12.17.2009

Writing "Under the Dome"

I am currently reading Stephen King's latest, a rather large tome titled Under the Dome (full review to come, though I'll say I'm enjoying it). But as I considered the subject matter--a town finds itself isolated by an invisible force field--I found myself looking back at other of King's works and thinking that "under the dome" is the situation in pretty much any compelling narration, isn't it?

What I mean is: any good story is a situation involving contained people and forces. Whether it's the town of Jerusalem's Lot beset by vampires, the haunted Overlook Hotel in winter, or the whole of the USA after a virus leaves most people dead, the core of the story is set under a "dome" of circumstances that isolates them from the everyday, the normal, the mundane.

This goes for more than Mr. King's writing, but he's particularly adept at this slight of hand and mind. Reading his work is instructive.

I suppose this is also one of the reasons I really dislike the kind of mainstream literature so many academics tout; I find it dull. People living their lives and generally miserable--but without anything very interesting going on--doesn't make much of a story to my way of thinking.

1 comment:

scott aaron pepper said...

yes, it makes sense and I agree