical look at how to improve writing and editing skills. The mechanics of my writing have improved after reading this book; his examples are numerous and accessible. His tone may come off as a bit elitist but that doesn't mean he doesn't have things to teach us!

On Writing by Stephen King -- A perennial favorite and one I'm sure you've already received numerous suggestions for. Kind of a mix of McKee and Stein in terms of approach, and a great place to start when studying the craft itself.

Elements of Style by Strunk & White -- King swears by this book, and although I've bought it, the spine still looks brand new. I would recommend getting this in paperback format, though, as it's truly meant to be used as a reference.

Writing Excuses Podcast -- HIGHLY recommended place to start. Led by Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells and Mary Robinette Kowal, this is one of the places I really started to dig into craft. They're at Season 13.5 now but new listeners can jump in on Season 10, where they focus on a specific writing process in each episode (everything from coming up with ideas to characterization and world building and more). Each episode is only 15(ish) minutes long. Listening to the whole series (or even the condensed version) is like going through a master class in genre fiction.

Brandon Sanderson 318R Playlist -- Professional recordings of Brandon Sanderson's BU writing class. Great stuff in here -- some crossover topics with Writing Excuses, but he is a wealth of information on genre fiction and great writing in general. Covers some of the business of writing too, but mostly focuses on craft.

Love this idea - hopefully I've sent a couple you haven't received yet!

u/bruinblue25 · 4 pointsr/books
u/gametemplar · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

If you haven't read it already, Stephen King's book On Writing offers a lot of advice. Some of it's interesting, some of it is... odd, but there are some good pointers in there. It's a decent book, as well.

u/not_thrilled · 3 pointsr/moviecritic

Constructive criticism accepted? If you're trying to live up to your blog's name, then you're succeeding. Lines like "The cinematography was pretty decent. Nothing really ground-breaking, but it was a really pleasant movie to look at during some scenes." do very little to tell your readers anything. Who was the cinematographer? Did they do anything else of note? IMDB is your friend. In this case, Spanish cinematographer Oscar Faura; probably not many American readers are familiar with his work, as I believe it's his first English-language film. Same goes for the Norwegian director Morten Tyldum. What was interesting, or can you use more evocative language? Do you understand the visual language enough to recognize and describe things like tracking shots, handheld shots, framing, lighting? "I only have one minor complaint about this movie, which is the CGI." Cut off the "which is the CGI" part. I'm pretty sure no one calls it CGI anymore (just CG), and the phrase isn't necessary because you spend the rest of the paragraph talking about that very thing. Don't sound like Perd Hapley. Remember that it's not just about your impression of the movie, but why you felt that way. And, too, that you're writing about the film, not about how you felt about it. It's your opinion, sure, but there's a balance between putting yourself on the page and putting your recommendation or lack thereof on the page - the line between being Harry Knowles or Roger Ebert. Make the reader feel your joy...or pain...or indifference.

I used to be a semi-pro film critic and editor of other people's reviews. I learned a lot from reading the great critics - Pauline Kael, Roger Ebert - and from books about film. A Short Guide to Writing About Film, Film Art: An Introduction, How to Read a Film. All books I remember reading. And not just those, but books about writing. Particular favorites are The Elements of Style and Stephen King's On Writing. If you want to brush up on your knowledge of what you're seeing, Every Frame a Painting is a stellar look at film's visual language.

u/voxAtrophia · 3 pointsr/gamedev

I'm not a terribly experienced dev, so I can only give really general advice mostly from the perspective of a game player.

For writing in general, Stephen King's On Writing is often touted as essential reading.

If you are set on a cyberpunk setting (and you should have the setting decided before you start) then there are a few influential works that should act as a foundation. I'm not an expert in the genre, so that list looks good to me, but it could be a bit much. I'd focus on Neuromancer, Snow Crash, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

As for writing a plot for a game, try to decide how the story will be presented to the player. Will there be cutscenes? Will there be dialogue trees to navigate through? (Do those paths change the narrative.) And maybe consider how the mechanics of the game relate to the themes of the narrative.

Getting started is difficult sometimes, so maybe start with a character. Decide their personality, and their goals, and their background. Work on what they want and how they think they'll get it (and why they think that), what obstacles are in their way, etc. And each part of that requires more things to work on, so once you've started, there are always places to go.

I hope some of this is helpful.

u/EgoFlyer · 3 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Not a real person option, but have you read Stephen King's On Writing? It's really good.

u/DimitriTheMad · 3 pointsr/fantasywriters

I noticed you mentioned having Grammar and style errors, if you want some help with grammar and style let me link you two extremely helpful books that are very low bullshit for their price:

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition:

This is the best book for grammar help in my opinion, it's especially helpful if you still have to write essays.

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft:

The first half of this book is a memoir, but the second half is absolutely packed with good advice for novels, regardless the genre.

The first book will help you catch those Grammar errors before you go back with another story, and the second will help you with Style. IE your "The elf walked with grace to the door." Sentence and how to avoid Adverbs.

u/GrandMasterTuck · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Stephen King wrote a book a while back called ON WRITING that, while being more focused on writing novels and short stories, details many of the pitfalls that new writers will encounter when starting a new story. It's a fantastic tool, written by somebody that knows a thing or two about telling good stories, and it can help you get a leg up. I highly recommend it!

As for formatting a document to conform to screenplay requirements, try this wonderful software called Trelby

u/rennuR_liarT · 3 pointsr/running

> Personally I quite enjoy his style because he's not afraid to just say shit as it is, gnarly and uncomfortable as it might be.

You should read his memior / book about how to be a writer, On Writing. I don't want to be a writer, but I've read it several times because it's so good.

u/timoteostewart · 3 pointsr/writing

I found Stephen King's On Writing to be enormously motivating and educational.

u/ngoodroe · 3 pointsr/writing

Here are a few I think are good:

Getting Started

On Writing: This book is great. There are a lot of nice principles you can walk away with and a lot of people on this subreddit agree it's a great starting point!

Lots of Fiction: Nothing beats just reading a lot of good fiction, especially in other genres. It helps you explore how the greats do it and maybe pick up a few tricks along the way.

For Editing

Self-Editing For Fiction Writers: there isn't anything in here that will blow your writing away, land you an agent, and secure a NYT bestseller, but it has a lot of good, practical things to keep an eye out for in your writing. It's a good starting place for when you are learning to love writing (which is mostly rewriting)

A Sense of Style by Steve Pinker: I really loved this book! It isn't exclusively about fiction, but it deals with the importance of clarity in anything that is written.

Garner's Modern American Usage: I just got this about a month ago and have wondered what I was doing before. This is my resource now for when I would normally have gone to Google and typed a question about grammar or usage or a word that I wasn't sure I was using correctly. It's a dictionary, but instead of only words, it is filled with essays and entries about everything a serious word-nut could spend the rest of their^1 life reading.

^1 ^Things ^such ^as ^the ^singular ^their ^vs ^his/hers


Writer's Market 2016: There are too many different resources a writer can use to get published, but Writer's Market has a listing for Agents, publishers, magazines, journals, and contests. I think it's a good start once you find your work ready and polished.

There are too many books out there that I haven't read and have heard good things about as well. They will probably be mentioned above in this thread.

Another resource I have learned the most from are books I think are terrible. It allows you to read something, see that it doesn't work, and makes you process exactly what the author did wrong. You can find plenty of bad fiction if you look hard enough! I hope some of this helps!

u/WillWeisser · 3 pointsr/scifiwriting

"How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy" is a good book, there's some useful stuff in it. But for a raw beginner it doesn't hold a candle to Ben Bova's "The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells" (

Some other books I recommend: (note: despite the title, I'd recommend reading this before you write a book).

Mr. Coorlim is right however that you should ignore anything you read about the business side of writing. It's all changing too quickly now for any book to keep up.

u/popty_ping · 3 pointsr/horror

Can I suggest to you, and anyone else, that it would be beneficial to read Stephen King's book 'On Writing'. If you click on the 'Look inside' sample pages, and scroll down to pages 285 and 286, it illustrates how to edit text with the notion that less is more.

Taking a piece of text from your line 10, as an example: "Maybe it's time we, became adults!" Due to her saying this to the boy it caused him to blush slightly.

Taking Stephen King's advice I'd imagine it would be more like:

"Maybe it's time we became adults!" she said.
He blushed.

u/mynamesyow19 · 3 pointsr/Screenwriting

Lots and lots and lots of reading to get the sense of how stories evolve and unfold.
then, if youre really serious, find a short-ish one you like and type it out page by page so you can get a sense of the pace of actual writing and then adapt it to your own.

oh yeah, and lots of reading.

and when in doubt, get this book:

u/bkcim · 2 pointsr/copywriting

And I have these in my list on amazon. Would love to get some opinions on them:


How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie


Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $100,000 a Year or More

by Robert Bly


Words that Sell

by Richard Bayan


Tested Advertising Methods

by Caples and Hahn


Writing That Works

by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson


Confessions of an Advertising Man

by David Ogilvy


The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

by Al Ries and Jack Trout


The Robert Collier Letter Book

by Robert Collier


Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose

by Nicole Fenton and Kate Kiefer Lee


Letting Go of the Words

by Janice (Ginny) Redish


Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers

by Harold Evans


Can I Change Your Mind?: The Craft and Art of Persuasive Writing

by Lindsay Camp


Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

by Roy Peter Clark


Read Me: 10 Lessons for Writing Great Copy

by Roger Horberry and Gyles Lingwood


Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads

by Luke Sullivan


WRITE IN STEPS: The super simple book writing method

by Ian Stables


On Writing Well

by William Zinsser


The Wealthy Freelancer

by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage and Ed Gandia


Write Everything Right!

by Denny Hatch


The Secret of Selling Anything

by Harry Browne


The Marketing Gurus: Lessons from the Best Marketing Books of All Time

by Chris Murray


On Writing

by Stephen King


Writing for the Web

by Lynda Felder


Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

by Ann Handley


This book will teach you how to write better

by Neville Medhora

u/electricdidact · 2 pointsr/writing

Okay, everyone's "read and write" advice tells you what to do, but not how to do it. Simply reading will not teach you how to write well; it will only teach you how to write LIKE other people do. If you want to "learn the rules," what you need to do is learn how to think critically about your own writing. For that, either take a creative writing class or read a few good books, or both. I'd recommend picking up a couple books. First, go through The Art and Craft of Fiction ( by Michael Kardos, and then read something like Stephen King's On Writing ( These will provide you with the central problems that writers of fiction must keep in mind.

Then, write regularly. Practice editing your own work. Find some other writers to read it and give you feedback.

u/evilnight · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Even if you aren't a fan of King's work, this is the single best place to start for anyone who fancies writing. See here.

u/ebookit · 2 pointsr/Assistance

I read his book "On Writing A Memoir of the Craft", he does not take emails any more since a fan tried to sue him by sending a writing exercise from the book to him for critique. I would suggest that book to anyone serious about writing books.

But yes in his book his father "Done run off" when he was but a child and the King family shut him and his mother and brother off, like they did to my parents and me and my brothers. I have a brother named Stephen King, but not the same as the book writer, it is a family name passed down from generation to generation.

u/insideoutfit · 2 pointsr/horror

I would love for you to message me when it's out.

As for books you should read, I would start with the three most commonly recomended books for writing. Believe me, these are gold printed on paper.

How To Write a Sentence

The Elements of Style

On Writing

and here's a great reference book: The Little, Brown Compact Handbook. Don't be turned off by the price, just search for a much cheaper older addition, it will have the same information.

u/MorganTheRat · 2 pointsr/FanFiction

Advice from Jerry B. Jenkins, and Stephen King's On Writing

For the writing process: be consistent. Try to write every day, or almost every day. Try to write for a set time or reach a set word count each day. Try to do it in the same place each day. Make it a part of your life. And don't be hard on yourself if life happens, you can always adjust and customize, but establishing those habits now will help yourself be more disciplined for professional writing.

As far as constructing the story, most writers start with some kind of a plan, whether it's doing all of the detailed outlines and research first, or just jotting down a few ideas to get started, or something in between. ALL professional writers then create the first draft, get the whole thing out of their head, then go back and revise it. They may do all of that differently, but the important part is that the first version of a story is never perfect, and you'll need to look it over for more than just spelling errors and such.

If this is truly an interest, just start writing. As others have said, it's going to take a while to learn "how to write," as well as to develop your own writing voice and style. It'll come with time, and it'll change over the course of your life.

For advice: an idea is not a story. That's why jotting down notes can be so useful, you can turn it from an abstract thought to concrete words and figure out what the actual story is, or if it's just an element to use in a story. Especially with fanfiction.

Don't get too attached to your prose, because sometimes you'll write the most amazingest scene ever, but it doesn't add squat to the story so it'll need to be pruned out. You can stick it in a folder somewhere "to use later" if you must, just accept that not all the words will make it to the final version.

When in doubt, look it up. There's a whole frikkin internet and so many people don't use it.

Check out the other /writing subs too. Writing prompts and challenges are a fun way to get in a little practice. There's also NaNoWriMo each November, and come to think of it Camp NaNoWriMo starts today.

Get a mug. Writers have a mug, sometimes for beverage and sometimes just for pencils or something.

And don't forget to stand up and stretch now and then. It's good for both body and mind.

Oh, and the old computer mantra: save often and back up your work. Flash drives are cheap and awesome.

u/therachel2010 · 2 pointsr/writing

The struggle with all new writers is that your taste will always exceed your ability in the beginning. You want to write because you've got a story or an idea that speaks to you. You probably know what makes a good story, which is what makes writing so enticing.

But like an art critique who wants to try their hand at painting, it can be a frustrating experience. You just have to keep trying.

As far as writing materials go I personally recommend On Writing by Stephen King. His methods don't work for everyone, but it's a great start. Try listening to the Writing Excuses Podcast, or watch Brandon Sanderson's creative writing lectures on youtube. (Here's a link to the playlist I am currently watching. It's fabulous.)
I also enjoyed Make a Scene. It is excellent at breaking down difficult concepts.

Other than that, just look around. Google writing blogs for tips, track down the blogs of authors you like, read as much as you can in the genre that you want to write. If you're consistently working towards improving your craft, you will improve. The more time you put in, the faster your improvement will be.

u/splendidtree · 2 pointsr/writing

> Romanian

You know, I actually wondered if English was your first language because you did it consistently and I wondered where it was you'd learn the dash trick. But you are right. Quotes are always used in English.

> I am prone to go to extremes in the other direction

It is a fine line, I agree. I haven't read it myself, but my writer friend highly suggests Stephen King's "On Writing".

u/ruzkin · 2 pointsr/writing

I wouldn't have passed this. Your writing is incredibly flowery, your description is overwrought while managing to convey absolutely nothing, you adverb and adjective all over the place...
Sorry to be harsh, but you need to pick up some books on the absolute basics of fiction writing. I recommend:

u/Astromachine · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

So start! If you're interested I would suggest you read On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. It is a great book that talks about his start as an author, his personal issues he faced during his years as an author, and his insight to the craft.

“you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
― Stephen King

u/DogKama · 2 pointsr/writing

One of the best books I ever read was Stephen King: On Writing, and what he said about dialogue stuck with me. Basically, he said take your characters and throw them into a room/situation and just watch them.


u/justgoodenough · 2 pointsr/writing

I'm starting too. Here's the list of resources I am planning on working my way through. No promises that you will know how to write after you are done, but it's a place to start. I haven't read/watched everything on this list yet (I'm just starting Brandon Sanderson's lectures, I have read On Writing, I have read some of Chuck Palahniuk's essays, and I went to a lecture on plotting that was largely based on Save the Cat), it's just the list of what I am planning on checking out.

Brandon Sanderson's Creative Writing Lectures

Chuck Palahniuk's Essay on Writing

On Writing by Stephen King

[Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott]

Story by Robert McKee

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

This thread also has additional resources.

Oh, also, this is a funny resource, but I like reading Query Shark because one of the things that comes up over and over again is boiling a story down to three questions: who is your main character, what do they want, why can't they get it? I think when you are writing, you want to keep those questions at the core of your story and a lot of her comments on the blog are about cutting through all the extra stuff and getting to that core.

Edit: I missed that you said you already watched the Brandon Sanderson lectures. Sorry!

u/btwriter · 2 pointsr/writing

The Elements of Style is the classic reference and I've probably read it over a dozen times, but it has seen a pretty big backlash and it does contradict itself in some humorous ways. I'd recommend Style: Ten Lessons In Clarity And Grace by Joesph M. Williams. I found it much more clear and sensible than TEOS. In addition, I'm a big fan of Garner's Modern American Usage, not as a book on grammar but as a reference for use during composition. For what it's worth, I got both of these recommendations from professional editor John McIntyre. (But TEOS has Stephen King's blessing, so there's that as well.) Those and King's On Writing are the only writing books I've ever been able to stomach.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/writing

This helped me a lot.

u/AnOddOtter · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is hands down the best book I've read for creative writing.

Stephen King's On Writing is also very good, but about half of it is a biography more than writing lessons; still interesting though!

Otherwise the best things you can do are to write more, read more (think like a writer though - why did they choose the words they did, the order they did, the perspective, etc.), and seek critique for your own work.

For more formal writing, the most important part is keeping it organized. For example, once you get comfortable with the 5-paragraph formula, you just modify it to fit your need each time and you can pound out an essay in no time once you have your research on hand.

u/deltadal · 2 pointsr/IAmA

Have you read On Writing? it is a very good book.

u/DRodrigues-Martin · 2 pointsr/writing

Hi u/Calicox,

Brandon Sanderson has a series of lectures he did at Brigham Young University when teaching a creative writing class there. Here's his lecture on character, but the others I've seen are also worth your time.

You may find the following books helpful:




u/2_old_2B_clever · 2 pointsr/CGPGrey

I'm personally getting a lot of great recommendations who cares if Grey's assistant likes them.

[TLC: High middle ages]
Really interesting professor does a very broad overview of the changes happening in Europe during this time period.

[Unfamiliar Fishes]
( Actually most Sarah Vowell books are pretty interesting and entertaining. This one covers the time period of Hawaii from when it was a kingdom to a state, when it's soul is being fought over by missionaries, fruit companies and shipping.

[What I talk about when I talk about Running]( I'm not a runner, neither is Grey, still a really interesting reflective book.

[Cod: The biography of the fish that changed the world](
You need to read this just for the charming cod wars Iceland engages in, also a ton of history and geography.

[Stephen King: On Writing]( Very nuts and bolts book about the physical act of writing and a lot of inside baseball about the state of mind King was in while writing some of his most famous books,

u/sonofaresiii · 2 pointsr/Filmmakers

All of them, really. Absolutely no harm will come from reading all the books out there (for a while). At worst, you'll learn ways of doing things that DON'T work for you but it's still good knowledge to have.

After a while, eventually, you'll start noticing though that all the new books out are just copying and rephrasing the books that came before them. That's when it's time to stop.

Some of the popular ones are syd field's book, Robert McKee's book, Joseph Campbell's book (and imo a book called The Writer's Journey by Christopher something that analyzes Campbell's book and puts it into modern story telling terms). That'll get you started. I have varying opinions of each of those books and none of them should be adhered to by law, but they ALL contain concepts and theories that, as a professional writer, you'd do well to expose yourself to. If for no other reason than that you can be aware of the concepts when others talk about them.

Tangentially, Stephen king's On Writing and William Goldman's books are great reads but don't necessarily apply to the craft of screen writing directly. Also useful to read any interviews or collections of interviews with screen writers. You may also want to check out some podcasts, Jeff goldsmith's interviews with screen writers is great and I have no idea if it's still available or even what it's called but I used to listen to one titled something like Sam and Jim Go to Hollywood (I am positive I got those names wrong) about two guys who up and quit their careers as restaurant owners and moved to Hollywood to become writers and share what they've learned. Ted Rossio and Terry Elliot also run, or ran, a website with forums (which are eh) and and a collection of articles about screen writing which are fantastic.

This was all stuff I was into years ago, so I don't know how much of it is still relevant, because like I said when you get to a certain point you've kind of read everything out there and it all starts repeating itself, and you realize all that's left is to read screenplays and write a ton.

Good luck.

e: back on my computer, here are some links:

Syd Field's Sreenplay (he has several books out, that's the one you should start with as it lays the foundation for basic story structure of nearly all modern movies. IMO, it's also the best one out there because he never says these are rules in any way, he simply analyzed a bunch of movies and lays out his findings for you to do with as you wish)

Robert McKee's Story

Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces

and Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey

Stephen King's On Writing which describes his writing style and, while I don't prefer it, is a very interesting style similar to the Cohen Brothers

William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade and Which Lie did I Tell? two accounts of William Goldman's experiences as one of the top writers in Hollywood, and dealing with the business. Writer of The Princess Bride, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, and many others. Dude's a legend.

Jeff Goldsmith's Q&A podcast he also did the same style podcast while working for a screenwriting magazine, though the name escapes me right now

Sam and Jim Go to Hollywood holy shit I got their names right I can't believe it. Seems to be dead for a few years but it looks like their podcasts are still up.

Wordplay, Ted & Terry's website read every single one of those articles

e: BONUS! Not that useful as an educational resource, but it's fun to read Ken Levine's blog, writer on MASH and Cheers Ken's blog (no, not the guy who made BioShock)

u/TheChasen · 1 pointr/Filmmakers

I recommend:

  • Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez

    This book goes over how he got his first film made + him getting his start in Hollywood.

  • Shawshank Redemption The Shooting Script by Frank Darabont

    The script is well written, but it also includes scene by scene breakdown of how the movie was made, problems they had with certain scenes and how the fixed them, etc.

  • On Writing by Stephen King.

    Great book on story by a master storyteller.

u/wtgserpant · 1 pointr/findapath

Its arguable that we are all confused about where we truly wanna go as often what we want and what we do are in contradiction. So you are not alone.

I would recommend three things for you:

  1. Read this
  2. Follow Calnewports blog, he gives some awesome advice.
  3. Finally read Stephen kings take on his writing and other stuff, as his ideas can easily be used by anyone going into the fields of creativity.

    Finally, use school and exams as way to measure you performance and focus on learning by yourself as that is the beat way to grow
u/AllOfTimeAndSpace · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

The wishlist is pretty awesome, but if he likes writing I'd also reccommend this. Its a book that Stephen King wrote about writing and we used it a bit in my creative writing courses. Its informative but also interesting to read. Its not just strictly a writing manual.

And moleskin notebooks are awesome!

u/jwcobb13 · 1 pointr/KeepWriting

I suppose seeking validation after every chapter is one way to do it, but you'll never get anything written if you're seeking validation from Internet randoms. Internet randoms are kinda assholes.

The secret to writing for me is to outline a story I want to read, then attempt to write every line slightly more clever than then last and to come back after I'm done and edit out the grammar and the crazy. So I look at you all puckered up and afraid to get past your one chapter without seeking validation from strangers and I worry. Then I see your username and I worry a little more.

My unsolicited advice is read this (I recommend zooming in with CTRL-mousewheel or CTRL-+) and then go get this at your local library and read it and then write every single day you're alive until you die so that you can live forever!

u/AmberHoney · 1 pointr/standupshots

To each his own. Reading On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft might change your opinion.

u/Raphyre · 1 pointr/writing

I know it's not explicitly geared for short stories but The Nighttime Novelist is my go-to text for how to think about structuring a larger work. Though I have yet to publish my first novel.

Short story writing is very different. Janet Burroway's Writing Fiction and Stephen King's On Writing are both wonderful craft books that shed some of the practicalities of the Nighttime Novelist and look a good writing in its simplest form.

Much more important than nonfiction books, though, is finding short story markets you'd like to read. Figure out what kind of place might accept the most perfect form of the fiction you'd like to write, and then read those magazines religiously. While you're reading, do what you can to consider what these stories are doing well and how they are pulling off what they are pulling off. Use the vocabulary learned from craft books to better articulate (to yourself, mostly) what these stories are really doing, and begin to generate a sense of what good writing looks like. Then practice, practice, practice, write, revise, and write some more until you've got something worth sending out.

At this point in your writing development, the name of the game is simply learning to write well--keep that in mind, and try to make decisions based on what will help you become a better writer. And finally remember, there is such a thing as "practicing well."

u/omaca · 1 pointr/books

On Writing by Stephen King is good.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is a very entertaining and funny book on writing. Lamott is a well known novelist, but also the author of several essays on religion. She is very funny.

For the record, I'm an atheist and I like Lamott's writing.

u/regalrecaller · 1 pointr/write

This is my writing bible, for whatever its worth...

u/A_frakkin_Cylon · 1 pointr/videos

I'm currently reading Stephen King's book On Writing and you are right according to the book!

The book is extremely entertaining and easy to read as well as being extremely motivational and helpful to writers. Even if you don't care about being a writer the book is excellent.

u/duuuh · 1 pointr/careerguidance

I haven't read this but the advice on writing is supposed to be fantastic.

u/Kobi1311 · 1 pointr/writing

Your Writing;

Some good writing in your details and solid word images. You have a good sense of humor, I would have enjoyed more of your dry timing. The story and characters, that was very difficult for me to follow. The paragraphs seemed to dance, move to one thing or another, almost like it didn't need to connect. They did connect but It felt to me I had to work hard to get it.

I stopped when Owen got to Lake Tahoe.

I found it hard to understand when it's the Mc thinking, or a dream, or something else. It didn't feel very real to me. I didn't get a any sense of a 'when', no sense of time passing, nor a viewpoint that let me understand what I was reading.

I thought Owen was a type of kid I wouldn't much like to hang out with. The red haired girl, not sure. Good world building, a firm start.

Other ways to get better feedback;

If you want to avoid bad habits before starting, be clear about how much help you can get here. Ask specific questions about areas you think don't work. Post a small intro, maybe just a scene or two from a chapter. Start a bit smaller. Build up from there.

The best help I see comes from very specific questions about your work.

More detailed critiques can be found at the link shown below. There they will read all of it and give very detailed responses, however there is a catch. You have to do a 1:1 ratio of other works in order to receive the same. So you'd have to complete a high level critique of a 2,500 plus story, then you would get the same.

If you don’t follow this rule, your post will be marked as a leech post. And if your leech post has been up for 24 hours without any new critiques from you, it will be removed.

[Destructive Readers]( "The goal: to improve writing and maintain the highest standard of critique excellence anywhere on Reddit. DestructiveReaders isn't about writers being nice to writers; it's about readers being honest with writers. We deconstruct writing to construct better writers." )

Sharing the writing process;

A lot of us here are working and struggling with becoming better writers. So you are not alone in this painful process.

I myself find the task of becoming a good writer very daunting. I only keep going because I create a belief in myself. After that I go through the slow hard swim in the deep dark oceans of the unknown. I have no directions, no compass, only fear which if allowed becomes an anchor.

It would be good to know something about your skill level, things you've already read to improve crafting stories, classes you've taken, daily exercises or how much you write each day.

Myself; I do a daily poem, then write from 5/6 am to 9 am, that will be either my current novel or on a short I plan to submit to a magazine. I listen to Podcasts and do exercises from Writing Excuses

Books I use as my reference on writing;

u/noodles666666 · 1 pointr/writing

Writing a Christian book without actually writing a Christian book.

Read on Writing.

>Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

Love you

u/Infidel8 · 1 pointr/Blackfellas

If you're trying to improve your writing, I cannot recommend the book On Writing by Stephen King enough.

It's one of the few examples I've seen of a legendary author offering up specific tips and secrets on his craft. I still go back to it from time to time.

Thank me later.

u/iamsanset · 1 pointr/findapath

Do you have a daily writing routine? Practice makes perfect, and this will be a good place to start

Also, make sure you check out 'On Writing' by Steven King, and this article on how he teaches writing.

Thinking up ideas is a very different ballgame than putting them into writing, so get cracking!

u/TrueKnot · 1 pointr/NoSleepOOC

On Writing is the most useful thing I ever read.

u/Your_Favorite_Poster · 1 pointr/writing

Let me second On Writing by Stephen King. It's a book you can pull inspiration from by getting lost in random paragraphs when you're looking for ideas, or staring at a blank page.

u/SceneOne · 1 pointr/writing

Save The Cat by Blake Snyder (Technically for movie writing, but a ton of tricks and tips that would help any writer.)

Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker

Stephen King: On Writing By Stephen King

u/I-Camel · 1 pointr/pics

I found "On Writing" by Stephen King a great place to start:

u/Hdhudjdnjdujd · 1 pointr/writing

There are two books that I recommend reading. On Writing by Stephen King and The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White. I have learned a lot from both. One of the best pieces of advice from King was; read a lot and write a lot. It seems too obvious to be helpful advice, but I started a reading regiment that matched my writing regiment. Soon I was studying books as well as reading them, and I learned a lot more about wordplay, grammar, and vocabulary.

As far as grammar is concerned, I want my writing to communicate my emotions to the reader. That's my ultimate goal. Sometimes that requires perfect grammar, sometimes that requires breaking the rules. Take The Road by Cormac McCarthy for example. He's basically thrown all grammar rules out the window for the sake of his story, and it's an excellent story.

One of my writing professors told me there are three rules to breaking rules, and they have become my favorite rules of all. They are:

  1. You have to know you're breaking a rule.
  2. Your audience has to know you're breaking a rule.
  3. Your audience has to know that you know that you're breaking a rule.

    If you can accomplish those three than it's a safe bet you haven't lost your reader. However, readers will put down a book just because of the grammar, so we must be diligent.
u/admorobo · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

It isn't genre specific, but Stephen King's On Writing is very interesting look into King's creative process. He talks at different points about horror, fantasy, as well as his more traditional work.

u/Echoux · 1 pointr/KeepWriting
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald

    These two are the most basic, they're books to read through and soak in the information. The following two are more like reference books, still highly recommend:

  • The elements of style, fourth edition
  • The curious Writer: Concise Edition

    Pick them all up if you can, they are invaluable and go over basics like format, grammar, sentence structure and other fundamentals of writing. Invisible Ink in particular will go over what makes a story impact, how to build armatures for your novel/short story and how to effectively communicate emotions through the written word. Good luck my friend!

    EDIT: The Curious writer has a new edition of their book but why pay four times the amount to get virtually the same book? Stick with the fourth edition.
u/CelticMara · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King. I enjoy his work, but a peek inside his mind and work process is something I would really find fascinating!

u/A_Man_Has_No_Name · 1 pointr/AskLiteraryStudies

Aristotle's Poetics is where my literary criticism course started. You might also look at Longinus' On The Sublime and Burke's A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. If you want to get more specific on mechanics of pleasant writing that isn't so philosophically dense, you might look at Strunk & White's Elements of Style, Pinker's Sense of Style and my personal favorite, Stephen King's On Writing (The first half is biographical but the second part is an interesting commentary on the act of writing).

u/OrionBlastar · 1 pointr/writing

When Stephen King almost got killed by Bryant Smith, he had his hip broken. Bryant Smith was like a character out of one of his books, drove a van recklessly down the road and hit Stephen King and did nothing to help him and left for a candy bar instead of phoning the police.

Anyway Stephen King survived and then wrote that book for people who want to learn how to write.

Unplug your TV, don't watch videos. Read books to learn how to write books. Show don't tell. Avoid adjectives. Show actions. Murder your darlings because less is more and delete stuff that doesn't add to the story.

Stephen King gets paid not to write books, but to finish books. There is a big difference. Also don't give up when you get rejected, keep on learning from your mistakes and failures and improve your writing.

u/Asura72 · 1 pointr/writing

Here are a couple of books and a few other things you can do to help you improve. Generally speaking I would only use books to learn the nuts and bolts of writing (grammar, passive vs. active voice and Point of View - stuff like that). Everyone writes in a different way, there are a thousand paths up the mountain as the saying goes, so learning how Stephen King writes (On Writing) may not help you understand how you write.

If you only read one book on writing, make sure it's Elements of Style by Strunk and White - It's short and covers all the basic mechanics of writing.

As others have said, read widely. This is probably the most important thing you can do. Read and then read reviews and critiques. You will begin to see common themes to what people like and dislike. If you can spot these in the work of others, you will learn to spot them in your own work.

Join a critique group. This is basically the same thing as reading Goodreads or Amazon reviews, but supercharged. You see the raw material, warts and all. You will probably get more from learning to critically assess the work of others than you will from their critiques of your work. Lots of libraries have writers groups or you can join one online like Critters.

I would suggest not to jump straight into a novel. Learn to write short stories and polish your craft there. A 3000 word short story is less of an investment in time than a 100,000 word novel. You will make mistakes in the beginning, best to make them quickly and get them over with, learn and move on.

u/Gabrosado0 · 1 pointr/writing

I highly recommend the book “On Writing” by Stephen King. Everything you need to know about his process and recommendations are there.

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

u/scalyblue · 0 pointsr/scifiwriting

As long as you put your desire and hope in the act of writing itself, as opposed to the desire of wanting to have written something, you will do well.

I would suggest a few pieces of light reading, a few pieces of heavy reading, and some listening for you too.

Light reading:

Stephen King's "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" This book is not meant as a book of lessons so much as the formula that assembled one writer. It's short, it's heartfelt, and it has some wisdom in it.

The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White. - This is a short book, it gives a good starter set of rules that we accept for communicating with one another in the English language.

Heavy Reading:

Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell. - This is a short book but it is very thick with information and esoteric names from all cultures. Why is that? Because it deals with, very succinctly, the fundamental core of nearly all human storytelling, Campbell's "Monomyth" premise can inform you all the way from the Epic of Gilgamesh to Star Wars a New Hope

Writing Excuses This is a Podcast about writing by Brandon Sanderson, of "Mistborn," "Way of Kings," and "Wheel of Time" fame, Howard Taylor, the writer and artist of Schlock Mercenary, a webcomic that hasn't missed a day for a long while, Mary Robinette Kowol, a Puppeteer and Author of "Shades of Milk and Honey" and Dan Wells, from the "I am not a Serial Killer" series It has been going on for more than a decade, and nearly every episode is a wonderful bit of knowledge.

u/CeruleanTresses · -1 pointsr/fatpeoplestories

Uh, dude...I read a lot. I like to write. I've taken a class in creative writing. It was rude and unnecessary of you to imply that I'm uneducated. You'll note that I steered clear of personal insults in my original critique.

If you'd like to have a look at some books on the craft of writing, you'll find that using shit-tons of purple prose synonyms for "said" is constantly described as an amateur's mistake. Same with using tons of adverbs. Vivid writing derives most of its punch from strong, well-placed verbs.

A well-written book full of "he said, she said" would not be boring because we don't actually register the "saids" on a conscious level. And we shouldn't. The dialogue is what matters, or the actions that people perform while speaking the dialogue. Again, don't draw attention away from the content, to the text.

Recommended reading:

The TV Tropes entry for Said Bookism:

This one includes a great Twilight spoof that also demonstrates why Said Bookism is terrible:

This is more to do with plot/characterization than sentence structure, but is also useful for writing in general: