I know that sounds a little strange coming from a 50 something female, however, it is what it is. What I most admire about his writing is the detail and the brevity of that detail. For example, the main character walks past a man standing on the sidewalk. We’ll never hear of that man again, yet, in one quick paragraph, Stephen King can describe him so well that we know exactly who he is, his back story and why he is standing there. That, my friends, is talent.
Everything in today’s world moves so fast that it is hard to find time to sit and relax and read a good book, which is why I really appreciate his. I don’t need two full pages describing the cloud formations in the sky above the characters. I just need a general idea of the scene, which is what I get from Stephen King. He provides me with sufficient information so that I can visualize the scene, and gives me enough credit, as a reader, to be able to add more with my own imagination if I want or need to.
Sometimes, my imagination is a little too capable of doing that. For instance, when I read Salem’s Lot, I lived in the country, no street lights, no neighbors close by, just woods and darkness lit only by the stars and the moon. We raised beagles and I would put them outside in their kennel at night. But, during the time that I read Salem’s Lot and for a while after I had finished it, I slept in the living room with the dogs because I was too scared to go out into the dark by myself, and too embarrassed to tell my husband that, although I knew vampires didn’t actually exist, I just couldn’t go outside at night and take that chance just yet. That’s how real Stephen King is able to make his books.
Regardless of that incident, I do enjoy horror stories and find them intoxicating and fun, which led me to another interesting fact about Stephen King’s books. I found that there are a lot of readers, mainly women, who won’t read anything that he writes because they don’t do horror. And yet, I point out several of his works that are not horror, and these readers are amazed to find out that he was the author.
They’d never read the books, but they had seen the movies and really enjoyed them, never knowing they were based on materials written by Stephen King. Two good examples are Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Two very good stories which were made into two very good movies. They have dark themes but are not “horror”, so the unsuspecting watcher has now been exposed to the work of Stephen King and doesn’t even know it.
Unfortunately, these readers are missing out on so many intriguing, well-written books, just because Stephen King is the author and the story might scare them. I try to turn them around, but everyone has their own beliefs and those are not easy to change. Hopefully, they will see the error of their ways and give some of his work a try, not that he is lacking fans, I just think an avid reader is really missing out if they haven’t experienced any of his novels.
The beauty of a story is in the quality of the writing, not the genre. That is what I have learned from Stephen King, and why I have such a difficult time categorizing my own books because they cross over into different categories and genres.
I ain’t no Stephen King, but it is nice to have something to aspire to.