Directions: A thorough paragraph reacting to what you've just read: What struck you? What surprised you? Did you learn anything new? Also, please touch on what you noticed rhetorically from King as well as what you deem the tone(s) of the section is/are. Cite evidence to support your claims. In addition, please remember that you must respond to at least one other post in a thorough and academic manner. I'm looking forward to reading your posts!
Maddie Williams
9/21/2012 03:33:17 pm

Up through chapter 16, I am extremely surprised with how much I am enjoying this book. Although Mrs. Z said that we would like it, I wasn't sure how much I would like a book about how to write. However, within the first few chapters my fears were dismissed. Going into it, I had absolutely no knowledge of how King grew up. It was interesting and insightful to hear about how he grew up with a single mother, moving from town to town. It was really surprising to me when I noticed that I wasn't reading a book teaching others how to write, but rather a book about how King became the writer he is. He uses many of the rhetorical devices we learned, but it seems to me that King Tends to use a lot of metaphors and similes. This is really cool because it adds clarification and, a lot of the time, humor to the stories and memories he is describing. For instance, when he elaborates on his encounter with poison ivy by saying "Yet worst of all was the hand I wiped it with; it swelled to the size of Mickey Mouse's after Donald Duck has bopped it with a hammer" (18), it not only gives a better picture of the aftermath of his bathroom adventure, but it makes light of the situation. King's tone reflects this as well. It is one that seems very nonchalant and relaxed, as if he were having a conversation with an old friend, rather than writing a published book. All in all, this book is fantastic thus far!

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Emma Chester
9/21/2012 04:07:56 pm

I agree completely with what you said about how enjoyable this book is. I also noticed the metaphors and smilies and felt like they helped to further explain things. I was in the process of writing my response when you posted yours and did not see it until after I had posted mine, andI think the fact that we both mentioned how it seemed like he was talking to a friend proves that it really does sound that way. I am glad that we are on the same page!

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Kylie Wermund
9/23/2012 06:17:07 pm

I agree with you about how King's writing is like he is talking to a friend. It doesn't seem as serious as other books and he makes it more enjoyable by writing like he is having a conversation with someone.

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Mrs. Ziegler
9/24/2012 07:00:39 pm

See...I told you! :)

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Austin Latack
9/24/2012 10:20:06 pm

I'm kind of upset that I read this before doing mine, because I feel like it was reading the documents before writing our own ideas down for an APUSH DBQ, and it was like a "vacuum cleaner sucking out all the information from my head," as Mr. Jager might say (with extensive hand motions of course). Anyway, you did well on touching on all aspects of the assignment, and proving it. I do agree with you on his tone and I love the rhetorical device example you included.

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Emma Chester
9/21/2012 04:01:11 pm

I am really enjoying this book so far. I think what struck me the most would be how much Stephen King moved around when he was young. He seems to have had a lot of inconsistency in his life, with all the moving, his father leaving them, and rarely being healthy the year he was supposed to be in first grade. I was surprised to read that he had been rejected as many times as he was. Most writers don't make it on the first try, but I assumed that someone as famous as King would have had an easy time getting published. I have noticed a couple examples of similes (3, 5, 10 13,15), like when he said that "pain lit up the sides of my face like a jukebox." There was also anaphora (12, 20) when he said "Once again...Once again...Once more" in one of the paragraphs and repeated the words "every light" when recalling what happened after they tried to make an electromagnet for David's science fair project. Another rhetorical device was diacope on page 23 when he said "Boy oh boy." There is practically a rhetorical device on every page. The tone seems to be very relaxed, like he is recalling these memories to a friend. He is telling the stories of his childhood very thoughtfully and candidly, but it flows almost like a conversation would, using many transitional phrases. When he is describing his numerous trips to the doctor, he includes a lot of detail and personal comparisons like how it seemed like there was a diaper under his head (10). This helps the reader to effectively grasp what he was thinking as a young boy.

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Maddie Williams
9/21/2012 04:36:31 pm

I agree with Emma also on being surprised that he got rejected so many times. It seems ironic that one of the most famous authors ever got shot down while he was getting started. If we both noticed similes there must be a lot of them!

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David Tarnowski
9/22/2012 03:06:20 pm

I agree with you. It is pretty ironic that this would happen to him. I think, however that a lot of authors experience this rejection and that the authors who push past these hardships are the ones who usually succeed in their writing.

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Jordon Young
9/24/2012 03:45:53 pm

Isn't that true of anything and everything? No one is ever completely successful the first time.

Caitlin Morgan
9/21/2012 09:34:23 pm

When I first began reading, On Writing, I expected to be strictly drilled on the proper tactics of producing a novel. However, as I should have guessed, Stephen King has once again found the most artistically intricate way to explain to his readers what is flowing through his mind: all still in keeping with his signature casual tone. His memories seem random and pointless at times, and it took me a couple chapters to realize the intended purpose they serve, but it does indeed become evident as the pages progress. These are all simply a way for him to explain how inspiration for written content can be drawn from and inspired by any literal or imagined experience, whether they be scarring or pointless: you can pull from virtually anywhere. Relative to rhetorical devices, King has clearly included an immense amount throughout each paragraph, and not without purpose. With knowledge that this book revolves around the art of writing, He has surely varied these tools as an underlying lesson for us readers. Rhetorical questions keep his messages in a laid-back sense (34), while hyperbole revelates back to the dramatic storytelling ways of a child (27), and onomatopoeia allows his true personality and feelings toward the text to shine through (32). Clearly the classic metaphoric tools were used as well, but this author took it further for educating purposes, without blaring it in our faces. Overall, I personally love how this book is written, (no surprise- as a self-proclaimed Stephen King fan). Though it may be a little too candid for me at times, it is a breath of fresh air in the world of academia, and I have already learned from it.

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9/22/2012 08:18:06 am

I agree with Caitlin, I assummed that this book was going to be about writing and how to write properly. But I'm glad that he proved us both wrong and found a way to teach writing while writing a really enoyable book!

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9/22/2012 08:22:45 am

I guess I should proof read better considering that I spelled assumed and enjoyable wrong! Sorry!

David Tarnowski
9/22/2012 03:10:59 pm

Wow, that was deep. I never thought of his using rhetoric devices in his writing as a underlying teaching tool, but I think that you're write. (Pun intended) I also saw that the experiences in his life were something that he could use in his writing which is why I started to mentally analyze the text. I wanted to see if I could see his inspiration for his horror novels.

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Katelyn Tillstrom
9/23/2012 03:38:57 pm

I know what you mean; I thought it was going to be like a guide too. But I really like that it's more of a memoir, at least so far! :)

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Mrs. Z
9/24/2012 07:08:50 pm

Yay! You know I love learning! :)

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9/22/2012 08:11:36 am

As much as I love reading, I wasn't sure how I was going to like a book about writing but so far I have loved it. I stayed up late last night just to read. I should have known that it would be written so well and so easy to read because Stephen King’s tone is so natural and easy going. I enjoy his casual writing in this book, as if he is talking to a friend. It makes his story more enjoyable to read. It was very interesting to read about King's childhood because I never knew the all the struggles he had to face, even as a young boy. Always being sick, having to move, and being pulled out of school. Using his childhood memories and stories about being younger is fun to read because for some reason I always pictured the famous Stephen King as always being a serious writer. Not ever having a childhood or even a failure at writing. I think that might be what has surprised me the most so far. One that he started writing at such a young age and two how many times he was rejected before he actually wrote something that got published. I always assumed he just was a pro from the start. In this book King uses many rhetorical devices; I probably haven’t even noticed half of them. I like how uses many similes and metaphors. The one that made me laugh was the one when he was talking about his adventure in the woods and he said “…It swelled to the size of Mickey Mouse’s after Donald Duck bopped it with a hammer…” (31). Sentences like that one are what makes King’s tone so enjoyable to read. I am really enjoying this book so far and know I am learning a lot from reading it!

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Alex Forsythe
9/23/2012 11:59:48 am

I have the same feeling as you, Magaret! I was expecting the majority of the reading to be very uptight and serious, but it wasn't like that in any way. I also loved how it felt like he was talking to a friend because it was easier to read, and also more enjoyable. I think it's awesome to see a real life example of somebody so famous as he is get shot down, and get right back up and try again. Tons of bad things have happened to him, but he always finds a way to stay on the positive side of things.

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Danielle Curley
9/23/2012 09:00:04 pm

I also thought it was going to be a book on writing but I am glad its not, I actually want to read this and I feel like a book that taught us how to write would be really boring,

9/23/2012 09:36:20 pm

I agree with you Margaret! I've loved Stephen King for his writing for a long time, and this is an entirely new twist to him that I haven't read brfore. King is super easy to read because you can find things to relate too.

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Carley Grau
9/24/2012 05:18:12 pm

I thought reading a book about writing would be boring too even though I love reading. I'm glad this author has a good sense of humor and a nice way of tying things together to get his point across!

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Katelyn Tillstrom
9/22/2012 02:13:51 pm

The first section of On Writing, I thought was really enjoyable. It's interesting to read something like this from such a well-known author. I like that he says this book a a bunch of "snapshots, out of focus" (4). And a lot of those snapshots of his early childhod are portrayed in chapters one through sixteen, as well as just some of the things that inspired him as a writer. Some parts were almost humerous. For example the moment he writes about as a little boy in the woods with his older brother, and his sudden urge to use the bathroom, but feeling okay about it later when he was told that all the cowboys do it (18). And even their other shenanigans, like the "super duper electromagnet" made me laugh out loud (20)! But the thing that struck me th most throughout this part, was his constant attempt at writing stories. He loved to do them so he did! It's interesting to see the things that he wrote based on events in his life, no matter how small. Like how the S&H Green stamps turned into a story (26). He even submitted to his favorite magazines. My favorite part about that was that he kept his rejection papers. And even some mentioned his talent. I really liked the part where the man who kept King's story, but didn't publish it, came back years later for him to sign it! I did notice some rhetorical devices, of course! One of them was his "man oh man" (diacope) on page 23, referring to the man who came back to have him sign that submission. I also noticed the onomotpoeia on page 28. He says his house was quiet, except for the "whoosh" of the furnace. I think King is a great writer and I know the rest of this book will be just as enjoyable! I'm mainly looking forward to his journey to becoming a writer!

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sam johnson
9/23/2012 12:18:39 pm

It is nice to know in advance that the guy who wrote this book is succesful and knows what he's doin.

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Jeff Lueders
9/24/2012 04:24:16 pm

I too thought it was really cool how King started writing at such a young age, and then he kept at it even through failure. His writing, as you said, was inspired by some of the most random things he found, but he still created intriguing stories from them and that really impressed me.

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Kasey S.
9/24/2012 08:16:29 pm

I also agree. I wrote plays when i was younger that my siblings and I put on for my parents but never actual stories so I think its impressive.

David Tarnowski
9/22/2012 03:01:13 pm

When I first saw that this book was by Stephen King, I got all excited. Then, when I saw that it was called, On Writing, I was kind of discouraged. I was surprised at how good it was. I found the chapters we had to read to be incredibly interesting and well written with a nice, solid blend of both humor and seriousness. My absolute favorite part so far, was when he describes his experience with Eula-Beulah. I actually laughed out loud when he described her farting on him (7). It was intruiging to see how the author of some the scariest books today, grew up. While I was reading, I would try and see which events in his life shaped the way he writes now. Although I don't think that he has touched on that point right now, I'm sure he will in future chapters. His overall tone is one of reminisince. He is remembering the events of his childhood and is able to reflect on even the bad ones. His vivid descriptions of certain events in his life are incredible and I can almost imagine the pain that he felt. There is an example of metonymy when King writes, "...it was a walk in the park" (13). He is using this phrase instead of just saying that it was easy. There are several examples of similes in the book. An example of hyberbole that occurs in the writing is when King writes, "Anything would be better than the old needle-in-the-ear trick" (14). He is obviosly exaggerating when he says this, hence making it and overstatement.

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Leland Dunwoodie
9/23/2012 10:50:47 am

I agree, Eula-Beulah was hilarious. I am also looking forward to events that help form his current style of writing, even though I am not that familiar with his work. I, too, was amazed at how interesting a writing memoir could be. It was amazing how much rhetoric King managed to fit into those first 30 pages!

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Kaitlyn Wade
9/25/2012 09:59:52 am

That was my favorite part as well! I'm not too familiar with his works, but I feel I already know how he writes. I'm excited to see how he developed his writing style, while throwing in elements to teach us tips on writing.

9/24/2012 05:27:55 pm

Yeah, I was discouraged as well when i read the title of the book. However the book isn't bad. King uses a plethora of rhetorical devices, most we probably haven't found. I haven't read many King books, but reading this one makes me want to read others.

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Leland Dunwoodie
9/23/2012 10:41:51 am

These first 16 chapters have surprised me. I not only was shocked to find that I was reading Stephen King's humorous reflection of his young self but to also find that I was enjoying it. I was amazed by how King managed to fit a hefty amount of rhetoric into writing about the trials, tribulations, and laughs he had as a kid. As other bloggers have noticed, King uses many similes, metaphors, and implied metaphors to not only clarify his points but also to make events that happened in the fifties relatable to contemporary readers. I particularly love how King introduces this book by contrasting his memory to that of Mary Karr's by saying that Karr's is "an almost unbroken panorama" and that his is "a fogged-out landscape from which memories appear like isolated trees...the kind that look as if they might like to grab and eat you" (3). I also enjoyed how King said that writers are made, not formed. This is true because even talented individuals won't see their talent flourish if they don't work at it. The tone of this passage is humorous as King describes his childhood goofs - such as when he blows the power in both his building and the adjacent building - as well as honest and serious when he writes of events that troubled his childhood, such as his visits to the "otiologist" (10) or ear doctor. I thought that it was inspirational how he put his rejected papers up on the wall and listened to pump-up music; it reminded me of scenes from motivational movies such as "Rocky" or "Hoosiers." I laughed (or lol-ed) many times while reading this first section. I can't wait to see if Dave has any more "Super Duper" episodes (19). I thought it was beautiful how King described book ideas as floating towards him and that it was a writer's job simply to recognize and catch the sailing idea (25). I am looking forward to further learning how King becomes formed, and not made, into a writer.

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Leland Dunwoodie
9/23/2012 10:43:10 am

By the way, a doctor that specializes in ears in an Otolaryngologist.

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Samir Shah
9/23/2012 09:06:49 pm

That is something that i didn't know.

Evan Pille
9/24/2012 03:10:06 pm

Ear, nose, and throat to be more exact.

Mrs.Z
9/24/2012 07:11:04 pm

You guys crack me up!

Alex Forsythe
9/23/2012 11:54:05 am

I was also one to be surprised at how different this book was from what I expected. I was assuming it would be all about writing style, since the book is about writing. I am glad that this book is more of a story about King's life rather than just about the writing styles different authors use. I've never read any of Stephen King's books before, but now that I have started one, I might end up picking another one in the near future. I really like how he brings humor into his writing. His childhood seems almost unreal due to how many bad things happened to him. I noticed some onomatopoeia as I was reading. "Sometimes when she was afflicted, she would throw me on the couch, drop her wool-skirted but on my face, and let loose. Pow!" (7). "Pow! Super!" (20) I would definitely not want one my babysitter farting on my face, but I will have to admitt that I did laugh as I read that. I think it's great that he posted his books that got rejected on his wall. That was a constant reminder that he needed to keep going and pursue his dreams. The tone in this book is kind of uplifting because even though his stories got rejected, he still keeps trying. "When I got the rejection slip from AHMM, I pounded a nail into the wall above the Webcir, wrot "Happy Stamps" on the rejection slip, and poked it onto the nail" (29). I think that's so inspiring that he did that. Because of this, he became a very successful writer. He demonstrates so much motivation. I am very excited to continue reading, and to find out more about Stephen King as he was made into a writer.

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sam johnson
9/23/2012 12:28:13 pm

Thats kinda funny. I didnt notice the onomatopoeia in the whole fart part. Its interesting how different rhetorical devices are easier to pick out for some than for others and visa versa.

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9/23/2012 07:03:16 pm

I agree that I thought this book would be rigid and stick to the strictness of writing technique. Through his stories, though, it exhibits the personality and amusement that helps convey the writing suggestions or observations much more smoothly. Plus his stories make it more comprehensive or believable regarding how his personal experiences deal with the realistic trial and error of writing.

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Sam Johnson
9/23/2012 12:05:31 pm

The best part about writing on the blog later is that you get to read what everyone else wrote before you write your paragragh. Im not the biggest Stephen King fan, I have always prefered biographies, memoirs, and essays to fiction (or 'how to' books.) After reading the first forty pages I'm convinved that I will enjoy the rest of it. It has a wonderful sense of humor and a very playfull tone to it. The first page of the required reading begins with a series of metaphores and parrallelisms (pg1.) The second is riddled with analogys, implied metaphors, and assonance (pg2.) The third has examples of similes and asyndetons (pg3.) The twenty seventh has examples of hyperboles and parrallelism (pg27.) I was able to find multiple rhetorical devices on every single page of the reading that we had to do. This is the funnest part of Kings writing because you can disect all of the various syntax and structures to understand why his sentance sounds better then someone elses. I also get the sense that his orgin really ties in very nicely to the phrase "If you want to become a better writer, write more." An interesting quality which I noticed in his writing is that he would often end a chapter with a quote (pg19,23,28,36,40.) There were just little goofy things like that that made discovering things within his writing kinda fun.

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Lauren Clem
9/23/2012 12:28:24 pm

I agree with Sam. I really liked how King's book was a more serious book about writing, but at the same time incorporated fun stories and a sense of humor. His writing used many rhetorical devices but it still flowed and he was able to share his opinion about writing.

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Taylor Dale
9/23/2012 08:05:23 pm

I would have to aggree with Sam about being able to read other people's responses. It makes me feel better about putting my opinion out for everyone else to see. I would also have to aggree about being able to find a rhetorical device on every page, I already have so many sticky notes marking where they are.

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Gunner Harrison
9/23/2012 03:01:47 pm

I like how short the chapters are; it makes reading more easier. Its a lot better than I thought it would be. So far it is more of a story of his early childhood, which is quite interesting, with a few pointers here and there on how he learned to write. It amazes me how often he wrote and tried to get published and that he didn't quit. He took criticism as help, like when he was told not to staple writing (p 27), instead of getting angry as I would have. This probably was key to his success, and I just found it interesting.

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9/23/2012 08:55:06 pm

I agree with Gunner, having short chapters deffinatley makes the reading move along faster. It keeps me thinking that i am doing way more than reading a few pages.

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KYLE frazier
9/24/2012 05:29:27 pm

I love short chapters.

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Sara Buckle
9/24/2012 06:22:36 pm

I definitely like short chapters. It definitely shows how Stephen King chose to "omit needless words".

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Danielle Curley
9/24/2012 07:13:01 pm

The short chapters is really nice, I read slow and its good that there arent lengthy chapters.

Gunner Harrison
9/23/2012 03:03:11 pm

Maddie and I are on the same page with this book. I did not expect to like it as much as I do already. I look forward to reading more.

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Kylie Wermund
9/23/2012 06:13:57 pm

These first 16 chapters were a very easy read. I was not expecting it to be this enjoyable to read. The chapters went by quickly and I found them fun to read. Based on the title of this book, I was expecting this to be a difficult and quite frankly, boring book about writing. However, I was surprised to read King's personal stories and how his troubles in his life encouraged his writing. His stories were both funny and relevant. In telling his stories, King uses many of the rhetorical devices we have discussed in class. Most noticeably, similes and metaphors. King puts simile to good use while talking about the time he got stung by a bee. By comparing the "brilliant" pain he felt to a "poisonous inspiration," King makes his point clear to the reader that this was an immense amount of pain. The tone of the book so far has been humorous at some times and serious at others. For example, King's tone was quite humorous when he wrote about the babysitter who sat on him and farted. However, when talking about the pain he felt when he visited the ear doctor, King's tone was more serious. Thus far, King's book has been both enjoyable and knowledgeable with his funny stories and serious tips.

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Alex Miller
9/24/2012 07:47:13 pm

I agree with Kylie, how he got started with writing was very insightful and shows he had a normal childhood. I loved how he was humorous through his diction and Kylie and I share that with everything else. Kylie's summary is perfect!

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9/23/2012 06:56:51 pm

The text through chapter 16 in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King, tells many humorous tales about the times rowdy brothers Stephen and David King have in various memories of Stephen’s childhood, the early attraction he has toward reading different types of books, and lastly the many realizations King has on the origin of writing inspiration. King steers toward using a lighthearted and entertaining tone. This can be seen where King describes at the beginning of chapter 1, “My earliest memory is of imagining I was someone else-imagining that I was, in fact, the Ringling Brothers Circus Strongboy” (18). King starts writing with this cute but awful story of how when he was toddler, he gets stung by a wasp that flew out of the cinderblock he was carrying as the “Strongboy”, and then, in shock, drops the heavy block on his vulnerable foot. This priceless story demonstrates to the readers this innocent situation that they cannot really decide whether to laugh or feel bad for the poor kid. King also uses spectacular diction in the same location of the book, when he writes about the pesky wasp sting, “the pain was brilliant, like a poisonous inspiration” (19). It really transfers the magnitude of pain, kid Stephen, was enduring. In chapter 3, the length of the chapter is short but gets the message across, a very entertaining one at that, about why his family was evicted. He makes uses of anaphora when he writes, “I don’t know where my mother was when this happened. I don’t know where the babysitter of the week was, either”(22), when explaining how his brother was sneaking around on the roof. Syntax style is notable in the last few sentences of chapter 3, as well, when King reassures the readers of his brother’s safety, “He made it back. He is now fifty-five and living in New Hampshire”(22). That was definitely a laugh out loud chapter for the amusing last few sentences, especially. These were some of the ways King encompasses an enjoyable style throughout.

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Samir Shah
9/23/2012 09:05:48 pm

I agree, i feel like in this part of the book, King decides to use a more entertaining/cute childish tone to depict how his early life influences his later work in writing.

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Taylor Dale
9/23/2012 07:58:55 pm

So far the book has been even more interesting than I would have imagined it would be. I thought it would be boring, but it is extremely funny.It read very fast and easy and it was enjoying to read.I definately know more about Stephen King's background then I did before. Although I knew very little about him before I read it. I noticed that Stephen King used many of the same rhetorical devices. Just like everyone else I noticed that he used a lot of similes and metaphors. My favorite part so far is when he used hyperboles. One herbole he used is, "I saw the needle onhis hand -- it looked as long as the ruler in my school pencil box -- and tensed."(10) He also repeated the same fraze over and over again, "Pow!"(10,20,7) It was a great use of an ontomatopoeia, it really brought out parts of his stories. Other than that I really enjoyed reading Stephen King's book on Writing, it was hard to put it down but I had other things to do.

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Lauren Clem
9/23/2012 08:30:44 pm

The repetition of the "Pow" was something I have not seen in many other books. I like how that is somewhat unique to King's writing style.

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Lauren Clem
9/23/2012 08:28:30 pm

Stephen King's book, On Writing, was very interesting and, surprisingly, a fun read. I was surprised that a book about the styles and techniques of writing made me want to write more myself. Learning that failure at the beginning of even something that you love can, in the end, can be beneficial to what you get out of the whole experience. In other words, the way King used the rhetorical devices we are learning now in many different ways throughout the first several chapters made it easier to understand just how writing can be a learning, growing process. Anaphora was used with the repetition of "once..." (20) but even more common terms like onomatopoeia and personification were found throughout the writing as well (7, 11, 13, 25, 28, 29). King's purpose of writing is of course to inform readers of the aspects of writing, but at the same time, I believe he also wants to encourage people to do the same with their own writing. 

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Caitlin Morgan
9/23/2012 08:51:52 pm

It totally made me want to write more, as well! His failure inspired me to improve my own personal standards.

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Courtney Bennett
9/23/2012 09:25:08 pm

Reading this has also made me more motivated to write. I think it's cool how Stephan King is subtly encouraging people to write more. Reading about his failures makes me less afraid of failure.

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Mrs. Z
9/24/2012 07:15:04 pm

Love this!

Danielle Curley
9/23/2012 08:46:11 pm

I agree with Maddie and Emma that King does seem like he is chatting with an old friend, also there alot of uses of Metaphors that help his story.

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9/23/2012 08:52:58 pm

In this book, i love how personal King is. Along with many others I was afraid that it would be a boring book of gramatics, and how to clearly portray our ideas on paper. I found though that there is very little of what King likes to call Bull shit in this book. King is hilarious, and I am suprised to say that I am really enjoying his book! His child hood memories remind me of my own being the younger brother of Andy, have got a fair share of blame for doing his ideas first. "I hesitated, give me that much credit, but in the end daves manic enthusiasm was too much to withstand. I plugged it in." Even though he just cost the state a fair deal of money King remains blissful on these moments, and I love this book so far.

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Danielle Curley
9/23/2012 08:57:41 pm

So far I am enjoying this book, it is entertaining and fun. I have learned alot about Stephen Kings childhood so far and the way he writes about it is light hearted. It is intrestesing to know where a writer comes from and what formed who they are now.Like others hage said King does use alot of metaphors and similes. An example of a similie he used is "she was as big as a house"(20). What I also enjoy about Kings writing is he is very freely spoken, he uses the luanguage he wants to.

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Samir Shah
9/23/2012 09:00:41 pm

The first 16 chapters of the book was not only easy, but fun. i felt like i was reading an autobiography about how he grew up. I like how he his love for comic books got him to start writing. I also found it very cute how him and his babysitter would always get along. I understand that his childhood adventures reflect on his style of writing. i feel that they are not only a way for him to show how he became a writer, but also a way to show that anyone can become a writer. I feel that his whole point in adding a biography about himself is to show what drove him to become a writer. So far, i believe the tone to be more on the happy childish side. This is shown throughout the chapters, for instance when his babysitter would constantly bully him, but he would always be laughing. Also how him and his brother would build "Super Duper" magnets causing everything to lose power. Rhetorically, King's writing seems to contain loads of devices. For instance his use of parallelism and simile (pg 29) when he wrote his first book. Also, when he over exaggerates the needle to a ruler (pg 24).






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Evan Pille
9/24/2012 03:36:28 pm

It will be interesting to see if the tone stays the same lighthearted way it is. I kind of doubt it considering the amount of horror he has written. The real question is however, does this love for horror come from his love for gore and cheesy science fiction, or does it come from something worse. An event so horrible, the repercussions in his pathos would be seen for years. Many people forget that there are two leading emotions in horror. One is well known: the fear. Usually represented as some monster trying to kill you. The other is less well known: sadness. Edger Allen Poe was well known for the second and his life was one of pain and misery. Only reading more of the book well let us know what drove him to write such stories of blood and pain.

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Evan Scieszka
9/24/2012 06:22:50 pm

I agree with Samir that the childish tone makes his writing seem more authentic when he is talking about his actual childhood. However, I did not think that the relationship with his babysitter was cute, if you ask me a grown woman who farts in a kids face one minute and then locks him in a closet has a few screws loose.

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Courtney Bennett
9/23/2012 09:16:14 pm

Like many of you, I have found myself really enjoying Stephan King's memoir so far. I expected more of a lesson and less of a story, but I'm pleasantly surprised to be finding myself eagerly turning pages. I appreciate the authentic way that Stephan King writes, and how he doesn't try to fabricate anything about both writing and his life. I'm surprised to find out that King's earlier stories were copied or based on other stories. I would have expected originality to be an ever-present characteristic of a great writer like Stephan King, even when he was young. This, along with the multiple rejection letters he received, is really inspiring. King's humorous tone and wide array of rhetorical devices make the story more exciting to read. He uses parallelism when when he says that ever sine the shot in his eardrum, one of his firmest principles is "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on the both of us" (25). He used plenty of similes and metaphors to help convey his thoughts. At one point, King writes "I remember an immense feeling of possibility at the idea, as if I had been ushered into a vast building filled with closed doors and had been given leave to open any I liked" (28). He also incorporates allusions, evident when he writes "Little Stevie King, Stratford's answer to Chuck Yeager" (33). I am really enjoying King's writing style and hope to learn more about writing by the time I've finished the memoir.

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Kelsey Berndt
9/23/2012 09:36:36 pm

I was also a little surprised about how he copied/based his earliest stories on comic books. Even though he was a kid. I always just think of writers writing original things.

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Zoey Holmstrom
9/24/2012 03:35:45 pm

I agree Kelsey. I would have never imagined a child who copied stories out of a silly comic book and wrote them off as his own would become a world famous author. It is cool though that this was his first way of writing anything that led to him creating his own stories and having them sold to his family members.

Kaytlynn Toering
9/24/2012 08:56:31 pm

The ideas that he got from those comic books must have been pretty amazing. Although he didn't exactly write the stories himself, it took creativity to come up with the idea, and then change words and names to fit his own fantasy. It was amazing when his mom persuaded him to write his own stories, and that his family helped support him. All of his hard work and dedication really paid off! No matter how many times he sent in a submission and it was denied, he used that to surge himself forward and to achieve his goal.

Richard H.
9/23/2012 09:24:56 pm

I am terrible at noticing rhetorical devices in reading so odds are this will will be extremely short. Like every reading assignment, I thought this would be really boring. Right away I noticed metaphors and similes throughout; King's comparison of his life (a fogged-out landscape) to Mary Karr's being the first (Pg 17). King also incorporates great humor with the summary about Eulah-Beulah. I noticed the onomatopoeia right away when he described his experience with the babysitter. His trip to the ear specialist struck me, too. Since I haven't experienced pain that is "beyond the world," I'd say it was a very appropriate hyperbole (King could probably argue that the statement wasn't even an exaggeration). King's screams that still echo in his head (Pg 25) are another example of hyperbole. I got a great laugh when he described his "push" (Pg 30-31). More examples of metaphors, which are probably too inappropriate to include here, I found here. As for tone, it is entertaining and humorous while also staying serious. More examples include King's brother's "Super Duper" science project and the story he submitted to AHMM. Finally, I like the short chapters very much.

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Jeremy M. Barker
9/23/2012 11:41:15 pm

I agree with Richard that the similes and metaphor were the easiest to pick out of the bunch. You did good with finding rhetorical devices, so don't start off saying that you're bad at it. I think you could say more personal things though in response, most of your paragraph is all citing devices, but I want to hear more about what you personally thought. I also agree that the short chapters are mildly enjoyable.

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Mrs. Z
9/24/2012 07:22:23 pm

You'll get better at identification, Richard. No worries.

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Michael Gorton
9/24/2012 09:01:38 pm

Very good examples Richard. I personally compared the pain I experienced to the agony suffered by King at the ear doctor. After a short thought, I totally agree that I myself have never experienced something as dramatically painful as that! You also had accurate identification of the onomatopoeia that seems to be repeted throughout the chapters (Pg. 7, 20, 23).

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Kelsey Berndt
9/23/2012 09:33:55 pm

When I started reading this, I was really surprised by how funny Stephen King is. I've never read any of his books, but I did not expect this to be humourous. His use of similies and metaphors really add to the humor. A good example of this is "it swelled to the size of Mickey Mouse's hand after Donald Duck has bopped it with a hammer" (18). King also uses onomatopoeia, "pow," (7), anaphora, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us," (12), allusion "something was rotten in Denmark," (10), and diacope "man oh man," (23). I am really enjoying this book, it's much better than all the books we had to read last year, and I look forward to reading the rest of it.

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Jeremy M. Barker
9/23/2012 11:34:31 pm

This book is fairly interesting. I can not say I'm surprised by Stephen King's past, but it is different and interesting to read. I'll comprehend more of this after tomorrow when I can listen to the audio books which I'm currently downloading, but I did alright by myself. Regarding King I learned several new facts about his past which is described in a comical manner and probably reflects his personality. Since I'm a prejudice person I will simply assume that King is a generally laid back, care free man, is rationally obsessed with himself, and understands what he is talking about. I did enjoy reading of his brother knocking out the power in his apartment and then watching the power company come fix it. That, for me, is the funniest thing King has stated so far. Another thing is that I noticed is that King must of had a very close relationship with his mother since he began to write his own stories because she congratulated him and gave him some of the highest praised he ever accepted. To continue, I was able to examine several rhetorical devices such as similes. “I had a fever of a hundred and four degrees, and each time I swallowed, pain lit up the sides of my face like a jukebox." (10). I was excited when I saw this because it was the first device that I noticed. Another example would the parallelism of referring to the "otiologist" on pages 10 and 14. One more device I picked up is an allusion. “My new teacher was Mrs. Taylor, a kind lady with gray Elsa Lanchester – 'Bride of Frankenstein' hair and protruding eyes.” (17). For now, this book doesn't seem to be any worse than the books I read for the summer reading. Not that I've ever enjoyed reading being that it destroys my thought process and causes heavy stress to my body, but soon I'll be able to simply listen to it through audio books. "On Writing," by Stephen King, is a fairly decent book.

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Collin Halamka
9/24/2012 07:07:07 pm

I feel like everyone used the "pain lit up the sides of my face like a jukebox" line.

Also, you should learn how to read.

And finally, I agree this is a pretty good book with a lot of rhetorical devices.

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Mrs. Z
9/24/2012 07:42:29 pm

Collin: safe place. Please.

Mrs. Z
9/24/2012 07:50:15 pm

Jeremy: I'm wondering how you'll annotate and locate the nuances of his writing if you are solely listening to audio books. Please get back to me on this.

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Evan Pille
9/24/2012 03:05:03 pm

The thing that struck me the most odd about his past was how much he remembered about it. He describes his past as snapshots, blurry, but still intact. To me it's all a blur. I don't even remember what the inside of the two previous houses that I lived in looked like, and that's just six years ago, he is writing about decades in the past all the way to when he was two. I do suppose though that his childhood was significantly more interesting then mine was. There were never any rockets made, any "super-duper" inventions, no fat baby sitters that farted on my face, and no poison ivy rubbed on my rear-end. His whole childhood in fact, seems like something right out of a fiction novel. But it's not fiction, it's all true. That's probably what makes it interesting. I'll be honest, if the same story was told in a fictional story it would be quite boring to me. To me so far the book is interesting, but only because it's the story of how a boy named Steve became one of the worlds most famous writers. I have nothing against his writing style, it's actually quite good, it's just I've never been into those stories about kids running around getting into pointless trouble.

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Jerred Zielke
9/24/2012 05:33:16 pm

I too can't remember much from the past few years. I was also surprised by how much King could remember from his childhood, and he was 53 when he wrote the book.

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Zoey Holmstrom
9/24/2012 03:32:04 pm

Personally, I have only heard of Stephen King’s books. I’ve never actually picked one up. So far, this has been an enjoyable read that is a little hard to put down at times. It was really entertaining to read about this crazy author’s childhood, well, what he remembers (3). By reading the title, I thought that this book was going to be very focused on the aspects of writing. However, King uses so many fun examples of his childhood that inspired him to be a writer (17). I really found it interesting when King said that he is part of a group of authors that learned to read and write before technology vastly improved (22). Another aspect that I like in the book is the tone.This book has kind of a lighthearted tone to it, and isn’t one of complete seriousness which the title led me to belive. So far, I have enjoyed almost every single part of this novel. I did hate the part where he was describing going to the Otolaryngologist because I have a huge fear of needles (10). Overall, these chapters have really brought me new knowledge and understanding of a human being that I’ve known of from my English classes. I can’t wait to see what else this intriguing book has in store.

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Jeff Lueders
9/24/2012 04:16:07 pm

Surprisingly enough this book On Writing isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Stephen King takes a very unique approach in his first sixteen chapters as to how good writers come to be by describing his own childhood and how that affected him as a writer. But he assures that "this is not an autobiography" (17). So far the most common literary device I have found King using is the use of flashbacks, since he is talking about his childhood after all. His childhood is also very interesting with how he was moving houses constantly, his relationship with his brother, and his odd experiences with babysitters.

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Evan Kiel
9/24/2012 04:29:37 pm

I feel like what I was going to say has been said 10 times already but, I'll say it anyways. I started out thinking this was going to be a book on grammar and how it is used, almost like a text book but as I got farther through it I realized that the book was quite enjoyable. The only problem with this was that I forgot to look for or remember where the rhetorical devices were. Still, the book was fun and truly a story of King's life chalked full of rhetorical devices that make it useful as a learning tool as well as interesting. Some of these devices are his use of onomatopoeia, mostly the word "Pow!"(7). Another example is anaphora, "Once" is used over and over to show how he is tired of getting the needle in the ear trick(25). Also, there were tons of similes and metaphors that King used to clarify points and put humor into his writing

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Justin Marutz
9/24/2012 05:24:55 pm

I without a doubt agree with you Evan. He incorporates writing and smart assayer/humor together in a elegant blend. As well as his rhetoric is very natural and found throughout the book. Hopefully by the end of APLAC we will have found our voice and at least have grown as writers.

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Mrs. Z
9/24/2012 07:18:55 pm

I hope so, too! I'm certain you will!

Carley Grau
9/24/2012 05:16:58 pm

When i first picked up Stephen King's book On Writing I was almost positive I'd have to force myself to read it despite the fact that I love reading. It seemed like it would be a book only on constructing how to improve on writing and different styles of writing. I was delightedly surprised that it seems to be kind of a store, albeit a random one. I liked the somewhat original anaphora he used "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us," (12), Ive only heard the first two thirds of that quote and I liked the last bit that was added on. The way he casually explains his life and the way writing has tied in with it is great and keeps learning about writing really intriguing, if the book stays as lighthearted and humorous as it is it probably won't feel like homework to have to read the rest of it.

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Justin Marutz
9/24/2012 05:19:30 pm

Though I am more a fan of science fiction or Greek mythology, the King presents the book in a very interesting yet comical way. Though this the first of King's books that I have picked up, I had not know of some of the hardships he had to face growing up, though it must play some part to his writing of mainly thrillers. Also the realization that all of the famous authors started off just writing, they did not just magically become who they are to today. King describes the secret behind writing very well, "good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere," (25). King is without a doubt a very well spoken/written author. Though his tone is very jokingly and smart-ass (not very serious), which many remarks resembles myself is a way. Speaking of writing, just in the first thirty pages alone, King uses tons of rhetoric in his writing to spice it up though without interfering with his flow. Throwing in onomatopoeia such as, "Pow! Super!." (20). Along with epanalepsis, "man oh man." (23). King also uses litotes, "This is good. Not for us, but good. You have talent. Submit again. " (29). The book is quite enjoyable and a smooth read; I'm looking forward to reading more and discovering what else King has in store for us.

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Evan Kiel
9/24/2012 08:33:23 pm

I'm not sure if you put "the King" in on purpose but I found it funny. Also, I never really knew how writers started either. I just kinda figured they started out extremely good, mostly because I've never thought about it

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Jerred Zielke
9/24/2012 05:22:18 pm

I’m surprised how much I enjoy On Writing so far. Like everyone else, I thought that the book was going to be long and boring, but I’m glad I was wrong. My favorite part in the first sixteen chapters has to be the part where his older brother tries to make a “super duper” electromagnet and knocks out the power when he plugs it in. King uses a variety of rhetorical devices such as the onomatopoeia “pow!” (32). He also uses numerous similes and metaphors. One example would be “she was as big as a house” (20). I can tell I’m going to like this book and can’t wait to talk about it in class.

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9/24/2012 05:23:25 pm

The way Stephen King describes his childhood, introduction to writing, and his writing style struck me. Stephen's childhood was a bit more abnormal than usual. Stephen was traveling all over the place because of his mother that was looking for his father (4), and the all the events that had triggered from this moving really suprised me. Events such as the wasp incident, and Dave's Super Duper Electromagnet. I learned that everyone has the potential of becoming a writer, but its the sharpening of your potential that forms yourself as a writer. King uses many rhetorical devices, such as a diacope "man oh man" (23), and the uses of the onomatopoeia "pow" (7). Overall, the book was entertaining, and I'm excited to read more.

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Marcus Shannon
9/24/2012 05:59:27 pm

For a guy that writes a lot of horror themed books I didn’t expect this for the first 16 chapters. Instead of writing something to scare me into writing better it’s just moments from his early years of growing up. The odd memories he is reliving seem to be funny, serious, or depressing at times. The first time he remembers hurting himself is with a cinderblock and his Aunt Ethelyn laughs about it years later (5). That seems to be something that my mother would do to me, but I never did blow out any neighbor’s electricity or drop cement on myself (21). He does write using a lot of metaphors, but what I really enjoy is the rhetorical questions like “Wouldn’t that be great” referring to helping his brother with another experiment (21). The tone set by that is that of and the shortness of each chapter. He says what needs to be said and that’s that. It’s lighthearted, funny, and it’s easy to imagine these things happening. I prefer reading ahead and I’m happy to say so far I like his tone still.

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Jordon Young
9/24/2012 08:35:23 pm

That is a really good opening, Marcus.

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Evan Scieszka
9/24/2012 06:17:34 pm

When I first learned that we were reading a Stephen King book, I was excited, however that excitement turned into slight disappointment when I learned that the book was just about writing. So far, I have been proven wrong. Although it is not like other King books, On Writing has its own unique flavor that makes it interesting. As usual, ultimate success starts from the ground up, this was also true in Stephen King’s case since he never really hade a father and his mother was barely providing for them. This inspires people to make something of their lives and in King’s case it eventually inspired the creativity that led to writing. I was surprised at how easily he was able to handle rejection through his writing. He knew that even though he got rejected so many times, he would be able to write a successful story which really impressed me. The tone was constantly changing when he talks about the fun that he had as a child and then talks about the hardships of his mother and her eventual death. King also uses a variety of literary devices like allusion. He has short allusions like when he described his teacher as having “Bride of Frankenstein hair” (pg 30). I also found it interesting how he alludes to previous novels like It to relate to events that happened in his childhood (Pg 30). Another thing that King uses is hyperbole like when he describes his reaction after getting a shot as “I screamed so long and so loud that I can still hear it (Pg 25). This adds to the authentic nature of the book since children like to over exaggerate everything. He also throws in a little onomatopoeia with his babysitter (Pg 20). Overall, the book is quite enjoyable so far.

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Kathleen Risk
9/24/2012 09:26:52 pm

Yeah King definitely uses a lot of allusions... There are so many its like there is at least one on every page. Also, I didn't notice that hyperbole.

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Collin Halamka
9/24/2012 07:03:08 pm

Never picking up a Steven King book before, I was expecting this to be a semi-boring book about how King sits in his room watching horrific movies to use as inspiration for his scary books I've heard so much about. Anyway, I was surprised that it was a humorous books about his adventures as a child and his brother "super duper" "inventions." I found that he really likes to use similes, such as "...shone out of it like a third eye" (12). He also likes the onomatopoeia "Pow!" (7). I'm expecting this to be a pretty good read, and hopefully make my writing be less terrible.

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Jacob DeSutter
9/24/2012 08:15:09 pm

I also had read very few of King's books (i think i read one) So it was a surprise... I quite like his sense of humor.

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Sara Buckle
9/24/2012 07:28:29 pm

I, for one, really was excited to read this book. That doesn't mean I had made accurate presumptions about it, though. Even though the book clearly says on the cover, "A Memoir of the Craft", I was expecting something along the lines of a how-to book about writing "correctly". There are so many things about this book that make me smile, which is weird I know, but Stephen King is so clever. I really love the epigraphs that he included, because they obviously contradict each other. I love his humorous approach to sharing the story of his childhood, causing me to cringe at his pain (being stabbed in the ear repeatedly and getting poison ivy places nobody should get poison ivy), admire his persistence, and giggle at his awkward experiences. The first rhetorical technique that I noticed was in chapter 2, "I don't know if they left because David and I were a handful, or because they found better-paying jobs, or because my mother insisted on higher standards than they were willing to rise to," (19-20). This use of polysyndeton gave off the impression that there were endless possibilities and that King really was just listing them off the top of his head. He also uses quite a few onomatopoeias, "A clank as the ear doctor opened his sterilizer," (24). King's tone towards his memoir is very casual; I really love it. He certainly is modest in his writing, which is very refreshing.

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Darcy Copeland
9/24/2012 08:52:50 pm

I agree; I wasn't sure what to expect, but I certainly wasn't expecting a story about his past that seems to flow with such ease. King is such a respectable and successful writer; it's so nice to hear his modesty.

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Owen Carow
9/24/2012 09:46:11 pm

I have to agree with you on that one. I was not expecting the book to be as personal as it was, but as I read I thought "Steven King of all people probably knows what he's doing here," so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I'm glad I did- King's personal stories tie in suprisingly well with his sense of artistically and practically in writing. The book is simultaneously a memoir and a guide, and he uses his personal experiences and opinions to justify his literary critiqueing.

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Alex Miller
9/24/2012 08:02:51 pm

To be honest, I actually thought this book was going to be loaded with facts on how to become a fantastic writer like Stephen King. I was taken a back when he had stories of his childhood and the adventures he had with his brother and the misfit he got himself into. In addition to enjoying his effortless writing, I noticed some of the rhetorical devices we learned in class (or trying to learn). I noticed a hypophora when King describes his babysitter. King writes,
"Was she as hard on my brother David as she was on me? I don't know. He's not in any of these pictures..." ( King 6). King also uses a hyperbole when describing his poison ivy, after he decided to poop in the woods (18). He describes his hands as, "...swelled to the size of Mickey Mouse's after Donald Duck has bopped it with a hammer..." (18). Another device used is onomatopoeia when he talks about Dave's science experiment, "Pow!" (20). This book makes me want to read more and more and I cannot wait to see what is to come if it is already this good!

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Mason Freehling
9/24/2012 09:50:35 pm

I agree with Alex. I did think the book would be more, well, on writing, but the tales of King's past make it much easier to get sucked into. I also feel that it probably took Stephen King about twenty minutes to write the first thirty chapters of the book.

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Kasey S.
9/24/2012 08:13:11 pm

So, I haven't read any of Stephen ZKing's book's purely because i'm not the type of person to read horr books. I've considered it a few times, but have never really actually sat down with one one of his books. I am really enjoying his writing so far in this book. I thought it was intriguing what he suggested about television.All in all, i'm enjoying this book and am finding it hard to put down.

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Danielle K.
9/24/2012 08:46:51 pm

I am having hard time putting it down too its so interesting because it almostly like hes talkin to you instead of you reading a book.

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Jordon Young
9/24/2012 08:34:02 pm

This is most entertaining book I have read in a long time. There is pleasant mix of learning about King, comic relief, and great examples of good writing sprinkled with rhetorical devices. I am enjoying this book because of how he flows from one idea to the next. I don't think there was a single line I needed to reread to interpret its meaning; It's just well written, frank writing¬¬––he doesn't lollygag around to maybe arrive at a point. The main reason, though, that I find this book so interesting, is because we get to take a look into how one individual was made. I did kind of see how he would be a horror writer––when he talked about how his mother told him about the people she saw die, the doctor with the foot long needle, and Eula-Beulah(9, 12, 7). When I first read about Eula, I imagined this plump, awkward Dr. Seuss character wearing a white puff skirt with pink polka dots. I have no idea why, but I laughed out loud during seminar and I was hoping no one heard me. The most obvious rhetorical devices were onomatopoeia where Eula would say "pop," and his overall tone seems to be positive, yet sarcastic(7, xi). The message I am getting is that no one is ever successful the first time, so keep trying. My favorite section is 15. In 15, he talks about how inspiration can't be found; it is stumbled upon. If no one has already said this, I would like to claim this quotation: "Inspiration is not found; it is stumbled upon."

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Danielle Keenan
9/24/2012 08:38:17 pm

What surprised me was how easy it was to just continue with the chapters because he makes his life sound so interesting. I learned that an ear doctor is called an otiologist. King likes to use metaphors and similes throughout his book. “Mine is a fogged out landscape from which occasional memories appear…” is using a metaphor to compare his childhood to a landscape (3). Also he uses diacope which is the sentence “Man oh man” (23). I think that I am really going to enjoy reading the rest of this because it like a breath of fresh air from all the text books we learn from.

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Jacob DeSutter
9/24/2012 08:39:38 pm

I normally read fairly fast, and was just expecting to breeze through this book with no true care about its content, but I was surprised at just how down right funny it was. He tells tales of his childhood with very subtle writing mechanics (Such as page 25's anaphora of "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me three times, and shame on both of us"). The constant relations and his sense of humor and jokes- such as the teacher with an eye ball in his nose, left me laughing in the middle of class. With careful tie-ins, its taught me to be far less blunt with my words; using them as a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer. His clever phrasing (On page 37 he talks about the ideas people hold of a sacred island of, well, ideas and how that isn't actually true) gives excellent inspiration for some of the work in this; and while I am not as proficient as King, Its getting better.

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Dylan Gustafson
9/24/2012 09:55:35 pm

I realized the same thing as you, Jacob. That writing to the point is much better than trying to use a lot of different words to describe it. Also, I have to agree that King was hilarious at many parts throughout the chapters.

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Michael Gorton
9/24/2012 08:45:42 pm

After being assigned to read this book, I honestly thought it was going to suck. However, after about 2 pages of reading, that idea changed dramatically! I am avidly enjoying the authors' writing style, and am also very surprised at how many Rhetorical Devices I am recognizing! The wide variety and use of these devices is make the passages much more interesting than your average piece of work. Along with the striking events of the story, I find the use of these devices as examples to be quite helpful in grasping new perspectives of writting, as well as providing one with an idea of what successful writing is all about.

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jared wendland
9/24/2012 09:10:12 pm

Yeah I think you said it best by describing the events as striking. It was ....interesting reading about his large babysitter. Also I too am finding myself picking out rhetorical devices. Great response Michael.

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Richard H.
9/24/2012 09:11:26 pm

Michael, where are the citations of specific examples?! You probably would have other stuff I definitely couldn't and then we could have discussed it further in class. I, however, do agree with everything you mentioned. Maybe by some miracle, this book will help me write better.

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Darcy Copeland
9/24/2012 08:47:31 pm

Much to my expectations, "On Writing" is really amazing me so far. It's fascinating for me to read about the great Stephen King, who I really admire, especially when his writing seems so personal. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors and it's endlessly interesting to find out more about him, his upbringing, and how he started out in his career. King's tone seems nostalgic and calm, as though I were an old friend he was meeting with over coffee after years of distance--it seems effortless, like the conversation is just flowing. A rhetorical device I noticed was on page 17, when he used metonymy: "'Dave,' I said. 'Take me home! I have to push!'" On the same page, I found an instance of anaphora; "It was summer. It was hot. It was great." On page 11, when describing the unbelievable pain of getting a shot in his ear, King uses a hyperbole, "The puncturing of my eardrum was pain beyond the world." He also uses implied metaphor, asyndeton, and metonymy when describing his babysitter on page 6, "...there seemed to be a potential thunderclap hidden inside each hand-patting, butt-rocking, head-tossing outburst of glee."

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Kaytlynn Toering
9/24/2012 08:48:30 pm

Numerous times I have come across Stephen King's books but I have never had the desire to read one. When Mrs. Ziegler assigned this book, I worried about not being able to get into it. In the book, On Writing, I found myself suddenly immersed into his life story. Like many other people, I thought that it was simply a memoir about writing, not about King's life-story and his journey to become a well-known author. His depictions really take hold of the reader's attention-I did not want to put down the book, and found it an extremely easy read. In addition, I learned many things from King about tone, and the use of rhetorical devices. On every page I found numermous devices that helped make the reading more enjoyable and understandable. The tone he uses is one of a care-free attitude. He addresses you like you are a long-lost friend, and he is simply telling you the parts of his life that you did not know. By using simple word choice and complex vocabulary King invites the reader to grow in their writing. King uses many similes to get the readers attention, for example, comparing pain to poisonous inspiration (5). Through his process of explaining his numerous health conditions, King uses anaphora, anadiplosis, epanalepsis, and parallelism to connect similar sequences together (10-12). Along with onomatopoeia, hyperboles, and personification King makes his work very ammusing. This is especially true when he gets poison ivy on his bottom and hand (20). Even the simple line of "..killing two birds with one stone.." has an effect of the reader and enhances King's writing (24). I really look forward to the rest of Stephen King's book!

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Rachel Tuller
9/24/2012 09:10:20 pm

I liked that simile you used to describe how he addresses you. And it does fit. He does address you like a long-lost friend. :D

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Kathleen Janeschek
9/25/2012 02:15:06 am

Can you explain more about what you mean by "using simple word choice and complex vocabulary?" Those seem like contradictions, and I'm a bit confused at how he can do both simultaneously.

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Jared Wendland
9/24/2012 09:05:01 pm

This first section of the book was quite humorous and gave great background on King’s upbringing. It is interesting to know that King moved around so much, for that might have shaped in many ways. From the events with his large but lovable babysitter one could quickly induce that this book about writing, for the most part, is not going to be boring. I couldn’t help but laugh at his statement that, after being farted on by a 200 pound girl criticism seems to stick less. It was also great when they blew out a circuit box with a homemade electromagnet. Even with funny events like that the tone that he has when describing events is also at times painful. When he was narrating his trips to the otolaryngologist’s office the array of adjectives gradually built up tension. For me his phrasing made me feel the pain in my own ear. As for more rhetorical devices used he does seem to have a love affair with allusions. This large volume of references is not all that bad though. With it he does get more of his ideas across better. When he is talking about how his family got a television he mentions many television shows and how some shaped so of his early writing (22). Altogether so far great beginning and I am defiantly looking forward to continuing.

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Rachel Tuller
9/24/2012 09:08:19 pm

When I first heard that this book was by Stephen King, I got worried because I really don't like horror stories. Then I found out it was about writing and not horror stuff. I got excited again. :D However, in the first 16 chapters, King has managed to gross me out already. Go figure. Anyway, King constantly seems to be talking with Apostrophe since he seems to be talking to the reader. Also, he likes to use things like metaphors and similes and implied metaphors. But, so far this book is good. I'm enjoying it very much. :D

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Kathleen Risk
9/24/2012 09:21:51 pm

While many of Stephen King's stories of his childhood and growing up are entertaining, I wish this was more about writing than something of an autobiography. Yes, he explained that it's important to know where a writer comes from, but I think he dwells on it too much. The rhetorical devices he uses are mainly onomatopoeia like "Pow!" (pgs. 32, 36), and similes like "Rats as big as dogs!" (pg. 60). The tone is very reminiscent, and I feel like he approaches his past in a rather careless matter, talking in a matter-of-fact way.

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Colby Clark
9/25/2012 06:42:55 am

I think that if you expected King to come out and things like "I like to use rhetorical devices" or "this is how you write a story" then maybe you don't understand why he is writing the book. That isn't his voice, and it certainly isn't very entertaining. The book is a memoir, and if King thought it was important enough to include a story, he must have thought it played a part in his writing journey either directly or indirectly.

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Ravi Shah
9/25/2012 06:44:43 pm

I think that King's past experiences about his writing are very interesting, and most of the anecdotes are very relevant to his writing and the way that other people should write as well. Seeing as you are using evidence from future reading sections, you have also gotten to the point in the book where King is working at the newspaper, and his editor teaches him about what things should be including in writing in general (46).

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Owen Carow
9/24/2012 09:38:07 pm

Just like many of you, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading through King's strongly opinionated yet relatable book. Instead of coming off as a high-and-mighty millionaire like he could, you can really see the small town english teacher aspect shine through in his writing. He addresses you as a student in a very noncondescensing way, which I feel allows his thoughts to sink in deeper than they would if he simply wrote down a list of "dos and don'ts". In my opinion his sections on narration, description, and dialogue were simply brilliant. The way he described uncovering a fossil as an analogy for developing a story really spoke to me; I have been ruminating over a story concept of my own the past few weeks and it seemed like King was speaking directly to me about how to solve my problems with characterizations and the emphasis of story and events over plot. Aside from his metaphor and simile laden storytelling about his youth and his analogies to express his concepts of good writing techniques, it seemed like the most prevalent element of rhetoric was his allusions. He references a number of works, both well and poorly written, to highlight his points about mistakes to avoid and what to strive towards. A good example of this is his reference of Lovecraft's poor dialogue and Elmore Leonard's perfectly believable interchange. Overall I was suprised that this author, whom I had imagined as a dark and eerie person, was really a down to earth, no nonsense kind of guy, reminding me of myself in a lot of ways. That makes me wonder if that was his goal with the book- he did mention that getting the audience to enjoy a story is all about finding relatable items in the characters or setting. I see what you did there, Mr King...

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Mason Freehling
9/24/2012 09:46:32 pm

On Writing so far has caught my attention. The tale of Stephen King's past is quite amusing and fairly easy to relate to. If King keeps on describing his childhood to a large degree, I may finish the book tomorrow. Out of all the rhetorical devices, the one that I am finding the most is onomatopoeia (7, 20, 23). The tone is very relaxed and King relays his past with much ease.

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Dylan Gustafson
9/24/2012 09:48:40 pm

After being handed the book, I thought reading this was going to be a living nightmare. Who would want to read a book on how to write? Well, I underestimated that, I was surprised at how entertaining the book was so far. I enjoyed the humorous events that occurred throughout King's life. Even though he uses profanity, I feel it emphasizes his tone and makes it more intense. For example, he uses such language to intensify his situation where he went to the bathroom in the woods and contracted poison ivy. The tone shows his anger and regret towards his actions. In terms of rhetorical devices, King uses a good amount throughout the first 16 chapters. He uses in allusion when he compares the hair of his second grade teacher to that of Elsa Lanchester's in the book, "Bride of Frankenstein" (17). He also uses devices such as rhetorical questions and onomatopoeia. "Wouldn't that be great?" (21), and "Pow!" (20). To be honest, I am eager to continue reading this book.

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Austin Latack
9/24/2012 10:14:16 pm

I probably sound incredibly repetitive to what everyone else has posted, but On Writing is one of the better books I've been assigned to read. I was very surprised when I was emerged in King's nonchalant first few pages, which struck me as very unorthodox in comparison to all of his other literary pieces. I was surprised that a book about writing would be this interesting to read, especially with King's unique approach of discussing early childhood memories. I thought that this was going to be another 'forced' reading book, but it was extremely hard for me to put this book down. King finds a way to captivate his readers, especially through his extensive use of similes and metaphors, as seen from the get go in "Mine [childhood] is a fogged-out landscape from which occasional memories appear like isolated trees...the kind that look as if thhey might like to grab and eat you."

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9/24/2012 10:18:53 pm

I cannot describe to you my excitement that I felt when I heard we were going to read a book by Stephen King. I idolize him. And he's going to teach me how to write?! Even better! He is so talented and so at ease with himself and his writing style, that it is extremelly easy for anyone to read and enjoy his books. I was half expecting a thorough description of his thought process while in the midst of writing a book, so this section of chapters really surprised me. In a good way of course. I have always thought he was a strange man, which indeed he is, mostly because of the books he writes. It was refreshing to read about his childhood. I loved that he was a fighter. King never gave up writing, even after tons of rejections. "By the time I was fourteen, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing." (41) As an aspiring (and confused) writer, it really helps to see such a successful and intelligent author (my favorite author actually) have more failures than successes.

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9/24/2012 10:21:35 pm

Also, King uses similes, metaphors, personification, onomatopoeia, and parallelism. He relates many of his childhood memories to his books and to actual life situations.

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Kathleen Janeschek
9/25/2012 02:05:01 am

I cannot say that I am not disappointed with the book so far. Given the subject manner of King's other books, I expected at least one gruesome murder by this point in the book. Or at least a blood-curdling encounter with something beyond our understanding. So far, while King has divulged on parts of his unusual upbringing, he has yet to get into why he is quite frankly, a disturbed person. Considering this, I expected (and hoped) that he would explain his fascination with all things chilling, gore-filled, and disturbing to the normal psyche. However, despite a few mentions of nausea-inducing incidents- including descriptions of mashed toes (5), deaths his mother witnessed (9), and the pain doctors wrought on him (12) -King has managed to avoid the question on his recurring readers' lips: why write things purposely designed to give readers the shivers? I will admit, that it is perfectly possible that King has either yet to get to why he is the way he is or that he is showing readers by recounting all these seemingly minor incidents, taking the method of demonstrating over simply telling. Given his experience as a writer, it is highly possible for King to be taking the latter method. Either way, I'm still disappointed by the lack of murder.

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Colby Clark
9/25/2012 06:37:49 am

Is there anything wrong with a happy story? So violent.

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Colby Clark
9/25/2012 06:36:15 am

So far i have enjoyed the book much more than what I expected. King writes in an entertaining way that is not a chore to read, and his memories are comical in many ways. I think the story about the "otiologist" was probably my favorite so far, I am fairly certain I don't want a needle drilled into my eardrum. King uses onomatopeias in his style, such as "Pow!" (36). He also used a few similes such as "Rats as big as dogs!" (60). I look forward to continuing this memoir over the next week.

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Kaitlyn Wade
9/25/2012 09:52:43 am

Similar to many of you, I have enjoyed king's book so far! To be honest, I started the book with the mindset that it would be fairly boring, but to my surprise, I enjoy it more than other books I have read for my own enjoyment! King uses a tone that is so clear! As I read, I could almost hear king describing his life story to me. His use of words such as "pow" (20) adds an interesting tone to the story. Also, his detailed descriptions of comical events in his life make us, as the readers, pay more attention to him. The gross babysitter, his poison ivy incident, and the ear doctor were stories that I enjoyed reading because they werent stories that don't happen to everyone and make us laugh out loud (6,11-14, 18). So far, I have noticed King's use of similes such as "memories appear like trees" (3). I'm excited to see what other stories king has to share.

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zachary Grover
9/25/2012 10:00:08 am

I really enjoyed Stephen King's On writing. His flashbacks to his past are so intruiging and kept me reading.The most shocking part of the book to me is the babysitter.The way she treated King as a kid was grotesque. I also found the description of the otiopologist detailed to a point were it has a frigthening pull to the book. The use of rhetorical devices was difficult for me to find. I found examples of parallelism "I don't know where my mother was when this happened. I don't know where the baby siitter of the week was, either,"(22.) Also the analogy that compared Eulah-Beulah to a hurricane (20.) Although at no point in this book there is no sign iof euphemism. When King wrote about how Mr. Rabbit Trick drove the car he used personification (28.) Stephen King sees upset with his past and had a dissapointed tone as he talked about how he moved around alot and about how he never had a supportive parent.

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Ravi Shah
9/25/2012 06:53:53 pm

I have quite thoroughly enjoyed this book so far. Stephen King's writing is interesting and suspenseful, even in the most boring sections, hooking the reader to the stories of his past misadventures and the anecdotes about his family life, even if they are not in the least bit entertaining. This is exemplified by the story about when he wiped his butt with poison ivy in the woods (18). I do feel that the language could be cleaned up a bit, and he does leave nothing to question, also exemplified by the poison ivy story, but this does also increase the appeal of the book to young adult readers and high school students, being able to read a book with that kind of language in it.Over all, it has been a very interesting book and has also been helpful with learning how to write in a more professional manner.

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