We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft | [Stephen King]

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.
Regular Price:$26.60
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

To begin with, you've got Stephen King, a writer so talented in the art of thrill-generation that he could insert excitement into the assembly instructions for a bookshelf. Or, say, a book about writing and grammar. And that's precisely what King does in On Writing, an improbably fascinating, relentlessly compelling trip through the mind, style, life, and work of one of our greatest popular writers.

Hearing this unique combination of anecdotes and insider's advice told in King's charmingly nasal voice makes an already insightful narrative even more personal and powerful. If you want to write, this audiobook will quickly become a treasured resource, because it will improve your writing. But even if you have no interest whatsoever in writing, King's anecdotes and instructions into the art and process will probably make you a better, more informed reader.

Publisher's Summary

"If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write." Here is Stephen King's master class on his craft.

On Writing begins with a mesmerizing account of King's childhood and his early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, offer a fresh and often funny perspective on the formation of a writer. King then turns to the tools of his trade, examining crucial aspects of the writer's art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection.

King was in the middle of writing this book when he was nearly killed in a widely reported accident. On Writing culminates with a profoundly moving account of how his need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life.

©2000 Stephen King, All Rights Reserved; (P)2000 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Spunky, vivid prose are the prime ingredients of what must be considered not at all the usual writer's guide." (Booklist)
"On Writing contains some of the most harrowing pages he has ever written." (Salon.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (3017 )
5 star
 (2112)
4 star
 (691)
3 star
 (159)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (28)
Overall
4.6 (1818 )
5 star
 (1307)
4 star
 (397)
3 star
 (88)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (12)
Story
4.7 (1826 )
5 star
 (1356)
4 star
 (372)
3 star
 (78)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    J. Jason Modesto, CA, United States 04-21-13
    J. Jason Modesto, CA, United States 04-21-13 Member Since 2011

    J. Jason Gale

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "STEVE IS A REGULAR GUY, IN A VERY STRANGE WAY"

    The book comes in three parts: true vignettes from his life experiences that propelled him to write tales of horror (he insists it's not an autobiography); writing instructions; and a blow-by-blow recount of his run-in with a minivan.

    All three parts are well worth the listening, however, as he notes himself, they are virtually stand-alone units with no through line.

    One delicious thing about this book is Steve narrates it himself. Like a suspect confessing under a naked, over-bright light bulb, the eagerness -- or lack there of -- concealed in his voice paints emotional undertones to his stories.

    The writing instructions section is the lion's share of the book. (Please let me offer this caution: Mr. King has been writing since his was old enough to hold a pen so some of his advise will be strong meat for the beginning writer.) Mr. King taught high school English for years, and so he relaxes, entertains and hammers home a stream of practical points.

    He sorts writers into four types: Bad, Good, Very Good (where he classifies himself) and Magically Gifted. He suggests only the Good can move up to the Very Good; the rest are locked-in. Perhaps if you are not at least a Good writer, you're just wasting your time?

    Steve says writing is telepathy: the writer thinks a thought, then the reader has the same thought. If so, after listening to this book, you will know Mr. King intimately and will be able to write like he does, more or less.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy 03-30-13
    Cindy 03-30-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    71
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gotta love Stephen King's voice on this one!"
    Where does On Writing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's up there in the top 20.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of On Writing?

    I like Mr. King's humorous asides - too many to mention!
    To quote a character from "Boston Legal", "He's a hoot!"


    What about Stephen King’s performance did you like?

    He has a very distinctive voice and it's pleasant to listen to him. He speaks very conversationally - like the two of you are in a room and he is telling you his story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken 03-29-13
    Ken 03-29-13

    TruthMatters

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hilarious performance w/substantive content"
    What did you love best about On Writing?

    I caught myself laughing out loud many times as Stephen told his story. Part autobiography, part instruction manual, the book is entirely entertaining.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of On Writing?

    Stephen gives a vivid description of writing (Carrie I think) in the laundry room of what sounded like my first apartment.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed a lot, darn near cried at the end, and winced all the way through at some pretty salty language.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought the Kindle edition too so I could highlight some sections.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Jacob Essex, CT 03-18-13
    J. Jacob Essex, CT 03-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Straight and personal from a master"
    What did you love best about On Writing?

    I love King's style of writing and enjoyed hearing his personal take on the craft in his voice. He did a great job telling his story and it was interesting to learn how so many of his famous books were developed. An added bonus is that it is an interesting memoir too.


    Any additional comments?

    Any fan of Stephen King would enjoy listening to this book. I read the hard copy years ago and wanted some new inspiration for my own writing. I'm going to listen to the end with hard copy in hand. He has so much to teach!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david spring, tx, United States 03-03-13
    david spring, tx, United States 03-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I feel Like We're Friends"

    I really enjoyed this book. It was like Steven and I had an afternoon alone to sit and talk about life and how to best convey it in words The story of his life is as good as his instructions on technique. Thanks Mr. King for your want to help other writers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marnie Mitchell-Lister New Jersey Shore 01-31-13
    Marnie Mitchell-Lister New Jersey Shore 01-31-13 Member Since 2014

    marnieml - an aspiring screenwriter and other stuff.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining and educational."
    What did you love best about On Writing?

    I love that Stephen King narrated this himself.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of On Writing?

    I purchased On Writing years ago for King's writing advice and even though that half has some invaluable insights, I love listening to the stories of his younger years the most. His youth wasn't much different than the average person's but the way he tells his stories really takes you back in time. And it's cool to see some of little things from his past that have snuck into his writing. Talk about backstory...


    Have you listened to any of Stephen King’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't and actually didn't know there were others but as soon as I'm done writing this review I'm going to investigate that.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Into the mind of a Horror master. A true lesson on backstory, and much more. POW!


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book not only to aspiring writers but to all Stephen King fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Burke, VA, United States 01-02-13
    Michael Burke, VA, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2011

    consumer of goods and bads

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of On Writing to be better than the print version?

    The audio version is likely much better than the print version since Mr. King reads it himself.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-29-12 Member Since 2013

    I work. I ski. I play. I write. I have a family. I garden. I coach. I volunteer. I sketch. I run. I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspires Me to Be Serious About Writing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone that is an aspiring writer. It's also a good autobiography.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of On Writing?

    One thing that stands out is his dislike of adverbs.


    What about Stephen King’s performance did you like?

    He has a sense of humor.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did not have an extreme reaction. However, I did pick up my old copy of Elements of Style. I also have been writing almost everyday now.


    Any additional comments?

    I would listen to this book again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Bell 11-13-12
    J. Bell 11-13-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Must-Read For Any Writer - Or Reader"

    As one of at least a billion would-be writers, I will take good help where I can get it.

    I spotted this book on the bookshelves at a local store and immediately dialed it into my phone (don't you just love tech?) for a later listen. I put off listening to the book, listening to two others first for fear that a book on writing would be bland and dry and a struggle to get through.

    Silly me.

    Stephen King is as honest in his instruction as he is with his fiction. He speaks candidly to his readers, sometimes baring more than I would feel comfortable with were I in his shoes, but always driving home his point with an elegance of simplicity to his words.

    Mr. King's comfortable use of a conversational voice has made the beginner's mantra of "just write" less intimidating and more feasible.

    Will everyone like his tendency to use profanity to drive his points home? No, not everyone. But I enjoyed every word, even the "bad" ones. It was like sitting down with a good friend over a coffee and having a discussion on a topic favored by both.

    I intend to read this one again, if only to better cement some of the concepts into my working mind. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Los Angeles, CA, United States 10-29-12
    Amazon Customer Los Angeles, CA, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful Instruction from a Grandmaster!"
    What made the experience of listening to On Writing the most enjoyable?

    This was very personal. Mr. King presented the information in as interesting a manner as possible. His humor and sincerity kept me reading, and his work ethic inspired me. Interestingly, he recommends work habits that line up nicely with that of another successful writer I admire. And I have seen the quality of my own writing improve. I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in seeing their work published.


    Have you listened to any of Stephen King’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to him read "The Wind through the Keyhole", one of his Dark Tower books. His sincerity, and his love of storytelling draw me into the story and I find that his voice grows on me. But this book was even better, because it was King on King. Hilarious and touching.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.