So the daughter of serial killer Dennis Rader is upset over Stephen King’s story A GOOD MARRIAGE, claiming that it’s based on her father’s story and exploits her father’s victims. Here’s my take on the matter…
As a writer I know what it’s like to read/hear/see something and be inspired to write a story. I’ve based many of my stories on actual events, most of which are serial killer-related. Can you tell? No, because they’re not accounts of THAT story. They’re completely different stories, only INSPIRED by that story. Which, if the statement from King that I read is true, is what happened in this case. King read of the Rader situation, particularly the part about Rader’s wife being totally unaware of her husband’s actions, and was inspired to write a story about a wife who stumbles upon a box in her garage that contains proof of her husband’s crimes. It’s not about Rader or his victims. It’s a story about a woman who suddenly learns that her husband of over 20 years is a serial killer. While I read the story years ago when it was first released, not once did Dennis Rader’s name come to mind. In fact, I was reminded of Gary Ridgeway and his wife, who also was unaware of her husband’s murderous ways. Ridgeway killed more than 50 women and his wife never knew anything about it. He’s who came to mind while I read the story. Not Rader. This story is a reflection of ANY wife or spouse of ANY criminal who was unaware of the crimes of their significant others. For her to claim it’s based on her father and exploits his victims is nonsense and untrue.
Every story ever written comes from somewhere. Something we’ve read, something we’ve seen, something we’ve heard. That’s what inspiration is. It’s hearing/seeing/reading something and having it trigger your thoughts, sending your mind whirring at the possibilities of a story. Because believe it or not, there’s a story in EVERYTHING. A simple trip to the supermarket could erupt into a full-blown kidnapping complete with police corruption, botched ransom drops, and a happy reunion with your family at the end. A power outage in an apartment building becomes a terrifying horror story with evil monsters lurking in the darkened corners. Everything is inspiration when you’re a writer. There’s no turning it off, no stopping it.
King did nothing wrong in this case. This woman is really reaching if she wants to claim that story is based on her father and exploiting his victims. It’s a wildly ridiculous claim and makes me wonder if it’s not she who wants to exploit the situation. And you know what? I do believe there’s a story there…
Things are different now. Life has been replaced by death. The population has decreased immensely due to the many dangers in this strange new post-apocalyptic world. Life—what of it is left—is different than it was before in every way but one. Those who are left still need to eat.
There’s just one problem.
The food supply is gone.
Click here to get THE HUNGER now.
For a long time now, I’ve been disgusted by the sheer amount of writers on twitter and FB who seemingly do nothing but promote their books. To me, it’s a sign of an amateur. It clogs up my feed, and quite frankly, it makes me want to do the exact opposite of checking out their work. It makes me want to run. Fast and far. Fortunately, Chuck Wendig wrote a post about it. Well, sort of about it. It’s about how to promote your work without feeling slimy about doing it. (Yes, one of the most awful things for a writer to ever have to do is promote their own work. Makes us feel dirty, like a phone solicitor or a politician.) But he also talks about writers who do nothing but scream about their books, throwing social media fliers from every online rooftop. My favorite line from his post is: Sniper bullet, not a clumsy spray of machine gun bullets. Promote yourself wisely and sparingly. Not constantly and loudly.
Anyway, I’ll shut up and let you go read Chuck’s advice.
Some really good advice in this post for new writers. Check it out.
I was mulling over some words the other night and it occurred to me (for the bazillionth time) just how ridiculous our language is. Don’t get me wrong — I love words. I use them all the time. But just think about how strange they are, how random and uncoordinated and confusing they are. Here are some examples that just blow my mind and make me feel terribly sorry for anyone trying to learn our language:
Funny how we go from making the long O sound to the short O sound, even though they’re the same words with a different beginning consonant.
Here are some more:
Why does the word change so completely when adding an -er to the end? All of a sudden we’re enunciating the L and making the short O sound into a long O sound. Bizarre.
Really? The AR suddenly sounds like OR. Why do we do this to ourselves?
MmHm. I could go on. There are SO many more words like this. So many in fact, I don’t know how any of us ever learn this crazy language of ours. I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg here, so I’m curious to know which ones drive you crazy.
So summer finally arrived. I couldn’t wait for it to get here because this has been such a busy year for me, and I thought that once summer came, things would slow down. It’s proving me wrong. I keep telling myself it’s still early, we’re only a couple weeks into the season, but still. Where’s my lay-around-and-do-as-little-as-possible time?
So what have you been doing? How’s your summer going so far? Do you have any relaxing time, and if so, could you relax a little for me?
Here’s a fantastic article on how to maximize your Amazon reviews. Great post that I highly recommend to both writers AND readers.
Wow. I’ve read some bad books in my time, but this…this just blows them all away. In fact, it’s SO bad, I can’t help but wonder if the “author” did it on purpose. I mean, can anyone anywhere be this bad at writing? Never mind. I know they can. This is just one stinker of a book. The review about the instruction manual made me laugh until I cried. And by the way, I’m pretty sure the reviews (other than the instruction manual one) were written by the author. There’s no way that many people write the same way.
I’ll stop blabbing now so you can read this article. I’m gonna head over to Amazon and look at this book’s page. I don’t know why. It’s probably because just reading the snippets in this article stripped me of about 30 IQ points and I no longer understand the difference between a good and bad decision. Anyway, enjoy!