Normally, the “Great Weekend Reads” I recommend are fiction. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed Stephen King‘s memoir On Writing, but did not at first consider telling you about it as a Great Weekend Read.
After all, who wants to read a textbook about grammar rules?
Except it isn’t a textbook.
It took me a while to realize that while I’d picked up On Writing mostly for storytelling tips and methods, the book is actually a most entertaining memoir.
If you admire King’s work and have wished for a chance to ask him about his life and how he gets his ideas, or what it’s like to start out as a part-time writer with a day job, or how a wildly successful author works, or what his day-to-day life looks like… this is your chance.
No ivory towers here. King is frank, conversational, and maybe a little self-deprecating as he recalls his childhood and his early successes and failures. He also offers some pointers about writing–dialog and description and such. Far from rule-driven lecturing, these chapters serve as a behind-the-scenes look at fiction writing. King entertains both with his own running commentary on methods, and with good and bad examples.
I’m not into King’s genre (horror) at all, but found myself liking the man very much. If you enjoy fiction, whether you write or not, my guess is you’ll like this book. And if you are a writer, I’m sure you will find it encouraging.
Thanks for reading!