I know there’s an entire element of society out there that can’t live without the process of scaring the crap out of themselves, but really? Writers enjoy scarring people for life and leaving them to live with those mortal wounds of fear for an eternity?
If you’ve ever watched one of Stephen King’s thrillers, you know what I’m talking about. He writes the kind of page turners that not only make your heart beat faster and keep you sitting on the edge of the chair, but I’m betting the majority of readers who get to that part of the book as dusk settles in the skies flip on every light in the house. Isn’t there a song about that? Every Light in the House is On?
I just clicked into a press release for his latest thriller, It. By the time I could get off the page there were chills running up and down my spine and I’m absolutely positive the next generation of Verhoeff babies will be born naked because of it! Seriously, I’m half scared out of my ever-loving wits and all I saw were the first few lines of the press release. YIKERS!
Don’t get me wrong… I’m a big fan of Stephen King. I love his writing style. I’m actually a big fan of Jurassic Park and I’ve seen a few other books he’s written that I truly had the incredibly idiotic desire to read… I tend to read his work with the pages turning really fast. A glimpse of horror is about all this speed reader can handle, so I really prefer to read fast and NOT stop on the pages that scare the life blood right out of my veins.
So, exactly what is it I like about reading Stephen King? It isn’t his grammar. He’s bad. Really BAD. But, he has a way with putting words together that just make the whole process work. The story comes to life in my hands. As if I’m there… looking T-Rex in the eye, daring him to eat me alive.
I like that when I read his work (even if I speed read it to miss the scary parts), I still feel my heart speed up and can hear the sound of T-Rex moving across the planet, as if he’s coming after ME. It isn’t the FEAR factor that I like. It’s the part of the writing that swallows me up and keeps me IN THE STORY.
I like that Stephen allows the action of the story to tell you what it’s all about and allows you to feel the pain and agony of his characters through their continuous action. I like that he punctuates the action in his novels with conversation among his characters. I’m particularly impressed by the descriptions of locations he gives. Now… seriously, that will slow me down long enough to actually READ the description.
So, is it ethical to scare the wits out of your readers? I think not, but Stephen King is still making a pile of ‘ethical’ money from writing his books.
Okay. I’m in…
By the way… The rumor mill says Stephen King doesn’t allow his own children to watch his movies, so – kids out of the house when you watch these horror flicks, they are NOT G rated.