Monday, October 21, 2013

Stephen King and I Were Born at the Same Hospital

I just learned that today. It has absolutely nothing... well, very little... to do with this post.

This post is really about using small words to set a feeling in a piece.

I'm reading "The Shining" because, well, I work in a hotel and it's Halloween so why not scare the crap out of myself by reading "The Shining" in the lobby, right?

King has a knack for setting tone. He sets a scary tone long before something gets scary. He sneaks words into the book that crawl up your arms and freak you out before you even know why you should be scared. For instance, in "The Shining" he writes "and the wide concrete walk up to the door was lined with the corpses of last summer's flowers."

Let's say he wrote instead "and the wide concrete walk was lined with last summer's wilted flowers." Doesn't carry as much weight does it?

That's what is on my mind tonight. Now I'm going to go apply it to an end-of-the-world death-by-robots story that has been sitting on my back burner for over a year.

No comments:

Post a Comment