My revision process lately has been staring at the screen for long periods of time trying to figure out what in the bloody blazes I had been thinking about when I wrote certain scenes. To free up my mind today, I went into town to run some errands and ended up browsing the paperback copy of Stephen King’s seventh Dark Tower book Song of Susannah.
I am not a fan of the Dark Tower books at all, but I love reading King’s forewords, afterwords, notes to the reader and all of that stuff he includes in his books. It’s a wonderful look into the life and process of a very imaginative writer. At the end of this book though, instead of an afterword there is a reprinting of King’s personal journal entries from the time encompassing the writing of the Dark Tower books.
The first entry is from 1977 and talks about King finding an old moldy manuscript in his attic and be inspired to complete it. The journals chronicle the story’s march from short story to novel chapter and then to becoming King’s grand opus. He says in one journal that he feels like every story he’s written in his career was practive for writing this one.
Along with the writing entries are notes about King’s family life, his bouts with drugs and alcohol, and the final entry is the article published in the Portland, Maine newspaper that declared King dead after he was hit by a van during a walk. It’s cool to see how various famous ideas of his got their start and their original inspriration. It’s like going through the archives of a Stephen King blog…