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9.24.2013

When Writers Attack

That little corner of the Internet occupied by we the bibliophiles has endured a few minor explosions in the last forty-eight hours in light of Stephen King's comments on the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises. I agree with the man, and I appreciate his candor. I read the first book in the Hunger Games series, and I didn't keep going after I was finished. It seemed to meander in places, and their were way too many easy fixes--rules changes and character flip-flops and things of that nature that just frustrated me. I only read a few chapters in Twilight, just to test the waters, before I knew it wasn't for me.

Is that an indictment on the writing? Sure it is, but that doesn't mean those aren't decent books. They just aren't for me. Anyone who has ever had a one-star rating (and I've had my share) on a creative work understands that not every story will resonate with every reader.

Fans of Meyer and Collins need not become so rankled by King's comments. Taste is personal and subjective. My favorite film of all time is Dumb and Dumber, by the way, so you probably see where I'm coming from...

King's view on horror not entering some contrived "golden age" is also well taken. I see fewer and fewer major horror releases and, even though I know there is good work being done in the genre (Ludwigsen, Ford, Barron, Sarah Langan), it seems like we've kind of hit a period of creative stagnation. I'd love to see something like an Ira Levin horror tsunami take place--a smart, well-written horror novel for adult audiences that doesn't pander and sweeps across the reading populace. Bring on the psychological horror that unsettles and inspires chills, but doesn't mine the schlock... 

When I read that book, I'll be sure to light the beacons, by the way...

I also really admire the man's discussion of speed in writing. His prolific nature is pretty inspirational:
King wrote The Running Man in a week's holiday from his teaching job, while also minding his young children. Books, he says, came in a "gush" to him: "It was like somebody yelled 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre and everybody's trying to crowd through the door at the same time – that was ideas and work."

It's a short interview, but interesting food for thought, to be sure... 

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