No introduction is needed for Steven King. Maybe not this book either since it ranks No. 6 in Time magazine’s all time 100 best non-fiction books since 1923 (the year Time magazine began).

In the foreword, Steven King highly recommended The Elements of Style (which ranks No. 1 in Time magazine’s all time 100 best non-fiction books), and he also commented that

This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit.

Soon it becomes obvious that this book bears no resemblance to The Elements of Style: it is fun to read but helps little to writing skills. In fact, this book comprises three parts:

  1. CV
  2. On writing
  3. On living

Only the second part is related directly to writing skills. The first part is a memoir of his life before he became a professional writer. And the third part centers around a severe car accident in 1999.

Steven King’s writing advices include:

  • Avoid passive tense
  • Use less adverbs
  • Satisfy the formula “2nd draft = 1st draft - 10%”
  • Read a lot and write a lot

He also made an observation that “fear is at the root of most bad writings”.

Overall it is a great book and I highly recommend it.