A Tip for Anyone Thinking of Writing About the Civil War…

12 11 2013

on-writing-stephen-king…and for just about everyone who has written about it and is thinking of writing more. If you read – or skim – many books or articles on our peculiar interest, it shouldn’t take very long before you realize most of it is crap. Not necessarily from a strict “history” sense, though there is a lot of that. But it seems to me that even really good history work is presented in a less than readable, not to mention entertaining, style. Come on. Admit it. You agree with me. Wholeheartedly. I know, you’re probably thinking that what I write here could be a whole lot better. You’re right.

OK, let’s cut to the chase. If you’re one of the folks to whom I’m referring in the lead-in, and haven’t done so already, get yourself a copy of Stephen King’s wonderful book, On Writing. Yeah, I know – he’s a novelist. It doesn’t matter. The lessons and tips in this book can’t help but positively affect what and how you write, regardless of genre. I won’t give examples because just about every page is gold, but you can go here to find some nuggets. And don’t think that because you’ve been published you don’t need any help – from what I’ve seen the odds against that are overwhelming. I beg this not as a writer, but as one of untold thousands of long suffering readers.



6 responses

12 11 2013
Scott Manning

Great recommendation! That is a book I pull out from time to time, always finding value. Anyone who writes regularly should pick up a copy.


12 11 2013
S. Thomas Summers

I’ll give it a look. Thanks.


16 11 2013
Patrick Young

Read it. Use it in my own writing.


17 11 2013
Russell Bonds

A longtime favorite on my shelf – great advice from “Uncle Stevie”.


19 11 2013
Drew Wagenhoffer

King should read your books. You’re a better writer than he is.


17 11 2013
Chris Evans

Great book. I enjoy reading it time to time.

One of the Civil War connections is in the section of books that King had recently read at that time is Richard Slotkin’s excellent novel ‘The Crater’.



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