This week I’m reading a Stephen King novel, Dreamcatchers. Normally when I’m reading, my author brain hibernates and enjoys the novel, only popping up now and again to think…hmmm, did you see how they did that? And then it sinks back into the abyss until I need to create. (I don’t abuse my creative side…it likes hiding in the dark away from prying eyes. Also, it gets out of doing any real work that way.)
Reading a King novel is a bit like sitting at the foot of a master and watching him paint. In watching the way King writes, I realized something significant. His lens focus is up close and personal. Most authors write with a distance, sometimes safe, sometimes proper. “Gosh, I can’t use the F word, what will Mom think?” “Oh, I would never have a character fart or blow chunder”. They have a few character traits, but they are safe descriptions for the most part.
I will be honest. There are at least a dozen words in the King lexicon that I will never use. I just can’t. I cringe every time I read them. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start to look through a different lens, bringing the characters in for a close-up and writing what I see with my own (somewhat more frigid) style. I’m not sure if that’s his secret, aside from writing his butt off until he made it.
As for the foul language, I practiced in Death Knell. I used the ‘B’ word. My Mom’s heard it before…I’m almost certain…