The Writing of Stephen King

The Writing of Stephen King
Steven King has long been known as one of the greatest authors of all time. He has been labeled ?the King of Horror? and won many awards including the Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, 6 Bram Stoker awards, 6 Horror Guild awards, 5 Locus Awards, 3 World Fantasy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004), the 1996 O. Henry award, a Hugo Award in 1982 for the non-fiction Danse Macabre. He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 by the Horror Writers? Association and, controversially, a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation in 2003. Upon giving the Medal to King the National Book Foundation said, But to every comment there is always a critc that has something negative to say, like Harold Bloom for instance who stated,
Another critic, from, wrote in a similar sense talking about how Kings works are to the point of being unpublishable. He states, My senior Creative Writing professor in college, a National Book Award winning author, brought into us during a lecture on basic prose and readability a chapter excerpt from Stephen King?s newest book at the time, Cell, and without telling us who wrote it asked us to read it and discuss. None of us had read the book yet, because apparently a college education is enough to scare people away from second rate penny stock fiction. We hated it. We marked it up, took it apart, rewrote it, and more or less declared it unpublishable before our professor informed us that it was in the New York Times Bestseller list and had already made more money than all of our college loans combined. He also states that his writings are atrocious and that ?the Uncle Scrooge-esque money vault that he swims in every day and the seemingly endless schlock of television ?adaptations? would keep his great grand children comfortable into their old age? There are a multitude of these critiques that pick apart Kings work and say that he is only in the business for the money and does not care what the book says or if it is adequate. But King responded to these assumptions at the National Book Awards banquet saying that ?it?s a lie?I never wrote for money and it hurts to be accused of this?? Though he did not address the critics that complain about his sentence structure he does without knowing it. King writes and talks in the same manner. His 4th paragraph of the acceptance speech shows vividly what the critics complain about and what makes King unique. ?Of course, I only have my own senses, experiences and reading to draw on but that usually ? not always but usually ? usually it?s enough. It gets the job done. For instance, if an elevator full of people, one of the ones in this very building ? I want you to think about this later, I want you to think about it ? if it starts to vibrate and you hear those clanks ? this probably won?t happen but we all know it has happened, it could happen. It could happen to me or it could happen to you. Someone always wins the lottery. Just put it away for now until you go up to your rooms later. Anyway, if an elevator full of people starts free-falling from the 35th floor of the skyscraper all the way to the bottom, one of those view elevators, perhaps, where you can watch it happening, in my opinion, no one is going to say, ?Goodbye, Neil, I will see you in heaven.? In my book or my short story, they?re far more apt to bellow, ?Oh shit? at the top of their lungs because what I?ve read and heard tends to confirm the ?Oh shit? choice. If that makes me a cynic, so be it.? Upon reading this you can clearly see that his sentence by sentence structure is all over the place. He is constantly switching topics and points of view. This is what makes his writing so unique.

Another very unique thing about Stephen Kings writings are how he installs the real horror element. As Don Herron puts it in his critique Horror Springs in the Fiction of Stephen King, ??.King puts it clearly enough: ??something bad is going to happen to you, and it may be cancer and it may be a stroke, and it may be a car accident but its going to happen.? He does not suggest a vampire is going to bite you because he knows better: ?When you read horror, you don?t really believe what you read. You don?t believe in vampires, werewolves, trucks that suddenly start up and drive themselves. The horrors that we all do believe in are the sort that Dostoyevsky and Albee and Macdonald write about? ? This is why King is often related to Dean Koontz who also puts logical reactions into situations. This is what makes Kings writings so fascinating. He uses real-life situations, but with a small twist on them. It entraps the mind into believing that it is a real situation and not just a fictional story.

In many books, Stephen Kings alike, there can be a rhetorical meaning in the title itself. The piece of work that will be analyzed adheres to this. In Stephen Kings, Shawshank Redemption, the very title promotes an analysis. Shawshank is a fictional prison in Maine. To redeem is, asa defined in Websters dictionary, ?to free from what distresses or harm.? So, to go by the straight forward dictionary definition, this would not make sense. From what could a person be free if he were sentenced to a state penitentiary. But as a person continues to read the novel they realize the true meaning of redemption as Andy Dufresne does through his accounts in the state prison.

In the first chapters of Andy at Shawshank prison, Warden Norton informs the new prisoners of his rules. The first rule that he states is, ?no blasphemy.? This proves to be ironic as Norton himself blasphemies everything he comes into contact with. He uses his position of power to corrupt the prison system in order to benefit himself. Norton uses Andy to launder money that has been earned though shady deals. Norton is responsible for the deaths or the cover-ups of several of his inmates, such as Tommy Williams and Bogs Diamond. By King implementing this blasphemy he shoes that the common man is the one who is right some times. He shows that the common man, being Andy, is not the one creating blasphemies but only following those set forth by his administration. In the first meeting between the warden and the new prisoners, Norton also adds his dedication to discipline and the bible. He believes in ruling with a hard hand. The guards are allowed to beat the prisoners if they feel that it is necessary. Norton is also for the use of solitary confinement to punish his prisoners. He places Andy in ?the hole? for two months after Andy calls him "obtuse " for not helping Andy fight for a retrial, and then mentioning the laundering business. Norton proclaims that he believes in the bible yet he does not live by its ways. He gives each inmate their own bible in hopes that they too will be able to allow God to lead their way.

There are several biblical references made throughout the movie. The Warden quotes Mark 13:35, ?Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming,? to Andy during the cell toss-up. Using this quote allows Norton to appear powerful in his position as warden, yet also let Andy know that the purpose is to ?size? Andy up. Andy retaliates back with John 8:12, "Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ?I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.? Andy realizes that Norton is corrupt. He is challenging the warden by saying that the step to a moral life would be not following Norton. Norton ends this meeting by saying ?Salvation lies within.? This is true for Andy. It is his inner strength and desire, to right the injustice that has occurred to him, that allows him to escape from Shawshank and get his life back. Norton is the one who receives punishment for the crimes he commits. This fact is only reinforced when Norton discovers Andy?s bible in the safe. On the inside of the cover Andy writes, ?Dear Warden, you were right. Salvation lay within. Andy Dufresne.? As Norton opens the bible to the book of Exodus it is revealed that the bible had held Andy?s rock hammer. The book of Exodus lends itself to Andy?s own freeing of himself and the truth as Moses freed himself and the slaves. King implements a certain belief in a holy spirit so that it brings into the book that not necessarily everything is in our hands. By using this and the previously mentioned reference to blasphemies, King relates the story back to the reader. He shows that the main character is not someone out of the ordinary but a normal average person. This is what makes his horror novels scary and his other novels almost real, as mentioned in the opening paragraphs.

The Writing of Stephen King 7.6 of 10 on the basis of 1290 Review.