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Stephen King's Writing Career in Fiction Literature

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Fiction literature is an instrumental element in many people’s lives today. Whether one is a literature teacher, an author, a fiction texts analyst or simply a reader of fiction writing, an encounter with creative writing leaves a critical mark on an individual’s mind. Since its invention in the 12th century, fiction has evolved and influenced many lives to date. It seeks to bring out what revolves in other people’s minds in terms of imaginations of situations, events, places, and values that are of significance in people’s lives. It also takes the reader on an emotional journey in an exploration of what may never be verified since it only existed in the minds of the authors. Nonetheless, it illuminates what happens in the world one lives in, the events in which they have been involved and the interests they have harbored deep in their minds. These critical engagements in the lifetime of an author play a pivotal role in shaping what the fiction writer pens down. Out of his or her works, an author’s philosophy, social beliefs, points of view, and standpoints are manifested. Often, analysts manage to track the relationship between what authors write and their earlier days in life. To this end, an overview of Stephen King’s works, history, and philosophies manifested in his fiction, and factual works manifest a liking of horror tales that tracks to his early days and the exposure he had gained through reading other authors.

A first glance at the list of Stephen King’s fiction works titles shows that he has a deep-rooted interest in horror stories. Such works as Nightmares & Dreamscapes short stories collection, Rose Red series, and Richard Bachman’s collection of books manifest his growing interest in horror-oriented creations. Beahm associates King’s attachment to horror books to his great interest in writing imaginative horror stories (127). Stephen King himself argued that the secret to writing successfully is a deep and wide reading on a topic or field of interest and a willingness to continue doing that (King 210). Precisely, he advised that a good writer reads and writes for six consecutive hours a day. This assertion means that his great exposure to horror books and movies may have had a critical influence on his imagination. King’s initial works consisted of newspaper articles published by his brother. All these articles were commentaries of the horror movies he had watched.

The kind of materials he wrote means that they played an essential role in building him up as a writer, particularly as exposure to imaginative ideas that he came up with later one. The background of his writing career further suggests that what people build their interests in often occupies their minds and informs the way they think as well as how they express it to others. Importantly, people’s background informs the way they pursue their interests and feel while encountering things that are related to what their interests are. Another exposure to horror fiction in the form of short stories written by his father impacted King’s interest in his genre of fiction works. In his title, Danse Macabre (1981), King relates his uncle’s inquisitiveness about what he wanted to do for a living with an explanation that he had discovered, The Lurker in the Shadows, a collection of short stories that had belonged to his father. King father’s publications were all horror fiction stories. His description of his feeling regarding this discovery fortifies reading and exposure as a strong inspiration to his imagination. He says that he found a home in those stories. This means that by the time King completed reading his father’s books, he realized his calling and what he would do for a life. He could not relate to any other experience in his life other than the great inspiration and the illumination he got from reading these stories. Further, his wide connection with other horror fiction writers sheds more light to exposure and link with horror stories and conversations as a great inspiration to his writing.

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The strength of such relationships is manifested in his collaboration with Peter Straub, the author of The Talisman, and the sequel, Black House, author. Based on the normal understanding of how friends interact, it is justifiably right that most of the ideas that King shared with these friends and colleagues are horror story ideas. Straub and King already were established writers, implying that they influenced each other in their ideas such that they realized they could come up with some works together. Stephen King’s interests are also materialized in his love for hard rock music. He mentions hard rock music bands such as Metallica, Anthrax, and Judas Priest as important companions as he writes. Critics argue that there are traces of Gothic horror in rock music (Rubin, 237). As such, his personal choice in listening to this kind of music as he wrote most of his fiction works underpins the relationship. In this light, the impact of music in determining the thoughts that people harbor is also manifested in his consistent mention of the Ramones, a punk rock band that is said to feature most in his works. Another source of influence that is thought to have had an impact on Stephen King’s imagination manifested in his work is early childhood experiences.

Close family members and relatives argue that King once lost one of his closest friends to a train strike (Beahm 210). While King records no memories of this incident even in his factual books about his life, he acknowledges that his family witnessed him leave home happily to play with his friend and came back home frightened and in distress. Later, they learned that his friend had been struck and murdered by a train. Such a traumatic psychological experience can have a significant impact on the way a person thinks. Harvey and Eric Vermetten argue that traumatic experiences by a young person influence the ability of the victim to figure out the future or the world in a positive way (142). Scholars argue that unless there are deliberate efforts to counter the adverse effect of trauma among young people, its influence on their imagination can be dangerous.

The danger lies in its tendency to depict the world in scaring imaginations. If these assertions are anything to go by, then Stephen King’s dark works may have been inspired by the traumatic experience of witnessing the death of a close friend of his. With interests, companions, and relations revolving around fiction and writing, Stephen Kind realized the connection between him and his destiny. His conviction that he was just called to write is fortified in his determination to continue writing even after an accident. Despite the hardships related to the injuries and challenges he suffered, he managed to pen down a title shortly after the accident. When he was asked about what inspired his determination, he answered that it was all anchored in his calling. He said, “I was made to write stories, and I love to write stories.’ This means that he realized early in life that he was called to be a writer. He was not ready to give up this calling whatsoever. King also seems to suggest that it was his destiny to come up with terrifying stories. An inquiry into why he pens so horrific stories, he declared that he has no choice.

All he has is to execute the ideas that come into his mind and present them for the reader in a way that is interesting and moving enough to communicate targeted messages and themes. The connection between his calling to write and his imagination is manifested in the use of writers as characters in his books. Analysts cite characters such as Paul Sheldon as the lead character in Misery, Bill Denbrough, Ben Mears, and Jack Torrance in It, Salem’s Lot, The Shining respectively showing that King’s imagination revolves around the person he is (Harvey and Vermetten 140). King even used himself as a character in the Dark Tower series which fortified his argument that his every story begins with a “what if a writer was….” situation idea. As a result, most analysts have associated his writings with the possible experiences that may have happened to him or an extrapolation of the life he lived as a writer. In conclusion, Stephen King’s fiction literature writing career, his philosophies, imaginative ideas, and values manifest the exposure he has had in life. From witnessing the death of a friend in a traumatizing strike and killing by a train to watching horror movies to reading horror stories and befriending horror fiction writers, to his imagination about his experiences as an author, King manifests the impact of exposure in what an author comes up with. Such real events, places, people, and circumstances replay in the consumers’ minds and trigger ideas that are composed into stories through devotion to pursuing one own calling. As such, a combination of life experiences, people around an author, daily incidences, and destiny, the value of what an author presents to the audience is materialized.

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Stephen King’s Writing Career in Fiction Literature. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from
“Stephen King’s Writing Career in Fiction Literature.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
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Stephen King’s Writing Career in Fiction Literature [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 Mar 27]. Available from:
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