Stephen King a Literary Influence


Is Stephen King really a Literary Influence? Yes he is! The number of readers and books sold are reason enough, but even more than that, he has carved out and refined a genre. Many well known authors say that Stephen King is a most important literary influence for them, so we should just believe them.

His use of words, phrases and his method of weaving a story together work especially well in connecting us to the feelings of terror, horror and shock. Those feelings are portals in the stories that bring mystery and suspense and hold us inside the story.

King answers the important question, "what is good writing",  over and over again by showing us good writing. His book, "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft", combines his own life memoir with some thoughts on technique but like all his books it is a demonstration of how to write well. 

He explains that you can't be successful as a writer without reading first. Many authors say that, but when King tells us this it resonates. 

King's voice is natural and familiar to us when we read him.  He is often referred to as a master story teller which testifies to his skill in the craft itself.  Superior work with lasting artistic merit.

Literature is defined as "written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit." King's writing skill is whatever it is that is even better than the word superior implies. 

He says on page 106 of his book, On Writing, "You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair-the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart." The definition of literature could never be met unless this standard was used. He adds: "Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page." Some still may haggle over the "merit" of the writing. Merit can be such a snobbish tool.

Stephen King said in years ago: "When he went home from the hospital he watched the Titanic and he knew his IQ had been damaged"  If thinking is the requirement for writing to have "merit" then o one can say that King's Horror Genre doesn't make you think. The problem for some may be what you wind up thinking about!  

Kings literary influence has been enormous. 

These books below are ones that have been reviewed on this site. Click the book to see the review.