QUADRIVIUM

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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen King

A Brief Word on Under the Dome

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1074 pages.  The story achieves lift-off somewhere around page 100, and rockets full-throttle all the way to page 1042.  Those last 32 pages kill the entire ride.

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Written by taj

December 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm

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“You are crossing into another dimension…”

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Ever run into things that pop right out of a recent novel you read?

I made a quick comment yesterday about Stephen King’s novella Secret Window, Secret Garden.  Anyone familiar with the story (even the movie) knows it’s about a writer who answers the door one morning to a fellow who accuses him of plagarism.  That fellow is John Shooter, brought to wonderful life by John Turturro in the film.  This guy Shooter wears a black felt Amish hat, you know, and like the shark fin in Jaws, when Shooter’s hat turns up, trouble follows close behind.

Sometimes I man a desk at work, and under that desk we keep a little lost and found tray.  A gentleman came up yesterday to drop off an item he found lying in the lobby.  “Looks like someone left this behind,” he said, and no kidding, he handed me a black felt hat to toss into the tray.

Maybe Shooter will come by to pick it up later.

Written by taj

December 3, 2009 at 10:31 am

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I was the 80th person under the dome

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I wrote once that Stephen King crafted lyrical prose.  The Crusty Curmudgeon let me know in so many words that I had no idea what I was talking about, and he was right.  At the time I think I had read maybe four of King’s novels and a handful of his novellas, and not enough make me any kind of an expert.

Since then, I’ve read more, and found King’s folksy style a nice, comfy read some of the time.  Most of the stories in Four Past Midnight, for instance, flow well enough (though, by the time King published that collection, editors had ceased trimming his work, and Secret Window, Secret Garden in particular could easily lose a thousand words).

Working my way though The Dark Tower, however, has become an exercise in patience.  While The Gunslinger unfolded an enthralling world and an equally interesting protagonist, the writing was atrocious.  If not for my buddy Andrew’s prodding, I might not have continued with The Drawing of the Three.  I want to read The Waste Lands soon, but I have to finish Under the Dome first.

I reserved the book at the library several weeks before the book hit the shelves, and I was 80th in line to get it.  I logged on this morning, and found it should be ready for me real real soon.  King’s newest tome hit the shelves on Nov 10, and three weeks is fast work for 79 readers.

Written by taj

December 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm

“Writers write. Posers whine about how hard it is.”

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So says John August (writer of Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Nines, and others).  I like August’s blog; he always has a sobering word for writers hanging out on the lower rungs. 

Writers get stuck.  Stephen King made it halfway through his first draft of The Stand and hit a wall, which he overcame a few weeks later.  That’s not writer’s block.  Real writer’s block cripples the writer with paralyzing anxiety.  Usually, when a writer invokes a block, they’re either “non-writers” as August calls them, or they’re ignoring the basic principles. 

Bodie Thoene tells a story of one of her first staff writing gigs, facing a deadline and an angry empty page.  Her editor only admonished her–what do they teach you people, he said.  Stick to the fundementals–who, what, when, where, why, how.  Thoene wrote her piece and handed it in with minutes to spare. 

Writers write.

Written by taj

August 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm