11/22/63 by Stephen King
Compelling. Read the last half of this 900+ page monster in a single day.
Still amazes me how King’s writing style is so slight as to be non-existent, but with it he creates these incredibly long, involved, gripping stories. Truly a master of the craft.
Three things I learned about writing:
- Horror stories lean on senses other than sight: smell and taste, in particular. These senses are more intimately connected with our bodies, making the texture of the story more physical.
- A simple task can have tension if the reader is kept guessing as to what might happen, and if the character thinks things could go horribly wrong; if the character has a goal-threatening freak-out, that's even better.
- Horror needs a temptation: an invitation to follow a compulsion the character normally wouldn't, with promises (usually false) given that make it seem ok.