The thing about Stephen King…

My wife is always quizzing me on what makes me tick and what makes me read particular stories or books. We were talking about it the other day when the idea for this blog series cropped up.

It can be difficult to pin down what makes a writer special. Figuring out what they do that I love is a constant obsession of mine. I think that there is real value in picking out the things that make someone particularly compelling to read. The deeper my understanding of what people do within the craft, potentially the better writer I can become. So I thought I’d start a blog series entitled “The thing about…” to include a brief description of the thing about each author that makes me particularly passionate about them. Kicking off today with Stephen King.


The thing about Stephen King…. This is a toughie, mostly because I’m still not sure that I know exactly what he does that is so amazing. There is no doubt in my mind that he is one of the greatest storytellers of all time. His books are effortless to read, yet demand dedication and passion. His characters are as fully formed as anyone else I’ve ever read, his dialogue flawless.

I’ve got it. Thinking about the dialogue has got me thinking about the internal monologues that pepper his books and make his characters so real. It’s this reality that makes his books, to my mind, so effective. The apparent mundanity of the people and their lives sucks you into the story, encouraging you to drop your guard and begin to think that nothing bad could ever happen…That it will, is of course assured, but the sheer beguiling normality of things before it does gives real depth and life to the people on the page.

So, I guess the magic is that no one does normal quite like Stephen King.