Dark Tower Beginnings

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Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2011
West Coast
For Ms Mod or any others out there :

I am curious as to the inception and coming about of the Dark Tower. If this has been answered in a previous thread, just direct me there.

I am re-reading the series. I am going to read it start to finish. I am just finishing Book #1.

It got me thinking did SK have the entire series, at least the skeletal framework, all the way back in the 70s when he began writing it as short stories. Or did it evolve and expand over the 30 years to what it is today? I know in 'On Writing', he said as he wrote it he didn't know how it was going to end, so I get that. But when did he devise the whole concept of the series for the Dark Tower and how it all intertwines? I just barely read the final scene of the Gunslinger where Roland is speaking to the Man in Black, and his future is foretold. It just seems very complex for what began as a short story collection. I just wonder how the whole thing evolved.

Thanks for any info!



Ms. Mod
Jul 10, 2006
A little of both. He had a general idea of where it was going but it evolved over time. That's the way it is with a lot of his work, though. He may think he knows where it's going but it can surprise even him as he's writing it and the characters decide differently.

Bev Vincent

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
If you can find the five issues of F&SF magazine where the individual parts of The Gunslinger were originally published, you can see some of the early evolution of his thinking about certain things -- chief among these was the relationship between Marten, Walter and the Man in Black. Before the final four stories, he provides a synopsis of what has gone before and some of his thoughts about it. It's interesting reading -- I included these introductions in my first book about the Dark Tower series. Also, in the Afterword to The Gunslinger, he admits to what he knows and what he doesn't.


Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2014
In many ways, I think the chapter "Coda" suggests that he didn't realize how it would end until the end. There is a tone of regret that it has to end this way as if he were experiencing the grief of the end the way we as readers have. I choose to think the running commentary about the fictional Stephen King's feeling that the story writes itself or comes from something beyond him is true in real life. He had to write it to know what was going to happen...the end happened on the page, not just in King's head.


Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2007
We talk about the end of the series but the ending is just another beginning. Because as you know Ka is a wheel. I'm willing to bet that we we will once again be transported to mid-world.
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