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Steven King Review #6 Summary

This writing is a review of a portion of Stephen King’s book “On Writing, Published in 2000. There are a few definitions taken from other sources as well as comments by the author of this article. Any original ideas are those of Mr. King. Steven King's Website

Summary of the Stephen King Notes from his book on writing.

Mr. King’s book impressed me as a blueprint for writing and I want to share it with others. It spoke to me and gave me the direction to begin and complete all the steps of writing my first novel. He describes writing, in steps, as the work it is, but still, it’s an attainable effort.

After being approached by many people, all attempting to sell me their skills for some phase of writing, I looked for a way to do the work myself. To me, writer means to do all the work myself. From my point of view, Stephen King’s book On Writing takes the place of paying editors to write my book.

Like reading anyone’s notes, I hone in on topics with which I have difficulty. To get the full flavor and content, you must buy the book. I will divide my summary into five sections, all of which can be found on this site.

Summary, Stories, Narration, Description, Dialogue, Drafts.

My main concern was, where does writing stop and editing begin? Who does the editing? How many drafts and edits are there? This piece will answer these questions, according to Stephen King.

Some of the following are notes and definitions. Other portions cover the three major sections of writing a novel and chronological steps to complete your book. I hope this summary of his book helps you as it did me.


All you need to know is on the front and back flaps of Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition.

You can get them used, on line, for a total of $7.00, including shipping.

Verbs come in two types, active and passive.
With an active verb, the subject of the sentence is doing something. With a passive verb, something is being done to the subject of the sentence.

(Observation) The trick is that a past tense verb is can be active. e.g. He walked through the door.

With the passive verb, the subject is letting it happen. The reader is not taking part in the action of the story so they wander off.

 Therefore, avoid passive tense verbs.

The adverb is not your friend.
These words modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
They usually end in –ly.
Adverbs, like the passive voice, were created with the timid writer in mind.

e.g. “He closed the door firmly,”
Is the adverb an extra or redundant word?
Instead, try “He slammed the door.”

Strive for strong sentences. The following are weak:

“Put it down, she shouted menacingly.”
“Give it back,” he pleaded abjectly, “it’s mine.”

Read page 119 of his book. I understand King’s examples very well, but I must admit I lose it when he gives the root explanation, written in the Tom Swift Books.

e.g. “Do your worst! Tom cried bravely.
“I’m the plumber,” he said, with a flush.

Fear is at the root of most bad writing. If you write for yourself, the fear can be mild.

If the speaker does not change, but he does or says something that would ordinarily lead to creating a new paragraph, well, do as you wish.

Stephen King argues that the paragraph, not the sentence, is the basic unit of writing. It is the place where coherence begins and words stand a chance of becoming more than mere words. It can be a single word long, or run for pages.

Many epic tales are pretty much epic crap –
Conversely, short doesn’t always mean sweet.


 Narration thru dance

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