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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stephen King. Books, Movies, and a comparison.

Stephen King has long held my admiration, for as long as I can recall reading, I know he's always been my favorite. I have not read everything he's penned, not by a long shot and I'm doing some catching up. A couple months ago, I listened to the audiobook Cell, I thought it was decent.

In June, I listened to Lisey's Story. That rated up there with my favorites: The Stand, The Green Mile, and Shawshank Redemption. Knowing the latter of the two film adaptations were directed by Frank Darabont makes me want to see The Mist all the more.


The Mist by Stephen King is the newest theatrical release slated for November 21. I haven't seen 1408 yet, but it's in my Blockbuster Online que. The Mist is an adaptation of SK's short story from Skeleton Crew. I'm positive I read that, but it was so long ago but maybe I didn't, I'll have to check that out. Seems like I did though.

I also just got home from the library. Guess what I borrowed? Yep, another Stephen King title. imagine how much I enjoy listening to stories read by their authors. Well, maybe you can. I'm a little OCD about audiobooks, too. I only listen to unabridged recordings. I'm a little excited about the audiobook for The Mist, seems it is in 3-D sound and I really haven't experienced that yet. So, they've really got me by the balls on this on because as much as I'd love to listen to this 3-D sound, it's abridged. Maybe I'll wait for it to come to the library.

So I'm sitting here listening to SK read me one of his stories and I hear this: (Jo is his wife who has just died)

Near the end of my "pre-cleaning," I looked under our bed and saw an open paperback on Jo's side. She hadn't been dead long, but few household lands are so dusty as the Kingdom of Underbed, and the lightgray coating I saw on the book when I brought it out made me think of Johanna's face and hands in her coffin -- Jo in the Kingdom of Underground. Did it get dusty inside a coffin? Surely not, but -- I pushed the thought away. It pretended to go, but all day long it kept creeping back, like Tolstoy's white bear.
I want you to read a passage from my story and (be honest) tell me what you see here.

Carolyn fished around in the cardboard box next to the lawn chair for her gardening gloves and spade. When she laid down on the ground with her head touching the gravestone, the steel box was buried about where her heart was. She lifted her left arm to put the spade under her shoulder blade as a marker. Are people ever buried with their feet towards the headstone? Surely there must be someone who checks that.








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3 comments:

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Well I told you when we were listening to Lisey's Story that I saw SK's influence heavily on your writing. I think it would be hard to read so much of someone, to admire them so much and NOT have it influence your writing.

Plus, you like writing about creepy stuff :)

Chaim said...

I often find that what I am reading at the time effects my style, though as the years have passed I find it is happening less and less. I've developed my own beliefs about writing, my own tastes in words and sentences, and, as a result, I am finding my voice. But it still happens.

When I was first embarking on writing, I was much more easily influenced. Like you, I am a great admirer of Stephen King. Most of what I read is considerably more "highbrow," and King is the only author I read regularly who produces what can certainly be called "popular fiction." He catches a lot of flack from people, but I think he is one of the great American authors, though much iof what he (over)produces is rather crappy.

One of my favorite books of his is It. I wrote most of a novel shortly after I read the book, and when I look back on it now, I can see how influenced I was by the book, and by King's writing style.

I don't feel there's anything really wrong with emulating those authors that you admire, though it's important to make a concerted effort to keep things in check.

Michelle Pendergrass said...

I understand emulation and that's not what I was going for, it happened. I wrote that paragraph close to a year ago and I hadn't read any SK in years. Lisey's Story was the first I'd read of him in a very long time.

Maybe I should have prefaced the example with that. All to state I was shocked at the similarity because I hadn't been reading him and that one paragraph came out so similar.

I've found my voice, never had to go searching for it really, and it is most certainly mine, it just so happens this one paragraph sounds SKish, even though I wasn't going for that at all. :)