Why Is Stephen King so good? Well, I'll tell you...

Discussion in 'General Discussion & Questions' started by Christine62, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about this for a long time --and I think I have the answer: it's the details. The man does not skimp on the details (although he doesn't write that much about food). Now when I was a much younger reader and reading was about finding out what HAPPENS next, details bugged me--but it is in these minute, meticulous details that Mr. King introduces you to his people. And the details are so ordinary but specific that you know these people are real--you just know it.
    It's like these people come down to the basement of his mind and sit on the waiting couch and each have their turn telling their story. He doesn't miss a beat. He does not miss a beat. He takes his time and writes these details that don't necessarily drive the plot (like we are told to do) but paints a picture of crystal clear humanity so when the big scary comes, you want to save that kid standing on the raft or warn that father that the monkey with the cymbals is back--your heart aches with the man when the son shoots himself.
    It's the details that make you care--because he could write like others do so it would take you a good hour to care but no, he writes with such detailed generosity that you care in a page. You care in a sentence--you are invested.
    Yes, this is the conclusion I have come to --it is not the destination he cares so much about, it is the journey.
     
  2. ghost19

    ghost19 ..."I aim with my eye."...

    It's that style of writing that makes a hole appear in the pages of his books and sucks your ass right into it....willingly, I might add. I'm in the middle of Pet Sematary for about the twentieth time or so and I'll be damn if the book still doesn't creep me out. When Jud Crandall is talking and describing things, it is almost as if I am Louis Creed listening to that old man describe the events for me. I have to forcibly yank myself out of the damn book to get some sleep....speaking of which...
     
  3. Chuggs

    Chuggs Well-Known Member

    He is certainly a master.
     
  4. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    ...the secret's in the sauce....
     
  5. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    He is a literary god, pure and simple.
     
  6. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    The details are what make it 'feel' real. But you'll notice that he gives the reader what they need to get that feeling, without bogging down in POINTLESS detail (Clothes, beyond basics, or if it's significant), meals, entire rooms of furniture and accoutrement. Those are the kinds of detail that a writer should be cutting, not the things that make their characters live.

    I think, as time goes on, Mr. King will be recognized for exactly this strength in his writing. He once said something like, "My writing is the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries,", and that's true to a point--it's accessible to everyone. It's not true that it's made of trashmeat and pink slime though. It's more like McD's lures you in with a Big Mac, then uses filet mignon, with a special sauce of bearnaise (go with me here--I'm hungry and craving Steak Theodore :D). Gets you what you need, but in style :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  7. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

    He is the "wordslinger".
     
  8. Out of Order

    Out of Order How You Doin?

    The details of the little things from everyday life add to the fun for me. Flying a kite in Pet Semetary, car trouble in Cujo or meeting Lee Harvey Oswald. Well, okay, but you get the picture.
     
  9. king family fan

    king family fan Prolific member

    I just can't imagine the storys he has written and the thoughts that runs throw his mind at the time. His talent is one of a kind.I get so attached to the characters. They seem like you really have met them.
     
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  10. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    Gosh I think this is why I am having so much trouble reading other writers---the characters seem dead on the page. I'm addicted to King's people. I want to write people like that.
     
    BeverleyMarsh, Neesy, Wasp27 and 8 others like this.
  11. king family fan

    king family fan Prolific member

    I must be honest I really enjoy reading. I read other authors for our library reading programs and King too when I fit his work into their themes. But when i read because i want too,I only read king . Hes the author of choice.
     
  12. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    Amen, sister!
     
  13. doowopgirl

    doowopgirl very avid fan

    Have to agree Christine. It's the details that make it real. That make any situation make you feel like 'what would I do if that was me?' Thats what makes the hole in the paper. Thats what makes me come back again and again.
     
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  14. McGinnisNC

    McGinnisNC Member

    What gets me is the depth in the characters, I feel like I KNOW stuttering Bill Denbrough, like I've met Dale Barbara the short order cook with a shadowy past...I feel like its a real person that makes mostly logical choices. Mr. King doesn't use illogically based horror movie characters that you really don't care when they die, he has a touch of realism that I've only seen in him, and more recently, his son Joe. Maybe its just me, but that's what does it for me.
     
  15. OldDarth

    OldDarth Well-Known Member

    King creates characters you care about and that makes words disappear as you fall into the story.
     
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  16. VampireLily

    VampireLily Vampire Goddess & General P.I.T.A

    I think I love his work because it never feels foreign or strange....

    Reading King isn't like having a conversation with a stranger... it's like sitting down next to a fire with an old friend who has the most amazing thing to tell you. I think what always frightened me most in the stories is the normalcy of it all... these aren't characters... these are people that you've met, people that you know.
     
  17. Anthea M

    Anthea M Well-Known Member

    I love being sucked into the narrative and caring about what happens to the characters.
     
    VultureLvr45, skimom2, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  18. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT Idiot in Situ and Unholy Devourer of Cookies

    ...he writes so convincingly because he's never forgotten he's one of us...he's true good people and I can't think of a higher compliment...
     
    BeverleyMarsh, Neesy, Wasp27 and 7 others like this.
  19. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    I want to hug your reply, Giant. That's it exactly.
     
  20. VultureLvr45

    VultureLvr45 Well-Known Member

    It is as if he takes my hand at the beginning of every adventure and stays with me throughout. It is the caring about his characters. He doesn't abandon me as a reader. He is magical.
     

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