Say what you will about Literature with a capital “L” or Canon with a captial “C” and where exactly Stephen King fits in there, if you even believe he fits in there at all. To me, the man can write and knows a little something about the craft and has plenty of passion for it. I’m a fan of King’s short stories over his longer work (if you’re new to King and not sure where to start, try his short story collection “Everything’s Eventual,” – the hardcover is oft to be found in Barnes & Noble bargain shelves everywhere), but no matter what he’s written I tend to enjoy it most in the audio version.
King is a rare jewel of a writer who reads his own work for the audio version and presents it unabridged. This does two things – it lets the reader feel how the author intended their story to be taken in and it doesn’t bow to corporate pressures of fitting everything onto a certain number of CDs, all nice and neat. If you’re like me and you love audiobooks but not the price, try your local library for a wide selection. I guarantee you’ll find some King there.
I’m (re-)listening to King’s On Writing between commutes to school and work and love the way it inspires me to write. King’s book is one part autobiography, one part how-to for craft, and one part how-to for breaking into the business. He approaches the craft in a practical way and explains it with the accessible ease of a good friend relating an old favorite yarn. I tend to listen to On Writing in August and January, just as new semesters begin, as well as the top of the summer to encourage myself not to let those sunny months go to waste when it comes to getting creative. I don’t find myself in a writing slump right now, but King’s book is a welcomed pep talk, and his practical advice is worth my time right now.
I’ll try to write about some of my favorite bits in the book here, in terms of how they inspire me and how I use them in my own writing, soon. I have, by the way, found the audio version on cassette and the hardcover of On Writing both relatively easy and for under $10 apiece. And, as if I couldn’t plug them enough in this blog, I believe there are a few copies at bookcloseouts.com.
[tags]Stephen King, On Writing, audiobooks, writing inspiration[/tags]