15 comments on “My Fiction and Me.

  1. Wow, that is an impressive introduction to your writing. The difference between you and I is that while I experienced those moments of friendship with characters, I never saw how to do it myself.

  2. I think, in many ways, it’s something I have always done, Archie — even before I started writing or discovered a love of books. What I mean is, my play as a child was always rich with characters I created. I don’t ever remember having (and my parents can’t remember my having) an imaginary friend — but I always found it easy to keep myself occupied with flights of fancy, etc. I was a classic daydreamer, I suppose. In fact, at school, I often got told off for not writing enough in English, primarily because I got caught up in ideas and forgot to write them down!

    I’ve just had a quick look at your topic post but haven’t got time to comment, at the moment. I will tomorrow, though. Fascinating stuff!

  3. Gary,

    I think Salem’s Lot was the first King I read and I too was drawn not so much by the horror, but by the compelling characters he created. Without the emphasis on the people in the town, there would have been no ‘real’ horror, as we readers would not have invested any time caring about what happened to them.

    I love what you’ve written about characters and their importance to you in your childhood. Especially as they’ve had such affect on your writing as an adult.

    I’ll write a little more about my own character led fiction in my eventual post, which i’m sorry to say is a little delayed, as I’m currently in the US for my sister’s wedding.

  4. Pingback: My Fiction and Me « Missing Mojo

  5. kallioppe: Yes, Salem’s Lot is another good example. I pretty much stopped reading King after It (which I still love, in spite of its excesses!), but most of his early work did the same thing for me. It revealed to me someone I could give damn about, and then turned their world on its head. Writers can learn a lot from this approach. It’s very basic, yes, but it’s fundamental to good fiction, I believe. It can’t be emphasised enough; if the reader doesn’t care about the character/characters, it simply won’t work as effectively as it otherwise could — no matter how well-plotted and pacey it is.

    Off to read everyone’s pieces, now! I hope the wedding goes well. Have fun!

  6. I can’t believe I left Stephen King out of my post. He’s one of my all time favorites as well. And you’re so right about the way he writes characters.

    One of my favorites by King is Gerald’s Game. In fact, I think I’m going to read it again now. 😀

  7. Actually, now that I think about it, I didn’t stop at It — if Gerald’s Game came after It, then that was probably about the last one I read. And I didn’t like it one bit. 😀 I think I’d started to move away from him by that point, though, and this is probably more reflective of my attitude to his work than the work itself (though he did write some complete shit during that period!)

    What do you think of his earlier stuff? If I had to pick a favourite I think I’d probably have to go with The Dead Zone.

  8. Yeah, Gerald’s Game came a couple of years after It, which I didn’t care for much either.

    Wow! The Dead Zone. That’s another good one I’ll have read again. King wrote so much it’s hard to keep up or remember it all. I agree that his earlier stuff was better, though. I quite liked Carrie and The Shining.

    Do you like anything he published as Richard Bachman? I really enjoyed Thinner.

  9. I love just about all of the Bachman books, especially Roadwork. Thinner was good but it was much more obviously a Stephen King book, in my opinion. Rage I thought was brilliant — insightful and intense — but King’s response in regard to its connection to the actual school shootings was, for me, as a writer, very worrying. Books influence people, sometimes negatively. But that does not make it the fault of the book or the author. Conveniently placed kitchen knives occasionally provide an inspirational means of killing someone so, hey, let’s ban them!

    I lost a lot of respect for the guy over this one.

  10. Thanks for link. I didn’t know about that. I read it and thought, “What a dumbass!”

    I might have something more profound to say after I finish my coffee, but that’s all I could muster at this point. lol

  11. I’m going to make myself unpopular and say that I actually quite liked It; it wasn’t great, and he’d already started to suffer from King’s Disease (i.e., books are about half again as long as they should be), but it was certainly enjoyable, in a kind of unpleasant way…

    I didn’t like The Dead Zone that much, to be honest. A bit… sappy for me.

    Ironically, I think On Writing is probably one of my favourite works by King…

    As to why he withdrew Rage, well, Americans are litigious.

  12. Not unpopular with me, Mike, mate. I also quite liked It. In fact, I seem to remember really enjoying it. I got the hardback for my 20th birthday. I’d just started writing my first novel (a horror novel called Dawn). The weather was actually rather nice for the time of year (September). And I had plenty of beer and wine that I’d been given as presents. It was a good time and a pretty good book!

    I don’t buy the litigation explanation for the withdrawal of Rage, to be honest. If he were sued and the case actually went against him it would set a completely unworkable precedent. I’m always very cautious when I say that I don’t think something like that could ever happen (we are talking about America, after all!) but everyone would be suing authors, television producers, television networks, screenwriters, artists etc left right and centre. I don’t think it was ever really likely and I tend to feel that King’s withdrawal of Rage was a really shitty thing for a high profile author like him to do. It very nearly smacks of an admission of guilt, complicity. When a writer starts implying something like that… well, as a writer who has nowhere near the influence that he has I find it worrying.

    In fact, I’ve just checked and he actually acknowledged the culpability of cultural and artistic projects etc in influencing in particular “troubled youths”. I think this is not only simplistic, I tend to feel, frankly, it’s bloody irresponsible — on a number of levels. He did qualify this by saying that artists and writers should be allowed to draw upon their culture in their work etc, but for me, the damage was (potentially) already done.

    Christ, this voice recognition software just doesn’t know when to bloody stop, does it? 😉

  13. Hmm… I think I was unclear in my next to last comment. I didn’t like It that much, but I did like Gerald’s Game.

    Mike:

    As to why he withdrew Rage, well, Americans are litigious.

    That is not true at all. I should sue you for even suggesting it.

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