Stephen King

I ran out of Hardy Boy mysteries in our local library, and somehow I started reading The Stand. I was about 10, or maybe 11. It was ten times longer than anything else I had read before then, and I was hooked.

I read everything he wrote after that. My writing style through school was unconsciously modeled on his. I would have to credit him for my high grades in writing.

Oddly, even though I enjoy reading King, and I write a little like him, I can't write in his genre. Oh well. At least I play guitar.

His style is concise, and his prose is direct (not as much as Hemingway though). His ideas are terrific, his plots are usually not that complicated, but his characters are positively alive.

He says he creates his characters and lets them do whatever they do, and they create the story. He doesn't plan anything. I like that approach.

Alas, his best stories seem to be behind him. There have been a few good tales lately, but my favorites are still his early ones. I particularly liked Night Shift, Firestarter, Needful Things, and Bag of Bones.

His non-fiction book On Writing is excellent.

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Re:Stephen King

Stephen King is good. You can never appreciate just how good he is until you start sampling other authors. He always manages to keep me reading. I can't say that about many of the A-list authors in the fantasy genre. Maybe I am just outgrowing fantasy.

I like how he lets his characters write the plots. Plot comes from character actions, not writer actions. Once writers realize that their plots and characters will both seem more natural.

To err is human. I am not human.