In blog post #1 for On Writing, many of you mentioned how surprised you were by the beginning of the book in terms of enjoyment. Did you find this next section as enjoyable? Has anything changed in style or tone? Cite specific places that strike you and explain why. What rhetorical devices are you seeing? Does King have a favorite device? Also, consider this: if this is meant to be "a memoir of the craft," why does King spend so much time detailing his early years? What's the PURPOSE?


Remember: this is a public venue. Uphold academic writing while still maintaining your voice and style. :) And keep reacting to others' posts.  Happy Blogging! 
Emma Chester
9/25/2012 05:47:27 am

I definitely found this section just as enjoyable as the first. By now I have become familiar with the way that King uses syntax and diction to express his ideas, and each story is interesting and detailed. It is proving to be a very easy read, just as Mrs. Ziegler assured everyone that it would be. I have noticed a bit of a more serious tone, which is possibly a result of King being older in the events taking place. In the first section, he was a young boy in most of the stories, so King perhaps made everything simpler, as if he was recalling them while he was still a child. He now is using more reasoning and facts. An example is when he explains the mischief he got into during high school (43) and also when he describes the struggles of being married with two kids (60). He is more straightforward, and he addresses real issues just as they are. I continue to see rhetorical devices such as anaphora (34, 39, 52), asyndeton (34, 52, 62, 71), and rhetorical questions (34, 42, 58). In addition to these rhetorical devices, another one he uses frequently in this section is allusion (45, 50, 51, 52, 55). I also have noticed numerous similes (34, 42, 49, 51, 58, 62, 70), which seem to be King’s favorite device. An example of these similes would be when King says of Tabby “…she swore like a millworker instead of a coed” (51). The purpose of King’s detailing his early years to display a “memoir of the craft” is so that people know why he is the way he is and also why he writes what he writes. These developmental years are crucial in shaping him into the man he becomes, and he included them in full to provide background information about himself.

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Danielle Curley
9/25/2012 06:48:45 am

Emma, I agree that the tone has gotten more serious but I still see some of his humor. It is an easy read and it is easy to understand, you are definitely right about how he uses alot of similes.

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Zach Grover
9/25/2012 09:45:11 am

I have to agree with Danielle i have to admit I was laughing much more than feeling serious during this section of reading. However I do agree with you when you say that it's an easy read. His writing is very fluid and easy to follow.

Marcus Shannon
9/26/2012 07:09:08 am

The tone is serious yet still contains a certain humor, which I respect for him not dropping a bombshell of depression from his later years. The most used device I would have to disagree with, yet I still see similes having a big role in the book. Allusion seems to be a big part in this section even if not quoting he still mentions plenty of different literature, movies, and people. I concur with the rest of your writing though.

Danielle Curley
9/25/2012 08:13:29 am

After reading more I still find the book to be enjoyable and entertaining. The way King writes is easy to understand and he doesn’t write with needless words. The tone has shifted a little bit after chapter 16. King starts to write about himself at an older age, his writing becomes more serious and hopeful. I say hopeful because he writes about his many denied stories but how he accepted criticism and kept writing. “By the time I was fourteen…the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing” (40).While his tone has become a little more serious, King still incorporates his sense of humor. I have so far seen a lot of Allusion in chapters 17-30. (40,41,46,51,60,61) there is a lot of simile as well, ”I, of course, was on that combo like white on rice”(46).It seems to be King’s favorite rhetorical device. King writes a lot about his child hood to explain the influences he grew up with and how he became what he is now. The purpose is to explain the path a writer takes. When he writes about his teenage years he shows when his interest in horror novels came about. It first started with scary movies. “At thirteen I wanted monsters that ate whole cities, radioactive corpses that came out of the ocean and ate surfers…”(45).

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Evan Kiel
9/25/2012 11:12:30 am

It is nice that King's writing is easy to read because like you said he has few needless words. This makes it easier to understand the rest of the story and what I feel makes his tones clearer, this is what allows us to see that he is hopeful for his writing future. so basically I "agree" with you

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9/25/2012 01:41:10 pm

I agree with Danielle! King's writing has continued being easy to read and just as enjoyable. I also agree with Danielle about the rhetorical devices. If you look hard enough, there is at least one a page!

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jared wendland
9/25/2012 02:54:31 pm

I get what your saying with the reading remaining enjoyable and easy. Also I agree with your statement that King most likely talks so much about his early years to show the path a writer takes.

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Jerred Zielke
9/25/2012 10:01:05 pm

King's writing is easy to read, and it was probably because of John Gould, his boss at the Enterprise.

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Zachary Grover
9/25/2012 09:40:37 am

I still thought this portion of the reading was enjoyable. Even with there not any evil babysitters, his struggles to get his works noticed where interesting. Even though his first public writing was plagiarism and the next few got him in trouble Stephen King Preserved throughout the hard ships of being a young writer. I also thought that the way King manned up to his wrong doings and apologized to Ms. Margitan was unselfish and almost courageous (54.) I know I'd be near terrified to apologize to a teacher. While I immensely enjoyed reading the whole portion of the text one part in particular stuck out and that was Mrs. King's poem. I can't explain it well, but something about her poem gave me chills. Not only did her writing give me chills, but she amazed me with the way she related it to Saint Augustine who, even if your not Christian,is a great role model (64-65.) His tone seemed to mature more as he got older which makes sense because he is getting older as the book goes on. Stephen King makes his book seem autobiographical, but if you read through it, he is actually explaining how you need to fail before you can succeed. Through his childhood all the way up to his actual writing career he explains how you must try, try, and try some more before you will ever become a writer. For rhetorical devices I found diacope when he says “... bygones be bygones,”(52.) There were many examples of Allusion, but the main example was The Pit and the Pendulum which was “his first novel” (47-48.)

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Colli Hala
9/25/2012 10:20:35 am

I agree with everything you say, and you used to same example as me. Especially the St. Augustine part. I really feel like this is an autobiography, but also explaining how to write and with anything like writing you must fail before you succeed, like you said.

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Katelyn Tillstrom
9/25/2012 10:22:21 am

I agree about King's attitude. He knew he'd done wrong. Doing that also probably helped him prepare for what was to come in his writing career when it comes to getting in trouble and such.

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Caitlin Morgan
9/25/2012 09:42:19 am

The second grouping of chapters was, indeed, no less impressive than the previous, and proved to be even more informative as well. Stephen King's purpose is lit with clarity as more memories are shared, pertaining with acute specialization to writing: both his own and now, his brothers. The syntax of this book is developing an increasingly casual air, as if warming up to our conversation, dropping profane words here and there. Rhetorical questions pop in from time to time, allowing us a rare peek inside his mind, filled with all the things each of us think of everyday, but are too afraid to speak (68). Even more so, he makes a pattern out of alluding to other written pieces, probably in attempt to relate to his audience with some sort of understanding, or to plainly display how allusions can do so (55). The allusions spread even further through several different movies, horrors of course, giving us readers a better grasp on how he came to writing such brilliantly disturbing scenes (46-47). King is gradually peeling our eyes open to see exactly how one succeeds in writing, by generalizing how he himself did. It was especially satisfying for me personally, as King shared the words of advice he was given at his first stages of writing, from John Gould, “Your stuff starts out being just for you…but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right- as right as you can, anyway- it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it” (57). This statement alone achieves multiple worth-mention tasks: he sets himself down to our level by stressing how an editor’s instruction assisted his improvement, and he stresses a rather literal tip into the eyes scanning his own pages, on how to edit their own writing. The fact that he pulled from real-life characters to form the young girl in Carrie was enough to intrigue me, having read this book myself (78-81). However, the notion that he didn’t even like the character he produced brought me one step short of amazement. On Writing has given me both motivation to write from what I experience, and the subtle pointers to produce such. Though it may seem cliché to say: can’t wait to read more!

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Emma Chester
9/25/2012 10:08:26 am

Caitlin, I like the way you look at this book. I interpreted what you wrote to be saying that King is trying to tell the reader to keep going, despite setbacks, just like he did. I understood that he was proving that a person can overcome negative feedback if they perservere, but I now see that he is also encouraging the reader to do the same. I also found it somewhat amusing that he didn't even like the character in Carrie, and I think it is an interesting piece of information.

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Maddie Williams
9/25/2012 10:33:08 am

Caitlin, I totally agree with you also. It is making much more sense now why King writes the way he does. I can now see a clearer picture of the journey that has helped him develope his incredibly unique style and tone.

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David Tarnowski
9/25/2012 11:44:16 am

Caitlin, as usually your writing is inspiring. I completely agree with everything you say and I think that the passage that stuck out to me the most was when King writes, "...stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotianally or imaginatively, is a bad idea" (69). This popped out to me so much because as a writer I deal with the doubt and hardships so much, and I usually end up dropping a perfectly good idea because I hit a bump in the road.

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Carley Grau
9/26/2012 04:49:06 am

He does put a lot of allusions! I noticed that too

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Colli Hala
9/25/2012 10:16:59 am

As the book moved more into his older self, I still found it no less enjoyable. Of his adventures in high school, one that stood out to me was when he apologized to Ms. Margitan (54). It takes guts to straight up apologize to a teacher, something that most people wouldn't be able to do; most people are more apt to finding a scapegoat. There are a lot of allusions (41, 51, 60). I am still very much exciting to read the rest of this book.

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Michael Gorton
9/25/2012 11:01:50 am

... Colli Hala??

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Austin Latack
9/25/2012 02:04:06 pm

After metaphors and similes, I noticed a ton of Allusions as well-especially when he talks about President Johnson and Vietnam, along with many description of the 60's. I thought it was intriguing that he alluded to nationwide events that happened that shaped his life, that I also knew about (thanks with a little help from Mr. Jager).

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Katelyn Tillstrom
9/25/2012 10:18:02 am

I really enjoyed this second section of On Writing. The first was more of a flashback on his life as a child, but this one focused more on the very beginning of his actual career. When he was in high school, it was really the newspapers that allowed him to write more for a reason. And, of course he continued to submit to different magazines throughout the years with a bunch of his short stories. But this is when he was finally beginning to be paid for his craft. Whether it was selling his own stories by himself (37) or composing his own newspaper (41), he was turning this into a career. He was exited about it even if it got him in trouble. He also talks about how hard it was to live off of only teaching, and working at the cleaners in the summer, and attempting to write another successful short story to submit to a magazine. The part that really struck me was how deep he got into the novel Carrie. A couple of specific girls at his school helped him appreciate the character that he really didn’t like at all. He was frustrated with it, but his wife helped him research how teenage girls act (68). It’s strange how cleaning a girl’s locker room at a school and a couple of girls that he went to school with could inspire such a story, but it did. And the fact that he went so deeply into their stories, from his point of view anyway, was rather effective. There were a number of rhetorical devices that I spotted. There were plenty of allusions in chapter 18 as he listed numerous movies that he got ideas from. Personification is used when he says “life wore little or any makeup” in Durham as a child (71). There is a metaphor when he says he had “the energy of a boa constrictor that’s just swallowed a goat (74).” He uses simile on page 64 saying he “felt as if I’d spent the week with jumper cables clamped to my brain.” He seems to use metaphors and similes often. I think the spend so much time on his early years because so much of it inspires what he’s written. It’s a “memoir on the craft” and this shows an actual writer struggling to get by and what it takes to do that.

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9/25/2012 11:00:13 am

Katelyn, I really enjoyed that he got talked so much about his novel Carrie. I was so amazed how he used his real life experiences to create her. I was also surprised at the fact he didn’t even like his character when he was finished. I am enjoying this story because he continues to let us see how he has become the amazing writer he is today.

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Lauren Clem
9/25/2012 12:14:24 pm

I also like the fact that even though he created a character based on his own preferences that he still didn't like the way she turned out in the end. I thought that was different!

9/25/2012 10:49:57 am

The second section of On Writing I found it to be just as enjoyable, hard to put down even. Stephen King continues to write with an easy going tone, that I am really enjoying. He uses different sentence structure and dialogue to keep me entertained. I have stopped marking rhetorical devices because I get so caught up into his stories that I forget to mark them. I have noticed he often uses similes. For example: “A timid and homely outcast who went scuttling through the halls of Libson High like a frightened mouse” (79). I think his purpose in writing this memoir was to show that writing is a process and there are many times where you want to give up, like with his novel Carrie, but his wife continued to push him and look where that got him (77). He wants people to realize that there are struggles in life you have to overcome and he was able to do that with his writing. That’s why he has added so much of his childhood and personal life. I am glad we are able to read this book because it is helping me find rhetorical devices in context but also helping me learn how to improve my writing skills.

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Zoey Holmstrom
9/25/2012 12:15:15 pm

I really like the point you made that life is tough and you have to overcome a lot of personal trials. I think King has had to overcome a lot of things that average people don't have to face in their lives and it's really interesting to discover them through his writing. I also agree with what you said the purpose of this novel was.

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Kelsey Berndt
9/25/2012 12:55:23 pm

I started to forget I was reading this for a class too and stopped marking spots for a few chapters. I didn't even think of King trying to show overcoming struggles in life in general. I only thought of it as in writing, but that makes a lot of sense.

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Sara Buckle
9/26/2012 06:44:02 am

It is difficult to thoroughly pick out the rhetorical devices and also pay attention to the story, vice versa. It is very interesting to see how he can tell such a casual story, his memoir, and turn it into something that we're analyzing for rhetorical devices in our English class! Also very encouraging, because Stephen King is very persistent and that is inspiring, because he has become very successful.

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Maddie Williams
9/25/2012 10:51:25 am

I would most definetly agree with everyone who has enjoyed section two of On Writing as much as the first. King did not lose my interest in the slightest, and continues to reel me into the book chapter by chapter. He continues to reminisce on his previous memories and experiences in a casual, friendly tone. However, I do sense a little more seriousness than I did before. Now, King is really digging deeper into the events that molded him into the writer that he is. Many spots in this assignment grabbed my attention, but one of my very favorite parts was when he described his first job as a sports writer and how he learned more there than in an English class (47). Another point that really struck me was when he was recalling his initial idea for Carrie (66). This is an extremely gruesome and disturbing subject to write a story on, and it is a great example of how King started to write the horrific, but brilliant, stories that he writes. King continues to use many rhetorical devices, such as allusions (33, 59) to show how he got some of his inspiration. It still seems to me that he loves similes and metaphors (32,47, 58, 62, 74), which I love because they are often humorous and also add detail and description. Though this book is intended to be a memoir of the craft, King writes it as a memoir of himself because of how much the craft has influenced him. He proves through all his memories just how his life experiences have developed him into the author he is. I can't wait to discover more about him!

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Evan Scieszka
9/25/2012 10:59:16 am

I very much agree with Maddie that King tends to favor using allusions as well as similes and metaphors to accomodate his particular style of writing. I also feel that the initial idea for Carrie was probably one of the most striking in the book. The statement at the end was vey profound as well.

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Samir Shah
9/26/2012 01:51:00 am

I concur with the both of you. I found that King uses allusions and similes more than any other rhetorical devices. Along with that he tends to use profanity to show the intensity of some situations.

Evan Scieszka
9/25/2012 10:54:43 am

I tended to enjoy the second set of chapters in the book more than the first because King really starts to explain the individual events that led to him becoming a writer. The tone maintained to be humorous or even playful at times, but one of the major differences is that it changes to more of a serious nature since King realizes that he is reliving his childhood, only in his mother’s shoes (70). When he is barely able to provide for his family, he really takes the turn toward wanting to be a successful writer. I also found it striking how he used his experiences with two kids as a teacher to further his understanding of rejection in high school to make Carrie seem more authentic (80). I continued to see much allusion, especially when King talks about seeing horror movies or referencing magazines or talks about one of his own books and how it pertains to the story (47, 77). I also found some hypophora in the writing when King is trying to decide how to write Carrie like when he says “She thinks she’s dying, that the other girls are making fun of her even when she’s bleeding to death . . . she reacts . . . fights back . . . but how?” (75). I feel that Kings favorite rhetorical device would either be similes and metaphors or allusion because he is a very descriptive writer and he also uses other peoples work to fit the idea that he is trying to explain. King uses this combination frequently throughout the book like when he compares being haunted by newspapers to how the main character of another book was haunted by waters (55). Also in this part of the book, the reader starts to really grasp why the book seems more like an autobiography. In this section the events in his life all start to compile into the final event that is him writing Carrie and becoming a famous writer. King is intending to show the reader that writing would not have been possible for him if it were not for the events in his past. So far the book has been very enjoyable and I am anxious to read more.

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9/25/2012 11:39:11 am

It turned out that by King harping about all of the boring and distasteful occupations led to his inspiration for Carrie, the book that removed him from the fruitless tasks he completed just to get by. I was pleased to find that his wife encouraged him to not toss away the idea for that story, but surprised he threw it away in the first place.

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9/25/2012 10:55:06 am

Personally, I liked the first section better. The first section had more humor, and was more enjoyable to read. Although the second section was enjoyable, the tone was a lot different. The tone in the second section was more serious. King describes the types of jobs he had, ones he did and didn't enjoy. He also describes his love live, which is more serious than humorous. King does use different rhetorical devices. For example, instead of using onomatopoeias, he is using many more similes and metaphors (34, 49, 58, 70) which i think tend to be his favorite devices. I think King is talking about his early years to build his ethos, and also to give the reader a background of Kings life. King is trying to show how his life has formed the way he writes, and what he writes about. For example, King loved to watch scary movies, almost everyday. Those movies might be the reason he loves to write frightening books. The purpose is to give the readers a sense of Kings background.

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9/25/2012 10:56:36 am

I also think the word "agree" is being overused in this blog.

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Owen Carow
9/25/2012 11:12:16 am

I agree.

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Evan Kiel
9/25/2012 10:57:47 am

I continue to enjoy the second part of this book, but maybe not as much as the first part. This is very likely because the book has taken on a more serious tone as King grows up and has to face the hardships of life. He has stopped using as much humor to describe events and now explains as if everything that happens to him is being weight as he tries to decides what to do next. One good example of this is when he gets the twenty-five hundred dollars but still keeps his menial job, for his family just in case his writing doesn't work out(83). King spends a large amount of time on his early life because it is what is not as well known. It shows what it took to become a writer, his sacrifices but also that things that he learned from different people, that helped him later in life. Steven King continues to use rhetorical devices in the second part of this reading. His favorite seems to be allusions, this allows him to describe events and details in greater clarity and makes everything easier to understand. For example, he describes Sondra's hair as tight little Orphan Annie curls(78). Also, he describes the hectograph jelly at the end of the week, as something out of a H.P. Lovecraft horror(44). This book is interesting and I hope it stays that way as we learn about the rest of kings life.

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Owen Carow
9/25/2012 11:11:39 am

I agree with you entirely about the tone of the book becoming more grim. King is very blunt when he describes his struggle to provide for himself and his family while still nourishing his love of writing. A lot of this section was subtly disturbing to me in the classic Stephen King style, as he describes disgusting working conditions or his memories of high school losers whose lives decayed and eventually ended abruptly.

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Lauren clem
9/25/2012 11:04:10 am

In the second part of On Writing by Stephen King, his writing continued to draw me further and further into the book. I really enjoy how his writing is unique in its own special way. The way he describes his childhood in the earlier part of the book and then slowly shifts to the later years in his life is common with any book about an author, but it is the unique way that King does this that makes it such a great read. The style of writing is, for the most part, still the same, but the tone has shifted to a more hardworking and driven side of King. Although his writing still brings a smile to my face at certain points, he focuses more on his later years in writing. As far as rhetorical devices that were used, asyndeton was found on page 30,  rhetorical questions were found on pages 41 and 43, and similes, by far the most commonly used by King, were found on 34, 49, 62, and 70. "...THE PINK STUFF..." (62) is not only an example of anaphora and parallelism, but is also text that jumps off the page. The topic may mot be important, but it is the rhetorical writing style that is unique. I believe that King spends a lot of time discussing his earlier years because he wants to connect with the readers. If he shows how he grew up as an ordinary person who was driven for success, anyone could follow in his footsteps in their own way. Bu focusing on the style of writing even while detailing his childhood he is able to show the progression of writing- how, as he learned how to write from a young age, his life growing up also inspired him to continue to improve.

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Owen Carow
9/25/2012 11:07:26 am

I thought this section of the book was   just as entertaining, if not humorous, as the first few chapters. The tone remains the same amusing narration, but shifts from lighthearted stories of his childhood to his growing skills in writing, improving his skills through working on newspapers like his brother's "Rag" to the sports section of the local paper. From there King details his first years as a penniless teacher, struggling to make ends meet and be found by a publisher. I found this last part to have more of a dreary tone, but maybe it's just because of the subject matter, for example, "By the time the tablecloths... reached me, they stank to high heaven and were often boiling with maggots," (58). It's interesting to note that even at a young age King rebelled against authority and wrote what he wanted to, even if it got him in trouble (39). King's insistence to write what his teachers referred to as junk shows through in his later books that are sometimes considered worthless or lowbrow. As for the use of rhetorical devices, I noticed some hyperbole when talking about his grim laundry work,  like "rats as big as dogs" (49), or his trouble with taking care of his young children (57). The imagery in the selection was equally macabre, like when he personifies a statue of Jesus gazing in agony upon his classmate (70). Some might find all of this backstory irrelevant, but King ties it in to his memoir by discussing where his talent and knowledge of writing came from, and to show how one's writing style is developed through their experiences in life.

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Colby Clark
9/25/2012 11:22:13 am

I also felt that the tone was a little dreary, it sounded like a low point in King's life. I think it was entertaining, but also a gloomy. I think it is interesting how King recalls his hardships with such a factual voice, not a sappy, whining one.

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Caitlin Morgan
9/25/2012 12:10:07 pm

I loved reading about all of his rebellious escapades within the school system. Knowing that he wrote what he felt like, despite being shut down by teachers twice was empowering as a writer.

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9/25/2012 12:49:56 pm

I think it is interesting how King keeps his tone the same while describing some deeper material than child hood memories. you are so right about how King uses his stories to influence his writing

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Michael Gorton
9/25/2012 11:21:04 am

Although I am enjoying reading this book, I feel the second section was a bit of a let down compared to the first. Not only did it lack in the attention grabbing humor compared to the prior reading, it also felt as though the reading sort of fell into the catagory of a more "regular" style of writing. On the contrary, the fact that King continues his method of using a variety of RD's that catch my eye every time, such as the allusions (33, 36, 41), really make the story a more capturing read.

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Colby Clark
9/25/2012 11:24:00 am

Things got serious. The tone of the book parallels what King's life must have felt like at that point.

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Richard H
9/25/2012 08:36:18 pm

I agree with you that there was no humor in this section but that did not make this section a let down. The chapters always grabbed my attention somehow. Please define "regular" writing, too. I think this book is kind of unique.

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David Tarnowski
9/25/2012 11:25:31 am

This section was pretty much as enjoyable as the first. It did get a little slow in some parts, but like I said it was pretty enjoyable. I was able to get a better understanding as to King's inspirations to his writing. The tone in this section of the book was not as lighthearted and more weary. This is suitable, considering the content in this section. He's dealing with disappointments in his budding career, which can be frustrating. He uses plenty of rhetorical devices in this section. One rhetorical device he uses frequently is rhetorical question. One such example is, "...what else does any self-respecting creative-writing teacher do with his or her spare time?" (64) This allows us, the reader to get a more intimate look into the mind of Stephen King. He also uses asyndeton when he writes, ",,, bag loose fabric for eight hours, punch out at 11:02, get home around quarter twelve, eat a bowl of cereal..." (48-49) This is an appropriate use of this rhetorical device because it gives the reader the sense of the monotany and crazed routine that King endured for a long time in his life. I don't think that King has one favorite device. He uses a variety of them when they are appropriate. However, if I had to pick one, I would have to go with rhetorical question. I think that the purpose of including some the history of his life, is to show how his writing is inspired and developed from his early life.

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Mason Freehling
9/25/2012 01:07:20 pm

Dave knows what's up. The rhetorical question probably is one of the most used and it is used well. The main thing that changed about the tone was it got much more serious and focused on actual writing.

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9/25/2012 11:29:02 am

In chapters 17 through 30 of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, King covers many things from his brother and him working on school newspaper printing, his involvement with the Lisbon weekly newspaper and the editor, John Gould’s, helpful advice, working at a boring job in the mills during senior year in high school to assist with bills while writing on the side, to King’s experiences at the University of Maine during 1969, when he fell in love with his wife, Tabby Spruce, while they worked in a poetry workshop. These chapters were interesting because King really outlines the struggles he went through, whether it was his shifts at various jobs or financial deficits, which deterred him from fully focusing on writing. The purpose of writing about his early writing years is to show where the drive to produce substantial works and stories, which people actually want to read, comes from or ways this drive was encouraged, through internal and external motivation(either from editing or censorship). The tone in chapter 19 presents the aspect of a young King’s lack of stimulation and boredom. King shows this by writing, “One night-sick to death of Class Reports, Cheerleading Updates, and some lamebrain’s efforts to write a school poem-I created a satiric high school newspaper of my own when I should have been captioning photographs for The Drum. What resulted was a four-sheet which I called The Village Vomit” (51). In chapter 29, King’s tone is more hopeful, shown when he discovers something key about writing. He writes, “Running a close second was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea”(77), when referring to his work on Carrie. The tone changes from King being mocking and lost as a writer, with The Village Vomit, in chapter 19 to King showing a more perceptive and empathetic side as a writer. This empathetic side is shown when he writes, “I never liked Carrie..., but through Sondra and Dodie I came to understand her a little. I pitied her and I pitied her classmates as well, because I had been one of them once upon a time” (82).
Rhetorical devices King uses a lot would be similes. One instance is when he writes, “In my character, a kind of wildness and a deep conservatism are wound together like a hair in a braid” (53). Another place this device is in action is when King writes, “There was also a work-ethic in the poem that I liked, something that suggested writing poems (or stories, or essays) had as much in common with sweeping the floor as with mythy moments of revelation” (65). These are the concepts, events, and devices mentioned in the above listed chapters.

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Kasey S.
9/25/2012 11:36:57 am

I found the second part of the reading more enjoyable because of the more serious tone. I think that hearing more about his brother and mom help to fully understand his family, and the way he views family now. Also I think that by telling about his school career, including the parts where he got in trouble help to see that he really is just a normal person, just because they’re famous doesn’t mean they are any better than anyone else. All in all, the second part so far has been more enjoyable and I’ve had a hard time putting this book down.

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Evan Pille
9/25/2012 11:57:26 am

AGREED. The second part was, if nothing else, fascinating. The bits and peaces of his childhood memories begin to come together into the creation of him as a writer. That makes it even better then the first part.

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Jordon Young
9/25/2012 01:04:31 pm

I agree also, but from an enjoyment perspective, I enjoy books that keep me engaged, wither by laughing, edge of my seat excitement, or rhetorical questions(which I always answer in my head). Just little things that keep the reader completely engaged in the reading. I would definitely say I learned more from the second section. It drags on really slowly when he explains stories, but the he gets his message out.

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Evan Pille
9/25/2012 11:51:11 am

Most of you seem to be saying that the second part was just as good as the first. To me, it was better. All this time I've been wondering where he got his inspiration to write horror. I thought it would come from his life experience, instead it came from someone else's past, those two girls he knew in high-school(69). That explains so much in terms of his writing style. The gore comes from years of watching gory movies, the humor comes from his silly childhood, and the sadness comes from other peoples lives. That's the first lesson in writing I've gained from this book: If you're able to empathize with other people, then you can take what you've seen and write really well about it.

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Leland Dunwoodie
9/25/2012 11:56:24 am

Evan that is a really great point. I hadn't thought about it until I read your post, but that's so true. The amount of writing style you can draw from within yourself is limited; the amount you can draw from others is only limited by the amount of people with which you can emphasize.

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Leland Dunwoodie
9/25/2012 11:52:41 am

Although I very much enjoyed the second part of this book, the first part is much different than the second part. Not better or worse, just different. As King is growing older his reflections become less happy-go-lucky and more serious because as he grows older he is becoming more of a serious and less of a happy-go-lucky individual. King's most used rhetorical device is simile. King uses similes to explain his ideas to his readers and to emphasize his points (34). He also uses rhetorical questions to make the reader think and, once again, to emphasize his points (43). I admire how King uses many analogies in this book. All of the analogies show how knowledgeable he is as a writer and makes his points easier to understand (43). King spends so much time on his early years because he wants to convey to his reader that his early years shaped his later years and therefore shaped his writing style and tone. The exception to this maxim is when King writes about his development of Carrie (69). King goes into great detail about his development of Carrie because that is the event outside of his childhood that most shaped his writing. As for his overall purpose, King is saying that it takes many events over the course of a lifetime to form a writer; a writer's tone and voice are not in place the moment that said writer exits the womb.

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Mason Freehling
9/25/2012 11:57:01 am

The second section of On Writing still struck me as interesting. The background of King's life really helps to relate to the text. Since King describes many of his writing experiences, it may help with hopeful authors to not be so discouraged as they discover one of the greatest writers of all time has had numerous failures. The one thing I did dislike is the style of the chapters became much longer, but not unnecessarily. The devices I find King uses the most are allusions (34, 48, 52) and onomatopoeia (30), but that is just repeated in several different places. I feel that the story is getting much closer to actually tell people how to write.

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Kathleen Risk
9/25/2012 12:02:38 pm

This section was enjoyable as well. It changed in tone as he became older, becoming more realistic and grim which is expected with age. What really stood out to me that showed his complete tone change into classic-Stephen King style was when he told about Dodie and Sondra, which was very grim (79-82). The rhetorical devices he uses that jump out to me the most have been onomatopoeia and allusions, but he has started using less and less onomatopoeia as he gets older. His favorite device, at least for this specific book, would have to be allusion because he uses it so often to help tell what his past was like. King details his early years to show where he came from and how he became what he is. While I admitted in the previous blog that I wished it was (a little!) shortened and focused more on writing, I do acknowledge its necessity. A part that stood out to me was when King is being edited by Gould, and said “write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open” (57). It's pretty much the technique which English teachers (namely Mrs. Schroeder, and Mrs. Ziegler has talked about it too) have told us to use all the time.

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Colby Clark
9/25/2012 12:10:37 pm

This section of the book was still an entertaining read, but the tone was a little more somber, even grim. I am amazed at how King can write about these hardships in such a factual way, seemingly like he wasn't emotionally affected by recalling his prior adversity. Being Steven King probably makes it difficult to experience a little horror at prior hardships when the obstacles aren't traversed by murders or home to the paranormal. Chapter 29(68-74) was the game changer as far as tone goes. The recollections of Sandra and Dodie were tragic, but somehow King maintained at least of a small amount of humor. When I think about it, King really is the perfect stereotype of a horror author. The genre goes hand in hand with his style. King uses a plethora of allusions (33, 45, 57) because of all the movies he watched. He also throws in a healthy handful of similes and onomatopoeia words (67). I think including so many tales of his youth is very purposeful writing. He obviously felt like he learned more things during that time period than latter on. It makes sense, there isn't as much to learn after you are acclaimed bestseller.

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Kathleen Risk
9/25/2012 12:30:28 pm

You know I feel like people make assumptions about King that because he's a horror author, he theoretically shouldn't be disturbed by frightening things. People sometimes talk about difficult situations calmly because that's how he deals with it.

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Colby Clark
9/25/2012 12:34:15 pm

Thanks for Kath. Now tha I know how other people cope with painful emotions I can finally confront mine!!!

Kathleen Janeshcek
9/25/2012 01:53:38 pm

I agree. I don't think the horror part of King's writing has anything to do with his calm handling of talking about his past. Both of the nonfiction books I read over the summer for APLAC (The Glass Castle and A Long Way Gone) talked about arguably even worse situations in a similar detached manner. When a person deals with an issue, they become able to talk about it without emotions clouding their viewpoint.

Also, Colby's reply to this is a stellar example of how not to respond to criticism.

Dylan Gustafson
9/25/2012 12:37:15 pm

I was also wondering how he was able to just say his troubling childhood events so nonchalantly.

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Zoey Holmstrom
9/25/2012 12:15:42 pm

In this section of the story, I personally think it was much less exciting then the first part. Although we do get to know more of where King receives his inspirations from, it isn’t nearly as exciting as the first portion. The tone of chapters 17-30 is generally more serious and career driven then happy and cheerful like in the first few chapters. There are a few sections, however, that remain humorous. One of the funniest parts was when he wrote ‘V.I.B.’ for the publisher on his plagiarized book (37). I really found it interesting how a portion of King’s inspirations comes not from books or written text, but from sci-fi and horror movies. In this section, King describes a lot of struggles that he has had to overcome to become who he is today. He and his wife didn’t have the best jobs when they first wed, and having two children within the first three years of their marriage didn’t help either. They face many problems that many of us may not have to face on a day-to-day basis (63). Overall, I’ve really enjoyed reading about King’s life so far, and I am curious as to what direction he is going to take us readers next in the upcoming chapters.

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Kylie Wermund
9/25/2012 12:24:52 pm

I also thought that the V.I.B. part was really funny! I agree with you about the change in tone too. It definitely became more serious in this section than the last.

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Kylie Wermund
9/25/2012 12:21:59 pm

I liked the first section better than this section, but I did enjoy this section as well. I like how King continues to tell his stories and gives reasons for his beliefs rather than just stating them without any evidence. It makes what he says more interesting. In the second section, King got more serious than in the first. With his stories in the first, King was very humorous and easy going. While I still feel like this book is very easy going, King is beginning to get more serious, like when he discusses the process he went through while writing Carrie (66-74). He uses his personal experiences to justify these tips which is why the background information about himself was necessary. Rather than just jumping into his story at the time he started writing, he eased into it. Now, he is telling his stories and giving input on what he believes. In the this section, King used quite a few rhetorical questions like when he asks what a creative writing teacher should do on his spare time other than write (64). He also uses similes to prove his points. I'm excited to see how the tone of King's writing will continue to change as he gets older in the book.

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Alex Miller
9/25/2012 12:34:51 pm

I agree with Kylie, his tone changes from just describing his life on every page, into him becoming more serious about writing and focusing in that initial subject.

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Dylan Gustafson
9/25/2012 12:29:23 pm

I can honestly say that I like the second part of the book just as much as the first part. King is able to keep the reader entertained through his humorous tone and diction. On the other hand, King's tone also becomes a lot more serious as he talks his many teenage jobs, his schooling, and his personal life with his wife Tabitha (45, 50, 52, 60). In terms of rhetorical devices, I have mostly noticed some anaphoras, allusions, and asyndetons. For example, King uses both an anaphora and an asyndetons in the same sentence. "Horror movies, science fiction movies, movies about teenage gangs on the prowl, movies about motorcycles.." (34). For allusions, King makes references to a handful of books throughout the second part ( 33,35, 60, 74). As for the sole purpose of the book, King is describing his childhood for the purpose of showing how he formed as a writer. How he was able to benefit from his experiences that in turn developed who he is today.

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Alex Miller
9/25/2012 12:32:48 pm

Reading more of this book, made me enjoy it even more. The sentence structure is getting longer and lengthier with every chapter, and the details are very strong. King describes the maggots on the sheets, " The maggots would try to crawl up your arms as you loaded the washers..." (King 58). This description makes one's skin crawl and one could not believe this was actually someones job and just got paid a few dollars for this disgusting work. What also struck me, was when King writes that the most he has ever learned was not from his English teachers, but from John Gould in little less than a paragraph (46). Some of King's most frequently used devices are metaphors and rhetorical questions.These devices allow the reader to think and somehow consider different answers to the questions that seem less than normal. King makes sure that the reader receives every detail because it shows the reader that one day he did not just decide to become a writer, he had a struggling life trying to make a living and becoming a writer at the least. He also tries to make a point that he did not try to become famous writer but to make a living on something that he enjoyed doing, also it shows how his life could have continued to be if he did not work hard and persevered.

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9/25/2012 12:42:03 pm

I found that this section of the book was much less humorous, and much more focused on the trial and error of King. The novel also showed kings adult self, the brilliant, and kind side(70). I also loved how he described the poem that his wife wrote, "The point is that it was a reasonable poem in a hysterical time," (56). King uses syntax to get his story across. (every page). He also uses irony (83).

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Kelsey Berndt
9/25/2012 12:49:00 pm

This section is just as enjoyable as the first section is, however the tone changes slightly from a playful account as a child, then as a teenager to a more serious account of his early adult years and his writing struggles. King's financial problems in the early years of his marriage display the more serious tone. Simply because King was more mature is a reason for this tone change. Some rhetorical devices used are anaphora (34), similie (35), allusion (41), hyperbole (49), rhetorical questions (55), and implied metaphor (73). King uses similie multiple times, in this section and the first section. He also uses anaphora a few different times along with rhetorical questions. Although this is "a memoir of the craft," King has a short autobiography at the beginning to show that he was formed as a writer, and that a writer cannot be made (4). His early years are purposeful in this memoir because he had a lot of failure in writing. He uses his later success to encourage aspiring writers to continue to form, build their writing ability, keep trying.

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Sam Johnson
9/26/2012 06:53:39 am

But isnt that contradictory to say that he didnt make himself a writer he was always one and then turn around and say that we can all be like him if we just keep trying?

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Jordon Young
9/25/2012 12:49:16 pm

This section is just as interesting and informative about King's early life as the first section, complete with the same flow. Tone wise, is the same, but the content is more serious; a metaphor for growing up perhaps. The first thing that popped out in this section was the joke about Carnegie Hall: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" "Practice man practice!"(31). It is basically one of the messages I said King is trying to convey in the first section––failure lies on the path to success. He talks about how he attained his love for scary movies as a thirteen year old(34). I never actually thought about writers ever watching moves. Are not books movies in one's head? Maybe that's why he thought it would be ok to plagiaries an entire movie(37). I assume that they didn't get on students cases as much as they do now, but I found it absolutely hilarious that his first cash-in as a writer was a plagiarized book; it's a good way to start, isn't it? The next thing that jumped off the page to get my attention was what King's first editor said to him: "Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open(47)." That seems like the definition of free writing. King does a nice job of not exaggeration things too heavily, so when he talked about his co-worker who said there were rats as big as cats and dogs, I immediately thought hyperbole and simile(49). Even though King didn't include this to enhance his writing, it is still a large overstatement(I hope). Then, at the end, the most enlightening thought of the entire section appeared. He says that art is a support system for life––not vice versa(94). It really is. I don't think about it often, but if we didn't have any art in society (Fahrenheit 451), living life would be unbearable and boring.

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Courtney Bennett
9/25/2012 01:08:12 pm

It still baffles me how unoriginal King was with his earlier writings. Though his originally seemed to flow more the more he wrote. I think that is really encouraging.

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Kaytlynn Toering
9/25/2012 01:19:11 pm

That is such a good point Jordon! I agree completely with you when you say that his tone and mood changes with the events happening in the story because he is growing up. It shows that King matures through his life and develops life skills, along with writing skills, to make a comparison between different parts of his life.

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Courtney Bennett
9/25/2012 12:59:30 pm

I am continuing to enjoy King's memoir, even though I feel like the most recent section was somewhat less entertaining to read. The lighthearted tone King uses when describing his early childhood has morphed into a slightly graver tone. As some have already said, that may be just be attributed to the fact that King is older. However, King still writes with spunk that makes his writing interesting to read. And, despite being less entertaining, I think this section was more beneficial in the sense that there were more lessons about writing. I have learned that it's better to write with the door open, and rewrite with the door closed (47), keep writing even when you don't feel like it (78), and how important it is to have someone who believes in your writing (74). It seems that King is subtly weaving important lessons into his memoir without really magnifying them. He's merely incorporating them as part of his memoir. As for rhetorical devices, I am seeing a lot of allusions being used, like when King writes “This struck me as so fundamentally stupid it might actually be wise, like a Zen koan or an early story by John Updike” (51). That was also a simile, which I am seeing a lot of as well (46, 62). I hope to learn even more by continuing King's memoir.

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Rachel Tuller
9/25/2012 01:12:13 pm

You're completely right about there being so much more about the lessons of writing in these chapters. And I agree that the first section was more entertaining to read but this section being more helpful. But the helpfulness was nice because he had some really good tips.

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Rachel Tuller
9/25/2012 01:07:10 pm

"On Writing" is still a very good book. In a way, I'm still surprised that I like it so much. I'm also surprised about the fact that I'm actually leaning towards reading one of Stephen King's books now to see what his writing style is like in a fiction story and not a memoir. In this section, the tone changed very little. It grew more serious as King got older and more concerned about his work life. However, there still seemed to be a bit of the same playfulness that was in the first section, especially when King was talking about his newspaper "The Village Vomit" and how King made fun of all his teachers (40). I mentioned this in my first blog post but I still think that King loves to use similes and metaphors. They are constantly popping up throughout the text in ways like "a kind of wilderness and a deep conservatism are wound together like hair in a braid" or "her flesh had a loose, pale look, like the undersides of mushrooms" (42, 70). I think that King spends a lot of time on his childhood because that is how he became a writer. The memories that stuck out in his head were the memories that then influenced his writings as an adult. Plus, we as readers needed to know a little about King. If he didn't tell us anything about his past, we wouldn't know much about why he writes the way he does. So learning about King is very important.

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Kaytlynn Toering
9/25/2012 01:14:49 pm

Section 2 of King’s memoir “On Writing” still contained his earlier devices and tone. The chapters were very enjoyable and an easy read as compared with the first section. However, certain events described in his later childhood and his early adult life created a more serious, somber mood and tone throughout the chapters, although he still used his humor to lighten the mood. When describing the emotion and story behind his novel Carrie, King uses words that make the readers know he regretted his decisions for teasing both Dodie and Sondra (70-74). In addition to this, he also explains the hardships he and his wife face while trying to make ends meet, and trying to raise a family (62). King uses his numerous rhetorical devices to strengthen his writing and make it more interesting. He uses similes (50, 58) metaphors, onomatopoeia (49) hyperboles, and anaphora’s (34, 50, 64) to help explain his story and encourage writers to keep trying. King uses these devices to make his point in the memoir clear. He includes his early story to show readers that no matter what hardships or background you come from, and no matter how many times you fail, with hard work, encouragement, and dedication success is possible.

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Alex Forsythe
9/25/2012 01:36:44 pm

I agree with you. His tone is more serious, but he also uses humor again. It was still easier to read, which is ultimately more enjoyable. You're right, his use of rhetorical devices does make it more interesting.

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Alex Forsythe
9/25/2012 01:34:05 pm

I found this section of the book to be equally enjoyable. King still has a sense of humor, but becomes more serious with his tone. It only makes sense because he is maturing and entering into his adult years. His sentence structure is different, too. The sentences in this section of the book have more length to them compared to the last section which were short and sweet. I believe he changed the sentence length because kids typically have short quick sentences and adults tend to write more in depth. King’s word choice also becomes more descriptive instead of being brief. He describes working at the mill as challenging (48) and being married and not having enough money to support a family being challenging as well (62). King uses many rhetorical devices throughout the text, but I noticed that he uses many rhetorical questions ( 35, 38, 40, 41, 43, 45, 47, 55, 57, 59, 64, 66,76). An example of a rhetorical question in the reading would be “…who could ask for more?” (35). Another device he uses frequently was anaphora ( 30, 35, 42, 43, 47, 68, 69). King writes the book about his life to show us how an author is made through a step by step process. He lists struggles and hardships that lead up to him becoming successful author. The purpose of this is because King wants to give the reader a feel for what he had to go through, rather than just telling us how to become a better writer.

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Kathleen Janeschek
9/25/2012 01:43:51 pm

While King continues to write about the events and experiences that led him to become a writer, he does so in a more dreary manner. No longer does being rejected simply mean another note to tack to the wall, instead it means more time wasted for less food on the table. Real life is hard and King now lacks the bliss of a child's mind. This isn't to say that the book is now reduced boo-hooing about life. King maintains a hopeful outlook on life, especially through his wife. When he met her, he was struck by her "wonderful, unafraid laugh" (51), it was her that encouraged him to write "Carrie" (68), and King cites her belief in him as the reason he made it so far (65). By describing hope and persistence in a time where many others would have been discouraged, King draws parallels to how it is for many beginning writers. Instead of simply telling the readers to not give up hope or how important encouragement is, King demonstrates it. That's because this book isn't a how-to-guide or a manual. It's King detailing his own personal journey, a fairly common journey for writers, but a personal journey nonetheless. By doing this, King makes a writing book that will capture readers' attentions and hold them. He does his best to make sure this book is interesting, which is further exemplified by his near over usage of allusions. Those are thrown in there to look "hip" or "cool," and make the text more relatable to readers. This isn't a writing book for scholars; it's a writing book for the general populace.

On a personal note, I'm still disappointed by the lack of murder in this book. Hopefully, he just hasn't gotten to that part yet.

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Colby Clark
9/25/2012 10:23:02 pm

Man I totally love murder. It is a shame that King's life couldn't be more sick and awful, wouldn't that be so much fun to talk about!!!

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Kathleen Janeschek
9/26/2012 08:55:43 am

Your biting sarcasm has been noted. It appears that you have a problem where instead of replying to posts in an insightful manner, you take the method of lazy sarcasm on level with name-calling. I'd recommend working on how to form proper arguments. After all, you will need those skills if you wish to do well in this class.

Ravi Shah
9/26/2012 04:43:29 am

I am in the same mindset as Kathleen, she said this very eloquently, and I feel very similar

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9/25/2012 01:52:21 pm

I enjoyed this next section almost as equally as the first section. The tone shifts from a lighter mood, to darker as he goes from talking about his childhood to the hardships of being a teenager and an adult. The world was a hard place for King. I'm afraid he would've given up on writing if it had not of been for his wife, Tabitha! Let's all take a moment and thank god for that, shall we? "She wanted to know the rest of the story. I told her I didn't know jack shit about high school girls. She said she'd help me with that part. "You've got something here," she said. "I really think you do." (77) I've noticed that King likes to use rhetorical questions, allusions, similes and personfications. "Why shouldn't writers be able to go bonkers and still stay sane?" (64) That would be an example, obviously of a rhetorical question. I can't remember what the device is called off of the top of my head as of right now, but at the beginning of chapter 22, he makes a short, informal reference to multiple famous people, works, and events. King spends so much time on his earlier years because that all shapes him to be the writer he is today. Many of his ideas for novels come from childhood/young adulthood memories.

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Austin Latack
9/25/2012 01:59:38 pm

I actually thought that the first section was better than the second, at times. The first section seemed less serious than the second one, due to the inclusions of the lighter side of his younger years, rather than the true hardships he suffered as an aspiring, young writer in America. At times King seemed to be rambling on forever, confusing me to the point of not knowing if he was speaking hypothetically, or reflecting on his past. Yet, King does not hesitate to voice all of his opinions on certain issues, such as his high school experiences with the struggling, adolescent, women, and how they have all been a huge part in shaping his writing, along with who he is today. Additionally, King uses many rhetorical devices throughout, but the most frequently used ones are metaphors and similes (34, 49, 51, 62, 70). At this point in his writing career, he most likely uses those subconsciously too. Lastly, I believe King has a reason for going into extreme depth in regards to the endeavors in his early years, and that is because he wants to show the reader how and what formed him to be the great writer he is today. For example, his young fascination for science-fiction movies is probably a key factor for why he still writes about, and loves that category today.

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Jared Wendland
9/25/2012 02:50:56 pm

This most recent section is just as great as the first one. His relaxed attitude/tone is quite inviting and with its continuation throughout these parts makes enjoying the book almost mandatory. His use of metonymy and anthimeria help to create this laid-back tone. On pages 35, 50, and 60 this is apparent through fraises like Poepicture, kibbles n’ bits, and Abe Lincoln. These alternate words soften things up. Varying syntax and diction also adds to the freshness of each event. As for new and recurring rhetorical devices he remains varied, but seems to favor similes. I think he chooses to utilize similes, the most, to strengthen the point he makes in some cases. An example would be when he was comparing his skin to a “wetsuit” that he can’t get off (68) so he lets the reader know what he is lacking in feeling. Also to touch on why King speaks about his life growing up, King most likely choses to do this to show to route, as a writer, that he took. He inform about what shaped him, movies, books, people, events. “We had two kids… they were neither planned nor unplanned; they came when they came”(56)

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Jeremy M. Barker
9/25/2012 04:03:32 pm

I agree that his tone is very laid back so far. He is constantly referring to things informally, with slang or made up words. I don't know if I'd simply say to "soften," or at least by itself. I'd say something like to make the reader more comfortable or chill themselves, but to "soften," to me, sounds like it was depressing before. That could just be me because I just like to be specific at times. One more thing that you could add to that is his occasional "Pows!" and whatever else King was saying when he accomplished something showing that he has that very normal, human excitement anyone could relate to.

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Jeremy M. Barker
9/25/2012 03:55:49 pm

This section was definitely more interesting than the last one had been. It's noticeable that King isn't sounding as much as trying to entertain, but to inform now. Rather than including comical, non writing specific events King is referring to events that actually involved him writing. The only real thing that surprised me in this section was how King had gotten into trouble with his writing in school. First, with his V.I.B. #1 book (38), and then his "Village Vomit" (41). This is interesting because he did silly things that he wouldn't have done had he been thinking prior to what he had done. Besides that his continuing on stories he wrote and life events were factual and interesting to hear, though not as striking. As for the Rhetorical devices I found quite a few more. King's most common ones that I'm seeing are similes and allusions. "(while 'freshening' the print would melt into a vague purple membrane which hung in the jelly like a manatee's shadow)" (32). Some others are on pages 43 with the "Turkish bath thing" or page 59 with the "Cracker Jacks." Some allusions I'm seeing are like "What looked fairly ordinary on Monday sometimes looked like something out of an H.P. Lovecraft horror tale by the weekend." (32). Not to mention the whole list of titles of films through the next four pages after that. A hyperbole I saw also. "-crank 'til your arm falls off, son." (32). Another thing I noticed is the parallelism of bringing back things that he had said previously in the book such as the poison ivy incident (44), or the hand instead of hooks for the Harry character (65). I'd say that similes may be his favorite, but that could just be me noticing the word "like" or "as" easily. My favorite that he using in the parallelism when he refers to the things that he said before, maybe that's his favorite because he also puts them with humor. I think it is very logical of his to tell his life story as a child before his writing career as well as his personal life because that is what formed him as a writer. I believe King states in the first section we read that things made to directly improve writing is only going to sharpen those skills, such as this book, while the other events must be what forms those skills. Something similar to that at least. But to understand how the writing is formed is definitely what gives a writer their skills, so that's why his past not related to writing is shared.

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taylor dale
9/25/2012 09:08:53 pm

I would have to disagree. I personally did not think that the second secyion was as interesting. Yes it had lots of information and it was starting to get into the meat and potatoes of his wrighting but it just was not as interesting. Maybe this is because the first section had more humor and that's why the first part was more appealing to me, but I getting to understand Stephen King more.

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Jeff Lueders
9/26/2012 07:17:38 am

I would tend to agree with Jeremy on this. King definitely likes to pair his humor with past stories. I've seen that many people believe King is becoming "more serious" in his writing, but I have still been seeing many comical phrases or scenes within his writing. Plus the things he writes about are straight-up ridiculous, like his wild experiences washing sheets, the two weirdo students he had, and even his marriage where he says " [it] has outlasted all of the world's leaders except Castro" (61). Maybe I just have a different humor, but I feel like King is still the same comical guy he was on page 10 as he is in page 80.

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Richard H.
9/25/2012 09:02:59 pm

I thought this section of reading was enjoyable, too. It was not as enjoyable as the first section, but it was still really good. I felt the tone changed from being very humorous to very serious. The example that struck me was when Miss Hisler criticized King for writing the "trash" that he did. As for rhetorical devices, I did not notice very many; I just saw metaphors and similes spread throughout. The "monster thicker than the Lisbon Falls telephone book" (pg 51) was one I remember. I feel that this book is almost like an autobiography because it has a lot about his life, especially his younger years. It makes sense that he would include his younger years because that is when he really started getting into writing, when he started becoming more successful with his writing, and some lessons he learned.

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Gunner Harrison
9/26/2012 04:11:58 am

I conquer with Richard. It makes sense for him to tell us his story when he was younger. I like this part of the book and hope it continues to be entertaining.

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Taylor Dale
9/25/2012 09:03:14 pm

The second part was pleasant but not quite as amusing as the first. Perhaps this is because the second section was more serious than the first, but is was still interesting and easy to read. In the second part Stephen King, as his tone becomes more serious, writes about having to find a job and how his writing career is starting to fall in place. He worked in several different places of a varying occupation. For example he worked with cloth at a mill (49). Then he got a job at a laundry although that was not what he had hoped for, but it paid the bills (58). He also started a family so it was crucial for him to get a job (57-58). I find it amazing that he takes so many rejections, but never gives up and eventually his hard work pays off and is able to sell some books (76). Stephen King uses just as many rhetorical devices in the second part as he does in the first part. He uses many Allusions, hyperboles, metaphors, and similes. Personally I feel that he loves to compare things. One simile that he uses is, “In my character, a kind of wildness and deep conservatism are wound together like hair in a braid” (42). So far, Stephen King has done well proving that he is a great writer and that we as writers should listen to his ideas about writing.

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Jerred Zielke
9/25/2012 09:54:27 pm

The second section of On Writing wasn’t as exciting as the first section. There weren’t any farting babysitters, but it revealed a lot more about his first stories and how he became so good at writing. The most surprising part had to have been when he plagiarized Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum and made money off of it. I also liked how he met his wife, Tabitha, in college. King again uses a bunch of similes and metaphors. He also uses anaphora in the sentence “I kept hearing Mrs. Histler asking why I wanted to waste my talent, why I wanted to waste my time, why I wanted to write junk.”(50). So far, the book has been very informative and I can’t wait to read more.

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Justin Marutz
9/26/2012 06:32:32 am

I have to concur with Jerred on this, though it was more toward the main goal of the book while not boring the reader to death. Though it was still interesting, on a how a man working at a high school became one of the top sellers in horror still to this day.

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Samir Shah
9/26/2012 01:47:11 am

I found this next section of the book enjoyable, but not as enjoyably as the first. At first, the book was more cute and entertaining, but then in this next section it became a bit gloomier and more like an autobiography of a rags to riches story. He moves from talking about his childhood and all the good times to his early adult life, and how his life became rough. This is shown when he gets a job as a teacher, but still has tough times, because he is almost living off welfare (72). Also when he is talking about all the times he gets into trouble in high school (62). As usual, King extensively uses rhetorical devises. I would say that his favorite is allusions. He is constantly referencing people, such as Abe Lincoln (69). I also found allusions on (45, 50, 55, 60). Other devices King uses extensively are rhetorical questions (45, 65) and metaphors (32, 49) and anaphora (45). The reason king calls his book, "a memoir of the craft," is because he wants to show the readers how he becames such a good writer. He shows what is inspiring him, like when he is a kid and wrote comic books, and when he becomes an English teacher (72). I’m excited to continue reading this book, because I want to see what happens to him and his wife and children. Also I’m wondering if he will soon change his writing style and drift away from using so many rhetorical questions, and move his focus to answer more questions as his life gets better.

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Jacob DeSutter
9/26/2012 07:01:29 am

I think he does change tone like you said- going into a more mature King rather than the little rascal we had at first. But he keeps the core the same.

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Gunner Harrison
9/26/2012 04:10:15 am

This section was just as much fun to read. I like how he is just straight forward; like he said in the beginning he omits unnecessary words. The tone seemed the same to me; he's just talking about his life. Like Emma said it is a little more serious, but I don't think it too much different. I do like how he has more vivid descriptions of events now that he is older. I like to read about people's lives and Stephen King's life is interesting so far. He tells us his life story to let us know where he comes from and how his life started out, and it is helpful for me at least to understand who people are. I see alliterations and assonance, although I'm sure that isn't on purpose. I also saw a metaphor on page 66 when he says he saw "an opening scene to a story." The story so far has remained just as entertaining as in the beginning, making it easy to read.

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Carley Grau
9/26/2012 04:48:10 am

I enjoyed this section just as much as the other section. It was interesting but the tone got more serious as he grew older and began maturing into a young writer. He uses many similies, allusions, and metaphors (32). He likes to use similes the most. He tells a lot about he and his brother writing to give a new persepective for upcoming writers. He tells through his early childhood how he got hooked on writing and what makes him enjoy it and it ties into the story because you better understand why he likes to write and how he developed his skills.

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Ravi Shah
9/26/2012 04:48:21 am

I think that this book has been good so far. Like I said before, King does a good job with the syntax and making it suspensefully arranged, so that the reader keeps interest. The part about how he met his wife and fell in love with her (51) gives a good idea as to the kind of inspiration that King had while writing the majority of his stories. The colorful language is getting more colorful as the book progresses, and it creates a more casual air towards the reader, like it is a friend writing to you, not an author who is trying to teach you how to write. He keeps things short and concise, and this also helps him to get his points across, and he doesn't linger on anything that he does not feel is an important part about his life and inspirations. This book just keeps getting better and better.

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Justin Marutz
9/26/2012 06:25:31 am

While continuing my read on King’s On Writing, it is still a very enjoyable and pleasant read. Though King’s tone does seem to change slightly from a more comedic standpoint to a more serious feeling, though this is mainly due to having to support his family. He allows himself to be a bit more gritty and dirty in his writing with examples like the sexual themes introduces with his perception of a young woman who later becomes his wife (51). Something that surprised myself was the fact that though King and his wife were incredibly talented at writing, is that they had to work menial jobs for so long, until Stephen got his big first break with Carrie (76). Throughout the book King uses many rhetorical devices, though some are used only a few times those like onomatopoeia, rhetorical question and the use of repetition in numerous amounts of forms. Rhetorical questions like, “Why are people such slobs?” (59). Along with allusions to Raisin in the Sun and Saint Augustine (55). Despite Kings “lack of a memoir” or so it seems he is explaining his childhood for a reason no doubt. These events that occurred in his life helped mold him into the writer, as well as how some ideas presented themselves to King. Through his details he can help other writers relate to one another and to use the thing all of us have, humanity to help create a grand tale and develop better writing etiquette .

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Sara Buckle
9/26/2012 06:37:38 am

As King has aged in his memoir, his tone has become more mature while remaining humorous and, shall I say, King-like. He's focusing on his high school career, meeting his wife and her impact on his career, and his general adult life. (60, 51, He arranges his sentences in an almost conversational matter, like he is telling a story that he is very familiar with, because it has played in his head over and over again, not like a speech that he has practiced in the mirror. King focuses a lot on his early years, and I think that is because those years were his foundation. I have noticed many rhetorical devices, most commonly similes (61, 93, 54, 53, 46, 43). He also uses rhetorical questions commonly, but not in a cheesy manner. I love that. King says, "It was bad," but then inquires, "but what in high school is not?" (54).

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Sam Johnson
9/26/2012 06:43:12 am

I still am enjoying the book. The most impactful section of the reading for me was the bit about how every weekend he would go off to the pictures with Chris (45-47.) Every memoir I have ever read has had a part In it about how much they enjoyed going to the pictures. Frank McCourt, Richard Feynman, Stephen Fry and Stephen King all shared a love for the silver screen. It’s interesting that they all seem to love movies because it makes me wonder if all they love story-telling of every kind including movies, (books obviously,) games, music, history, even the time-lapse of architecture. Another moment within the reading that really made me think is how do all of these people react when they read about themselves in this book. They knew him so I’m sure they make an effort to read them. Think of poor Danny Emond who now will forever be immortalized through King’s writing as “that guy who talked about tearing down the walls to the ladies room” (51.) I could hardly imagine he wouldn’t be a tad peeved. It’s an interesting book.

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danielle Keenan
9/26/2012 06:46:03 am

To me this section was just as enjoyable to read as the first. His tone has changed a little adding a some seriousness to his writing. When he cannot provide for his family, which reminds him of his childhood when his mother couldn’t take care of him(70). I am seeing a lot of rhetorical questions (34, 58) and allusion ( 50, 51, 55). Kings favorite rhetorical device are similes (34, 42, 51, 62). He spends so much time in his early years to show what shaped him into the type of writer he is.

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Darcy Copeland
9/26/2012 06:48:24 am

The second section of King's memoir is just as riveting as the first. It's so refreshing to hear about King starting out, how he wrote naturally and without mulling over it for hours. Everything seems to flow like a conversation, although it is apparent that he has taken a more serious tone, as though he's thinking deeply about the part of his life he's retelling--to be expected, as he's approached adulthood in this stage of the novel. I'm just charmed by his writing, for lack of better words; nothing feels rushed or out of place, and I love that. On pages 61, 54, 93, (and several others, I'm sure,) King uses similes and seems to use them quite often.

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Jeff Lueders
9/26/2012 06:56:51 am

As of this next section of the book, I have found just as entertaining as the first. Throughout the book thus far, it seems as if King keeps his tone generally the same; he is simply stating things as they happened. Though his focus definitely changes from his early childhood to his highschool and college years, his tone is the same because he is still explaining things as he did before, in a halfheartedly serious yet comedic way. It's surprising to me that King goes into detail about the two students he had while teaching, who we're just odd-balls (78-82). He describes Sondra as a some what normal person to start with but then he moves into the description of her house and how they had a life size crucifix in the middle of their room, (78-79) and that really stuck out to me. Then he describes the cruelty that Dodie had to face. He goes into detail on how she only wore one pair of clothes and how the kids shunned her, and even when she got new clothes the kids shunned her still. Both of these stuck out to me because King didn't do anything to try and help the girls, and I felt like he should have. One rhetorical device King uses is allusion. He alludes to many things throughout the book, and especially so because he's a writer and he takes particular notice to other works of writing. He mentions multiple news papers like the Press Herald, Sun, and Weekly Enterprise (79) and he tells of other books that he authored. My belief as to why King goes into such detail about his earlier years when this is supposed to be "a memoir of the craft" is because it shows how he grew to become a writer and in doing so he shows how one becomes a good writer.

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Marcus Shannon
9/26/2012 06:58:40 am

I still enjoy this section even though we are moving into the older version of King. The tone has changed a little to more of a serious nature because of his age, but it still seems similar to the previous section. King is getting more into what shaped him as a writer and what he has to overcome. Even though this is happening he still finds time to use rhetorical questions concerning the rejection spike (57), and similes when describing his wife(51). He uses allusion so much throughout theses chapters that it makes me believe it’s his favorite device.(36)(48)(55). As for the stories from his early years it's him showing how he is growing as a writer and perfecting his craft, and the purpose shows that he started out just like everyone else.

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Jacob DeSutter
9/26/2012 06:59:11 am

(almost late)

I found this second part of King's book more enjoyable than the first, and more informative. He goes into greater depth on what and how his writing has effected him in a semi-chronological order. He talks about his first job (page 56) and how he learned alot of writing from it (the crossed out words that added nothing to the story (such as the "knightly quest"). He uses different devices in this section also, less onomatopoeia (no more "pow!") and more similes (page 58 (like a workhouse in a Charles dickens novel). He spends so much time early to show what made him into a writer- and how those little events caused him to what he is today- a famous writer. But he slips lessons in there also (seeing as how I am on page 200 right now, he does get down to business)

4:59

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Kaitlyn Wade
9/26/2012 07:00:51 am

I didn't find this section AS enjoyable as the first, but King is still keeping my attention. I didn't enjoy it as much, mostly because of the change in his tone. Obviously he is writing as he got older, so his naive tone disappeared. Although I still laughed out loud at his high school mischief (40-41). King not only keeps my attention through his schemes, but his use of creative similes adds more humor to already comical events. I would have to say that kings favorite rhetorical evidence would be the similes and metaphors, but he also uses devices such as rhetorical questions, and allusions (48, 50). I think King talks about his childhood so much, because how he grew up and his many struggles and rejections as a teen and adult made him who he is. His many rejections pushed him to be even better.

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