The most important element in this novel is events.
Because the story is half autobiography and half writing guide, it can seem like the book jumps around a lot. However, the autobiography section is set up as a string of events that Stephen King remembers. He does not remember the time or place of these events quite well (He lived a "herky-jerky childhood" and moved around from state to state) but his recollection of these events are crystal-clear. Even in the writing guide section of the book, he uses events from his writing experiences to explain why he feels the way he does about using certain techniques.