Thursday, April 27, 2006

Inspired by, Part II: Stephen King

Okay, this may seem a little odd. Stephen King writes horror, right? He doesn't right poetry (or at least doesn't publish it.) That's true, but he was a huge inspiration to me when I began writing. His stories grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. I'm talking early King, the days of Pet Sematary, The Shining, The Dead Zone, and Firestarter. After the Tommyknockers, I lost interest in King's writing. It didn't keep my attention as much as other writers. But those early books blew me away. I would read any King book I could get my hands on. It freaked me out with the clowns and drains; the coming back from the dead in Pet Sematary - I had trouble sleeping because I wanted to finish the book. And all his books were better than the movies (and the movies were awesome!)
I'm adding him here because I learned about writing with, and about, emotion from him. He uses fear, one of life's most powerful emotions, and takes it to a new level. I tried to emulate that with my early writing. I would dream up scenarios and storylines and write what I think he would write. Most of the stories were never any good - too predictable, too copied, too tired - but I learned the technique of using my emotions and getting them in poetry. I don't have King's patience for pounding out page after page; I like to get it done in simple verses and let the reader fill in the rest. It works for me right now; it's not that I'm lazy, my work is better in those short bursts (at least I think so.) Like Neil Peart, King showed me that I was only bound by my imagination and my willingness to try. I'm sure both writers are very critical of their work; show me a good writer that isn't. But they learned that even though you are critical, you have to let that baby out into the world and see what happens. Sometimes the results are less than satisfactory, sometimes they are stunning. And again, like Peart, King inspired me to pick up a pen (or typewriter, then computer keyboard) and get something out there. Try to entertain someone, even if only for a moment. Since those first few, feeble attempts at writing, I've learned so much. I learned to write for myself, but never settle for the first draft. I 've learned to dig deeper and translate the feelings I have into words. I've learned that not everyone will like it or even care, and that's okay. I've learned, with the indirect guidance of two masters, that I do what I do because I love it, because I can and because I want to. And as long as I do that, I can achieve anything.

1 comment:

Oliviah said...

What a great attitude!