Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm reading a book by Stephen King! As you probably know by now, Gentle Reader, I do not ordinarily read books by Stephen King. They scare me. I don't enjoy being scared, except by vampires, Alfred Hitchcock, or M. Night Shyamalan. Or Vincent Price. Or Christopher Lee. Or Edgar Allan Poe. Anyway, I've tried reading horror books/stories by Stephen King a couple times before, and never particularly cared for them. I've seen 5 or 6 movies based on his writings, and only really liked Secret Window and The Green Mile.

But I'm really enjoying this book! What is it? On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. He's got this great sense of humor, and his quirky musings on his childhood have really captured my attention (I'm only about 50 pages into it so far). I got it out of the library because Noumenon sent me a link to a couple pages from it on, in which King discussed dialogue, which is something I really focus on in my own writing.

It will be worth reading this book, for me, if only for this little section about watching mainstream movies in the 1950's and 1960's, found on page 45:
"They were boringly wholesome. They were predictable. During The Parent Trap, I kept hoping Hayley Mills would run into Vic Morrow from The Blackboard Jungle. That would have livened things up a little, by God. I felt that one look at Vic's switchblade knife and gimlet gaze would have put Hayley's piddling domestic problems in some kind of reasonable perspective."
Love it! Altho I really like The Parent Trap, the idea of pitting the bubbly blonde twins up against that menacing hood Artie West is deliciously intriguing...


  1. The pages about dialogue that I linked to were 182 & 183. If that link doesn't work type "hauptmann" in the Search Inside box.

  2. Hey, thanks! I tried to find them myself, but I'd forgotten what you said you searched for, and just looked for "dialogue" and that brought up about a zillion pages, which I tried to wade through until I ran out of time and had to go to work. So thanks for reminding me!

    Also...why were you searching for 'hauptmann'? Been reading other people's Combat! fanfic on the sly? ;-)

  3. it's often easier to find things I send other people in my Sent folder than things they sent me and I deleted.

    Here's the story of Hauptmann. Somewhere in the mists of time I ran into someone talking about how bad HP Lovecraft was at writing dialogue and they mentioned King wrote about it. I used to search Amazon's book archives. I read that part and kept browsing a couple pages and found the part I liked and sent to you. Then I picked "hauptmann" cuz it looked like it would occur only on page 182. So 'twas a twisted path I followed, but no Combat! in there.

    I picked Hauptmann because it only has one search result. I ran into those pages just by accident as I was browsing

  4. dern deleted section hidden down there at the bottom of the text box, oh well, comments ain't supposed to be perfect

  5. He who has never left a mixed-up comment on someone's blog is free to cast the first stone.

  6. Hah! What a great quote. I didn't remember that. But with Brian Keith around, Artie might have a little trouble.

    Very good book. The way he tells his life is quite fascinating.

  7. True, Brian Keith can get pretty fierce. I'm thinking especially of him in Nevada Smith...


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