I first started reading On Writing by Stephen King in my nonfiction English class with Mr. Cunningham this fall. This book has been my favorite book that I have ever read at Belmont Hill, and it has taught me more than any book I have read in the past.
On Writing utilizes King’s experiences as a writer to tell a larger story about his life centered around writing. King explores what, in his opinion, makes an author good and what to avoid. He tells stories from his childhood, explaining his upbringing and how he fell in love with writing in the first place.
What makes this book special is the lessons it teaches throughout. One of King’s main themes revolves around reading and writing more. King’s fundamental philosophy in becoming better as a writer is that you must practice writing often and read books to understand how to write well. He emphasizes the importance of drafting and how the first draft is never perfect and often altered before the final project is completed.
One of the clear benefits of this book is that most of its instructions are very concrete. I feel that sometimes minor details and themes are blown out of proportion in English classes, and this book makes it very clear what is good and what is not. It is very easy to understand what King is trying to explain to the reader, and he makes clear what steps to follow for people to improve their writing. I encourage every student to read On Writing; it will significantly improve your writing skills as well as your understanding of the English language and how to manipulate it to get your points across effectively.