Stephen King – how does he do it??

I reviewed King’s book On Writing:A Memoir of the Craft on December 21, 2013. Excellent! And highly useful for those who teach writing. But I never read his books, nor did I see the blockbuster movie Carrie which brought him great fame.

I’m now ready to declare Stephen King a genius.

Last night I picked up Salem’s Lot, his second novel. I had no intention of reading it – horror is not my genre – but I was curious. I turned to the end of the book and read the epilogue, which was in two brief parts. First was a set of newspaper reports about strange deaths and disappearances. Next came a terse narrative about a man and his son. They return, apparently, to a place where they had witnessed terrible events. Accidentally or intentionally, they set a fire, and leave.

Really, that was it. So what happens to ME? I had a vivid nightmare about a fire that was out of control. People thought they had moved out of the way, but the fire emerged again and again.

OK, I have nightmares, have always had nightmares, one every six weeks or so as long as I can remember. Usually they are about generic bad guys that chase me. How on earth did King get into my brain in those few short pages?? Obviously, he an incredibly talented writer and quite a psychologist.

And I plan never to read his books. At least not when I am at home alone.

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2 thoughts on “Stephen King – how does he do it??

  1. Comment from someone who only comments via e-mail:

    “I never read anything by Stephen King, even though he is from Bangor and I have been past his house several times and seen his impressive front gate that looks like an iron spider web. That was enough for me. I am sure his book about writing is brilliant, but I do not plan to read any of his novels. I hardly have time to read the genres that I like let alone one I do not care for and would be sure would give me nightmares. I sympathize with your nightmares about fires.”

    Thanks, RGR!

  2. Comment via e-mail from RHC:

    “Dreams can be analyzed ex post facto, but I don’t think they can be predicted. (Although I can think of exceptions). Analyze away! Rather than call King a genius, perhaps you should call yourself vulnerable. What button did he press?”

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