Why Stephen King is so popular?

I was introduced to Stephen King world with IT. A 1000+ page tome of Stephen King, widely considered as one of the shining examples of his masterful storytelling. The depth of characters, the intricately designed antagonist, the face-off with evil, the lessons derived and the fact that Stephen King managed to hook a reader for 1200 pages. There are millions of readers  who won’t even let the idea of attempting a 1000+ page fiction cross their mind unless it is a Stephen King novel. I still remember how difficult it was for me to keep my enthusiasm aloft while reading “The Stand”. Still I kept treading because it is Stephen King book. There is faith that in the end, all the effort will be worth it, that something in the upcoming pages will catch me off-guard and hit the wind out of me, temporarily. Like me, this faith keeps millions of readers turning those pages of revered Stephen King books till they reach the end. Whether King stories makes you aghast or leave you with simmering roller coaster of emotions, they are sure to leave you with awe for the way it is told, the way different  characters and the entire world is masterfully crafted by King, good enough to hook a reader for weeks required to finish his books.

The fact that Stephen King can come out with universally accepted books, among readers of respective genres, like “The Outsider” and ”The Institute” after his 70th Birthday epitomizes his genius. The fact that he  is 73 currently and still churning out multiple books  every is testimony to his dedication towards the craft.

His detractors, who often criticize him for pulp-nature of his prose and call his writing low-brow, are predicting  doom for decades. Those detractors obviously have not written a single book coming anywhere close to being a bestseller. Perhaps they have issues with horror, a genre that has been sneered at and seen with revulsion since its inception. Probably such detractors have issues with Stephen King’s work accessible to people of all ages, something they themselves were not able to achieve with their high-brow writing, that is read by number of people you can count on your fingers. King himself said that his writing was ‘the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries’, commonplace, and for everybody.

MASTER OF STORYTELLING

Stephen King might not be among greatest of writers considering the technicalities,as many say, but he is surely a master at storytelling. He has a knack for spinning enthralling, frightening, harrowing tales that can hook a reader till all those pages of his what appears like never ending book are finished. 1200 pages of It of 1300 pages of “The Stand” never act like a deterrent due to the way the characters and the world is crafted by Stephen King in the orientation pages. A reader instantly is engrossed and starts releating to the characters. If a storyteller  can do this to a reader for a span of 1000+ pages, he must be awesome in his craft and king is doing it for around 50 years and still going super strong at the age upwards of 70.

CRAFTING CHARACTERS

One of the biggest reasons why Stephen King most often manages to hook his reader is his brilliance in crafting characters making them seem real, easy to connect with and three dimensional. Pondering over attributes of the characters crafted by King, one can often link them to someone in real life. You can link Carrie to someone you have seen being bullied during your school or college days, you can link all the Kids in IT to one or the other childhood friends, you can link parents in Pet Semetary to someone who lost a dear one,etc. Once you connect you can think from their perspective. Even biggest of detractors of King’s writing admire his knack of creating these real characters. Bland charcters with zero faults or entirely dark characters rarely exist. People change with events. Such changes are beautifully captured by King in his books endorsing his flair of getting into head of his characters and think from their perspective. He knows what details to include and what to exclude to transfer his imagination to his readers using his words.

INSPIRATION FROM REAL LIFE

One reason why King’s characters seem real and three dimensional is many of them are rooted in true stories. Assasination of President John F. Kennedy served as foundation for time travel thriller 11/22/63,  a real Pet Cemetery  inspired “Pet Semetary” hust like Hotel in “The Shining”. He has that uncanny ability to take a real incident, add an element of supernatural and craft a jaw dropping tome.

HERE you can find real events that sparked in King the ideas for his books.

VERSATALITY OF HIS WORK

Stephen King is wrongly regarded a typecast in horror genre. You don’t like horror? No issue.

Like time travel? Try “11/22/63”

Like Sci-fi? Try “Dreamcatcher”

Like mystery? Try “The Outsider”

The count of his different works exceed 70. Because he is so prolific, he has something in store for everyone, for people of all tastes. This explains why he is Number 1 followed author at Goodreads.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *