Thursday, January 3, 2013

Poorly Played, Stephen King

I've never read a Stephen King novel, but I am currently reading his informational text On Writing.

The book is broken down into four parts.  Getting them out of the way, the second and third parts detail what writing is and a writer's toolbox respectively.  He did a decent job on them, although they could have been much better compared to his first piece.  That piece is a memoir of events in Stephen King's life.  It reveals a lot about how Mr. King developed as a writer, more specifically as a writer of horror and self-insertion.  I loved it.  It was conversational, light, and he didn't tick me off.  In his fourth, final, and probably most important section, appropriately titled On Writing, he made some comments that annoy me greatly.  I most certainly disagree with him that television is the bane of writers.  Who makes sitcoms happen?  I dunno...writers?! (1)  Their dialogue and wit can be extremely helpful for writers, especially the dry and the sheltered.  Mr. King struck another nerve when he wrote that bad writers could not become competent, nor good writers great, only competent writers good.  Not!  Evidence: were you as skilled at writing when you were in preschool, first grade, eight grade?  Even referring to innate ability you probably swayed one way or the other.  Yes, I am indeed saying that you can become worse as a writer.  But I digress.

I'll finish On Writing.  As I've stated before, I very rarely leave a book unfinished.  However, I may not bother to read his novels.  It might be a mistake, heck, it's probably a mistake, but I'm not sure how supportive I want to be now.  Am I overreacting at the moment?  A little, I'm sure.  Yet when you diss T.V. and the ability to grow as a writer, both in skill and God-given ability, you won't find me becoming a disciple.  Poorly played, Stephen King.

(1)---Pardon my terrabang.  I am, by the way, an advocate of the crazy punctuation in blog posts.  However, novelists should probably avoid it.

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