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By William H. Benson

'On Writing' and 'Why I Write'


September 29, 2022

In the year 2000, the horror fiction writer Stephen King came out with a different kind of book, a nonfiction book that he entitled, “On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft.” He begins with a series of scenes from his childhood, and explains how he launched his career of writing popular fiction.

King uses a metaphor, that of a toolbox, to describe how he works when he writes. At the bottom of the toolbox lie the fundamentals: appropriate vocabulary, sticking with accepted grammar, the use of active verbs rather than passive, and avoiding adverbs.

The toolbox's second layer contains distinct...

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