A Literary Analysis of Stephen King’s Writing: Part 2
by Adam Huddleston
Last week I began a series on what makes Stephen King’s writing successful. It is my intent to analyze the strengths of his work in an attempt to understand it and apply it to my writing as well. Part 1 of the series focused on his character creation and imaginative situations. For today’s blog, lets discuss how he organizes his plots as well as how expansive his library of work is.
For the most part, the majority of Mr. King’s plotting is linear. As his stories progress, they may jump around in time slightly depending upon the narrative’s needs, but they usually move straight forward. He doesn’t toy around much with stories told in reverse or packed full of flashbacks. I believe that this is because the typical reader is more comfortable with a traditional plot format.
Speaking of his plots, there are many who criticize the endings of his stories. I’d be lying if I said that I have done so from time to time. Most of his tales end quite satisfactorily, for me at least, but there are some that just lose steam and peter out in the end. One of his novels, “Cell”, just seems to end. It almost feels like he was rushed to finish it or just ran out of things to say. Other works exist with similar flaws, but in my opinion, they comprise a minority of his library.
The expansiveness of his work is non-debatable. He has consistently published several pieces a year ranging from short story collections to novels, screenplays to audiobooks. The sheer volume of his work is a testament to the author’s success. I believe that his ability to find a niche in the fiction market then provide quality entertainment (at a break-neck pace) to his consumer base solidifies him as one of the greatest authors of the past several decades.