I think Stephen King is a genius. When people put him down – “Oh, he can only write pop fiction, he’s a hack,” I want to go after them like Annie Wilkes (well, maybe not quite that far). Sure, some popular fiction is dreck and feels written by a committee instead of a writer (no names please, except I’m thinking of someone whose name rhymes with Hatterson). I’ve never understood the beating up on Stephen King. Is it because he’s rich? Writes “genre” books? He’s a wonderful storyteller. He loves writing – you can feel that coming at you through the pages. He’s delighted to scare the crap out of people, get readers invested in his characters and then - boom - kill them off. The way he writes about childhood is real and honest.
Right now I’m halfway through Revival. I got it for my Kindle the day it came out. It’s terrific. And scary.
Sometimes I curse Stephen King for being so prolific. But how can you curse someone who wrote On Writing? If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t read On Writing, go buy it. King talks about his life as a writer and how to write – not from a “rising action” or “what is the character flaw” sort of way, but more common sense advice. Like read a lot. Have a writing schedule. When people ask me the best books for beginning writers, On Writing is one of them. (Another is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.)
My favorite Stephen King novel? There are so many. I like It very much. If you have a fear of clowns – probably not the book for you.