I kept forgetting to write about this on tumblr, so I'll just do it here.
Review of the first half:
Rest of it:
Overall, I didn't care of this. It's not a book for inspiring people to write. And--perhaps this is obvious, but it wasn't to me--this is really a book about writing fiction. He's fairly dismissive towards other types of writing, which put me off for a bit. It's called "On Writing", not "On Writing Fiction Novels", but that would have been more accurate. Some of my favorite writers on the planet have never produced a book. That's all I'll say about that.
He spends the middle of the book talking about the writer's toolbox. The toolbox includes things like grammar and vocabulary and reading a lot. Thanks?
There's one section where he talks about the necessity of avoiding plot, which I though was interesting and helpful. And the part at the end where he talks about his accident and writing saving his life was pretty emotional and sweet.
But overall, it's really geared towards people who are thinking about wanting to be a writer maybe someday, not people who have written and are looking for advice or inspiration, which is what I would have liked. He seems to spend a lot of time on the defensive about his place in the historical hierarchy of great writers (he makes strange references to "polite society" and "literary merits"), but even so, he's a great critic of his own work and reading this, even though I didn't love it, made me curious to read other stuff he's written. So if anyone has recommendations I am interested.