When anybody picks up their next book, the most important, and sometimes most difficult concept to achieve is connecting with the reader to leave a lasting impact. Stephen King somehow manages to be prolific, writing many stories primarily focusing on the horror genre, while also connecting with his readers in rather profound ways. Additionally, despite the mysterious elements he utilizes, his stories manage to still contain a sense of realism by relating to readers through the average troubles of everyday life. This process invokes both a sense of nonfiction, while simultaneously provoking your imagination.
Harnessing both Reality and Imagination
Stephen King published his first novel, Carrie, in 1974. It centers around a girl who is bullied at school by her peers and abused at home by her overly devout mother. Throughout the course of the story, it is revealed that she possesses telekinetic abilities that show themselves whenever she feels threatened or distraught. While that part of the story is rather farfetched, the source of it all, is the exact opposite and relatable. Every person at some point in their adolescence feels a sense of not belonging, or being insecure when picked on by kids their age. This delivers a sense of relatability with readers of that age group quite well, giving them a sense of sorrow for Carrie and flashbacks of their own struggles by the time the book ends.
Primarily focusing on horror, King’s protagonists often end the story worse off than they were, or die completely. In the climax of his first best seller, The Shining, Jack Torrance becomes possessed by an evil spirit hell-bent on murder. Considering this, he tells his son Danny to run away, but that he loves him anyway. As tragic as this is, it showcases that no matter what, the fatherly part of his soul and love for his son can never truly vanish. Even in both the most imaginable and tragic of ways, King manages to seamlessly tie in the true struggles and hardships of love and attachment we face every day, adding in a touch of fiction for a bit of excitement and suspense.
His Impact on the Industry
Using a fine ratio of both metaphors and nonfiction to connect with readers is something most authors never even come close to mastering. Most typically will choose the side of either fiction, or nonfiction respectively. The fine line in the middle will usually make a story very unorganized or unbelievable if not executed properly. Connecting with readers on both a critical and personal level is the goal of every author, and he manages to make them reminisce on personal experiences, while making the imagination run off of suspense and thrill. There are hundreds, if not thousands of authors out there, but Stephen King remains as yielding one of the most profound and intriguing writing styles ever witnessed.