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 (2205 )
5 star
 (1496)
4 star
 (534)
3 star
 (126)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (24)
Overall
4.6 (1079 )
5 star
 (756)
4 star
 (241)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (11)
Story
4.6 (1084 )
5 star
 (775)
4 star
 (243)
3 star
 (48)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bill Detroit, MI, USA 12-18-02
    Bill Detroit, MI, USA 12-18-02
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    This is an excellent book! If you're a writer looking for inspiration and an education, or just a fan of Stephen King, I highly recommend this audio book. Stephen has real insight into things a writer needs to keep in mind while working on their own "bestsellers". He also writes an engaging book and throws in an autobiography of sorts. We get to learn about him and how he grew up to be the writer he is. We also learn about his tragic accident and how this changed his life. The only fault I can find in this audiobook is that his voice is a bit monotone (sorry Stephen).

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martina K M cheung sha wan, kowloon, hong kongHong Kong 01-26-05
    Martina K M cheung sha wan, kowloon, hong kongHong Kong 01-26-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Honest and moving memoir + simple tips on writing"

    I am never a fan of stephen king. In fact, I read one of his books and decided that I will never read another. But this one is "on writing", a topic I am very interested in plus the review of other buyers are good so I gave it a try. It turned out to be such a good listen. Memoirs of the writer interwined with useful tips on how to start and improve one's writing. I turned from a non-fan to someone who gave high respect for Mr. King. This is a book that is written with ulmost honesty and sincerity. The memoir parts are moving with tears and laughters. I have the urge to call my struggling to write friends to stop and listen. Highly recommended

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimi Spring, TX, USA 05-13-05
    Jimi Spring, TX, USA 05-13-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "The first of his books I've read, but not the last"

    If you're a writer, do yourself a favor and read this book. This is the first book I'd ever read by Stephen King, mainly because I wasn't interested in his genre. What I am interested in is writing, and having just finished this book I rank it up there as being one of the best I've read on that subject. I found it to be interesting, entertaining, thought provoking, and inspiring. While it is light on the technical aspects of writing, it does touch on them, and you can look elsewhere for details. This is about the art of writing, the why of writing, and the inspiration for writing. Reading this book inspired a new story idea and approach; I am excited to continue writing this one--exploring where the characters take it. I have a new respect for Stephen King after reading this book and I look forward to trying one of his fiction works. Thank you, Mr. King!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dionne Bellevue, WA, USA 05-04-04
    Dionne Bellevue, WA, USA 05-04-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Instructional Manual, yes  But a real Keeper"

    Content

    This work is divided into two general parts.
    King opens with a lengthy memoir that "attempted to show some of the incidents and life-situations which made me into the sort of writer I turned out to be." He works his way through his stages as a writer from childhood to novice to apprentice to worldwide success.

    King addresses his battle with alcohol and drug abuse, when it started, how it evolved and how he eventually was forced to confront his problem. He adds some wonderful information about the books he wrote (I don?t want to give these away ? they are fun to discover on your own.) And his own opinions about which of his books he thinks are good, and those he finds deficient.

    Here is the opportunity to read King on King, and on his books. He describes the symbolism in many of his novels, rarely planted intentionally on the first draft but discovered during the writing of the second draft.
    The second part is the instructional part.

    This part of the book is full of advice, much of it common sense ? some of it uniquely King's. His description of the writer's toolbox: Common tools on the top shelf (vocabulary and grammar), elements of grammar and style on the second level, along with an understanding of the paragraph as the basic element in fiction, and a synthesis of all of these along with innate and developed skills at the bottom.

    Recording

    Stephen King records this selection himself. He does a brilliant job.

    Favorites

    King gives a very thorough account of his nearly fatal accident in 1999. This passage is very humanizing.
    Throughout the book, King pays tribute to wife, Tabitha. She is King's "Ideal Reader," the person for whom he writes all of his books. His love and admiration for her shines through the book, from a touching scene from their courtship, to her organization of an intervention confronting his addiction problems, and all the way through to her support and encouragement of him during his convalescence.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 11-18-05
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 11-18-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    268
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    76
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "Who needs a print edition when King reads King?"

    I got this as one of the freebies when I signed up for Audible-- I don't know if I would have paid for it, because I'm not the biggest King fan in the world. I figured that if I didn't like it, hey, it was free.

    It would have been worth paying retail.

    Firstly, this is read by Stephen King himself. I cannot express how much this adds to the work. It's like sitting down at a table with Stephen King and talking to him. He may not be the best reader in the world-- there are several points where you can tell that he's reading from the page-- but the Audible rating system doesn't have an option to give 4.99999 stars.

    This is really two short books rolled into one. The writing book is great. He covers all of the parts of writing, including the mechanics, the language, the creating, and even the marketing and selling. I am an aspiring writer, and I got more out of this than some classes and workshops. He doesn't go on forever, like a lot of blowhard writing workshops, he just makes his point and keeps going.

    The other book is about King himself. I get the feeling that this is all we'll ever see of an autobiography of Stephen King. That part of it is not very long, and most of it is the story of his career rather than his life. As many King fans already know, he was hit by a van while he was writing this book. He talks about this experience here. I'm not entirely sure I buy that the miniautobiography figures into the theme of the book, but I'm not going to kvetch. It's FASCINATING. It may not have much to do with Writing, but to hear King talk about his own life-- and his near-death-- is worth the price alone.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 10-27-11
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 10-27-11 Member Since 2010

    I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1915
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    304
    74
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    865
    32
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not just for aspiring authors."

    This book is loosely broken into two portions; the first half is more auto-biographical, outlining Stephen King's childhood and life, and the second half delves more into writing itself. I genuinely and thoroughly enjoyed both sides of the book.

    I thought his outlooks were honest and intelligent, and he rarely gives opinions that masquerade as facts; he just gives his thoughts, acknowledging all the while they are simply opinions and preferences he has as an individual. That said, they are extremely educated opinions and gave a great deal of insight.

    I'm not an aspiring author myself, but I love the written word and I love listening to smart people - and this book satisfied on both fronts. It was like a great visit with this smart man, and I was sorry when I reached the end.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer RIDLEY PARK, PA, United States 12-13-02
    Amazon Customer RIDLEY PARK, PA, United States 12-13-02 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    904
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    232
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
    8
    Overall
    "A Must Read Autobiography for All King Fans"

    Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft exposes the us to a side of the writer that hasn't been seen all in one place before. As an avid constant reader, I often look forward to Mr. King's introductions and afterwords as much as I do the actual content of the book; well almost as much. On Writing does instruct one how to write, or at least, how a very successful writer writes, but it is much more a generous autobiography than a dry instructional text. From the crazy days of his childhood with (his brother) Dave's "super-duper electro-magnet" to his harrowing account of the tragic roadside accident that has altered his life forever,

    On Writing shows us who does the writing more than how it is done. Extremely funny and honest, On Writing is filled with account after account of Stephen King's life. It is read by the author, who has always made up for not being a "professional voice" by breathing an authors life into a book in a way only the author can do. The advice he does offer for writers is more about being honest and working hard than what to write or how to get published. It is a book written by one of those few people in life who is "'getting paid to do what he loves.'"

    If you have never heard Stephen King before, if you have been turned off by the "genre", hear On Writing from audible.com today, to find out what you have been missing and why you shouldn't miss another word from Stephen King.

    31 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Henisse Miami, FL, United States 04-09-05
    Patricia Henisse Miami, FL, United States 04-09-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "It Started Me Writing Again"

    Easy to read, part memoir part writer's manual. Honest information from a man who understands what the public wants. You will finish this book knowing more about why we read and why we write.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth C. Denver, CO 05-04-04
    Ruth C. Denver, CO 05-04-04 Member Since 2004

    I love to learn... a blessing and a curse as they say... If I loved making money as much as I love to learn, I would be able to buy more books right now! I love Audible.... (and a long term fan of Amazon)... actually joined in 1999 when hardly no one was shopping on the internet. I have always enjoyed someone telling me a good story.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Ah Stephen, just what I thought it would be..."

    For the entire weekend my family and neighbors though I had gone mad. Yes, she finally had done it I am sure they all were thinking. Our in the yard working, my Audible Otis strapped to my side, earphones on, and laughing as Stephen King entertained me. So personal, that New England voice of his. My delight came from a combination of his characteristic wit, his ability to tell a good yarn, and the similarities in our past. I would have liked The Vomit.

    Ah Stephen, you didn't waste your talent. Your right were you should be.



    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Redlands, CA 01-13-04
    Mark Redlands, CA 01-13-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "As good as it gets"

    This is the very best book for writers on the market. While Stephen King spins many an autobiographical yarn, he never strays far from the book's focus. Stripped of artifice, elegantly concise, crammed with personal yet always relevant details taken from his life and career, On Writing makes you want to get off your ass, or on it (depending on where you work), and write! Get it and listen to it again and again.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 139 results PREVIOUS1214NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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.