What makes a guy like Stephen King able to do what he does? I’m reading “The Wind Through the Keyhole”, and I am reminded once again of the magic which seems to inhabit a handful of human beings–a magic to paint worlds out of nothing. On my best writing day, I might be able to accidentally match wits with his prose, provided King were having his worst day, but good writing, I’m finding, has a lot less to so with the ability to combine words in a fanciful way, and more to do with the thing behind those fanciful words–the passion, or rather, the compulsion. It’s seeing that vision, that picture–like a splinter in the mind–and being unable to push it away until some attempt is made to make it seen by others.
So, why does it matter? What’s behind that sort of compulsion? It’s the connection, I suppose–the connection with others that doesn’t compare to any other sort. It’s the knowledge that something you wrote took a person–most often a stranger–to someplace other. When that happens, all of us–readers and writers alike–are reminded of our common humanity, and the differences between us blur, in favor of our sacred similarities.
I’m not a big fan of Stephen King, but the thing about the passion spoke clearly. However, the splinter in the mind could be messy.