Monday, August 20, 2012

Can a Book Be Too Polished?

Currently, I'm reading Full Dark No Stars and Under the Dome, by Stephen King  Although I'm enjoying the books, I couldn't help but notice his voice and style has changed. Some readers in the following Discussion forum- Stephen King, attribute this to two different periods in his life.  They argue that his earlier works were the product of alcohol and substance abuse, while the later ones were from his post rehab period.

Whatever the reason, I definitely see a  difference in his writing.  At the very least, it lacks the rawness I remember in Salem's Lot, Misery, It,  Needful Things, The Shining and The Stand,  Not only did these novels make for an interesting read, but also a unique one.  Although the plots were chaotic and overloaded with exposition, the characters were distinct enough to make up for any shortcomings in the writing.

In stark contrast, Full Dark No Stars and Under the Dome are free of  the aforementioned problems, but are not as engaging as King's earlier works. I no longer feel the same connection with the characters as I did in the above noted stories, and the plots don't elicit the same book-clenching fear I used to feel.  In essence, I miss King's old voice and style.

The changes in his writing got me to thinking about my Work-In-Progress. Is it possible that some crudeness in technique can be a good thing? Perhaps polishing out all the imperfections can also take away from the overall uniqueness of a piece.  At the end of the day, don't we all strive to have an edge to our writing that sets us apart from everyone else?  I certainly do.  What do you think?   I'd also be interested to know if those King fans out there see a difference between the voice and style in his earlier works and his later ones.

  I'll be in Vegas with friends for the next few days, but will periodically check my blog, so please be patient if I don't respond straight away.  Until next week, happy writing.