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31 March 2017 @ 03:40 am
How fresh! What a clever smart girl (or boy) you are!!  
I'm going to preface this by saying that of course people have different tastes in movies and books. While I do sometimes feel judgy toward people that defend literary or live-action garbage, I recognize that this is a shitty trait I should continue trying to shake. People are allowed to like whatever the hell they want. That's not the point I'm making here. With that out of the way...

What do horror writers and fans think they're accomplishing by talking shit about Stephen King? What is achieved by insulting the work that inspired so many people to pursue the genre, and writing in general? Even if you weren't personally influenced by King, someone you were influenced by was.
Do you think you're being edgy or outside-the-box by pretending that Carrie isn't a good novel? Or that you felt nothing when reading Pet Sematary? Or that The Shining didn't scare you ever, at any point? I'm not saying people are wrong for not having King on their top-ten lists or whatever. But this bland "I don't see what the big deal is about Stephen King" bullshit has to stop. When you say that, you're revealing your own ignorance far more than you're making a statement about King and his work. Besides, it's not possible to dislike everything he's written--unless you haven't read enough.

Until Daniel Craig happened, I did not give half a rat's ass about James Bond. He's basically what a 12-year-old boy thinks it's like to be a spy. I've not read the books, but the movies are silly and campy and don't seem to realize that they are. But I understand that it's a wildly popular series and that people have strong love feelings for it. I can also tell the difference between something being objectively bad, or simply not being to my taste. Bond films are simply not what I'm looking for in a film.

Stephen King is like The Beatles. You can't possibly dislike all of it. There's too damn much. And it's all so different. I Wanna Hold Your Hand and The White Album are worlds apart. Come to think of it, I haven't even read all of King. I haven't touched any of the Dark Tower stuff (no pinkie wags please), and never got around to the JFK thing. The point is that there's so much King work, much of which is not even horror. Don't believe me, read Eyes of the Dragon to your (older than toddler) kids.

King's work isn't perfect. I'm not here to say that it is. He's got that "magical negro" problem. Most of his sex scenes are basically the same. He's got a clear bias against fat people. One could argue that he has a definite formula, but must also admit that he changed it up after a time. His wife characters are often interchangeable.

Admittedly, I'm one of those people who came to love and understand horror because of Stephen King. I was a kid when Salem's Lot and The Shining and Carrie came out. One might argue that 9 was too young to read such things. But fuck that. Letting me read whatever the hell I wanted is one of a very small number of things my mother got totally right. We also watched almost whatever we wanted, horror wise. That's how I got to see Alien and Fulci's Zombi at the drive-in. But I digress.

Rage. I get why he wants it out of print, because actual school shooters had actual copies nearby when they actually killed people. But dammit. If we're really gonna ban every book people use to excuse horrible deeds, the Christian Bible should be ripped off shelves tomorrow. If I was ever gonna direct a short based on a King story, Rage would definitely be the one. And yes, I know it's technically a Bachman.

Those early collections of King's shorts are practically a class in how to tell stories. How to reveal information to the reader for the most impact. How to let readers identify with someone in a very short amount of time. When to use 1st person POV versus 3rd. Stuff like Strawberry Spring and I Know What You Need and The Man Who Loved Flowers inspired me in ways I didn't even notice until I started publishing my own horror stories.
They don't call him the Master of Horror solely because he sells a lot of books. There's more to it than that. Read Danse Macabre, or On Writing (easily the best book ever on the craft, regardless of your genre) and then tell me he hasn't earned his place in both horror history and literary history in general. How can you know anything about horror at all and not know that?!?

Ya wanna fight about it?
Let's Get It On.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
Color Me: crankycranky
Background Noise: X-Men movie (that isn't so good)
crowjoycrowjoy on March 31st, 2017 01:16 pm (UTC)
I would probably say anything to avoid an actual fight with you. :D

This is like when people say they don't like soup. Or pie. How? what? there are so MANY!?
Wednesday Lee Fridaywednes on March 31st, 2017 05:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly. Not that Boston Creme Pie is an actual pie...but cheesecake IS a pie, so it all evens out.
SarahMichigansarahmichigan on March 31st, 2017 01:45 pm (UTC)
I don't know about "easily the best book on writing" but I did read "On Writing" and think it's very, very good, at least top 10 percent of books on the craft.

Can't argue with anything else. If you don't like one of King's books, another might be up your alley. I really loved his short stories as a teenager and owned "Night Shift".
Wednesday Lee Fridaywednes on March 31st, 2017 05:43 pm (UTC)
Oooh, if you know of a better book on writing, I'll want to read it with all haste.

Night Shift is a great collection, for sure. I feel just as strongly about Skeleton Crew.
dionysus1999dionysus1999 on March 31st, 2017 08:05 pm (UTC)
A horror writer dissing King is like a film director dissing Spielberg. You don't have to like every movie he's made, but he transformed film-making in a way that's influenced generations of movie makers.
Wednesday Lee Fridaywednes on April 1st, 2017 11:48 pm (UTC)