‘On Writing’ (Fiction) by Stephen King – My Favorite Quotes from the Book

During my 12th Standard holidays, since it was highly recommended by a friend, I read the first 100 pages of a Horror novel written by Stephen King. Then, I closed it and went to sleep. When I woke up, I was walking in a circular path around our hall in the middle of the night! I didn’t know how long I was walking and it took me almost 2 minutes (after I opened my eyes) to realize that I was walking, when I was supposed to be sleeping!! That is the power of his writing.

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No wonder, then! In case you want to know, I returned that book first thing next morning and got myself a thriller, which was less frightening! πŸ™‚

‘On Writing’ is a non-fiction book written by one of the best selling fiction author of all time: Stephen King. All the quotes in this post have been taken from this book.

“Put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way round.”

“I am convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

“The job of fiction is to find the truth inside the story’s web of lies, not to commit intellectual dishonesty in the hunt for the buck. Also, brothers and sisters, it doesn’t work.”

“In my view, stories and novels consist of three parts: narration, which moves the story (forward); description, which creates a sensory reality for the reader; and dialogue which brings characters to life through their speech. You may wonder where plot is in all this. The answer – my answer, anyway – is nowhere.”

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“2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. I think it’s rare that incoherence or dull storytelling can be solved by something so minor as a second draft.”

“In truth, I’ve found that any day’s routine interruptions and distractions don’t much hurt a work in progress and may actually help it in some ways.”

“Writing fiction was almost as much fun as it had ever been, but every word of the nonfiction book was a kind of torture.”

~ It shows. Even though his suggestions for budding fiction writers is solid (about 50% of the book), the style of writing is nowhere near to ‘On Writing’ (non-fiction) by William Zinsser. The remaining 50% of this book is part autobiography, part description of his near-fatal accident and a short story (declared a prize-winner by him) in the end.

I am sure anyone who writes fiction (of any length) will find this book very useful. Do I want to read a fiction book written by Stephen King now? Maybe, but only if it’s not horror πŸ™‚

  • You can buy ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King in India from Flipkart or Amazon.in [Disclaimer: These are affiliate links. I may get a small commission if you click on them and buy the product. Your price will not change.]

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10 Replies to “‘On Writing’ (Fiction) by Stephen King – My Favorite Quotes from the Book”

  1. Good one. Add this also from Stephen King. β€œA short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.”

  2. lol. I bought a book of his long back and I am yet to bring enough courage to read it. I have heard that he is a great writer but unfortunately he writes horror πŸ˜€ I am not brave enough to read horror.
    But this book, I have been wanting to read it for quite sometime. Now these quotes are tempting me to read it soon. Will order the book asap πŸ™‚

  3. I have read the book 3 times so far. πŸ™‚ The last time I read it was a year ago and it was good to read these quotes. I think that this book on writing is amazing although I am not a fan of Stephen King’s fictional work. I am not fond of horror.

  4. Ha, that would be a lot scary.. Till today i too couldn’t muster enough courage to read any of King’s books… I am afraid of horror, ha! it doesn’t go well with me.
    I like that quote about ‘read a lot and write a lot’, and that a good piece of writing should be able to ‘resonate’ in the reader’s mind..

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