I wasn't exactly dying to read this. The last of King's non-fiction that I read, Danse Macabre, didn't set my world on fire. While I dig his conversational tone, it didn't take me long to lose interest and succumb to the desire to press on with the fiction.
Similarly as with The Plant, I was in two minds whether to bother reading it at all. Laura - Devouring Texts helped
sway me towards reading it with her positive review and position that anything that delayed moving on to Dreamcatcher is a good thing.
So, On Writing... It's nice and short, split into two parts (autobiographical highlights that may explain how he ended up being the type of writer he is and advice on how to be a better writer). As I
said earlier, his conversational tone is eminently readable and his advice makes sense. Having tried my hand at writing before now and giving it up, I wasn't approaching it with a 'yes!!! give me answers so I can be an awesome writer and get paid/laid'. It did convince me that
I'm not cut out for it though, which is helpful in a different way. Quickly getting fed up of the sound of your own voice isn't a winning
The section on editing gave me pause. I've written half a dozen or so short stories with the following process:
Longhand first draft, type up second draft/edit, let my wife read it and make any changes based on her comments. They were then 'published' in an online magazine and read by no one. After reading On Writing, I've considered giving them a proper edit using the -10%
rule and the approach King takes in the example extract. We'll have to see if I can be arsed though.
Dreamcatcher is next. I've heard almost nothing but bad things (also about the film). I know nothing about the book so am harbouring a secret hope that it's not that it's actually bad, but rather, it just isn't to everyone's taste and I'll be one of the few who love it. Don't worry, it's only a glimmer of a hope.
First things first, though, I'm reading Dan Rhodes' new book, When the Professor got Stuck in the Snow. I love him. I'm also still on with working through Joanne Harris' works. She's lovely.