You might be wondering by now what I have been up to, aside from my mum and wife duties and writing of course. Well I'm going to share it with you - I have just finished reading my first ever Stephen King novel! Yay! After reading his 'On Writing,' I vowed to read his books and the first in the queue was Misery (recommended by a friend). And gosh, it frightened the hell out of me! I told you I am not a horror film or book fan. I have just recently read Elana's post on watching horror films (please click here to read her blog post on The League of Extraordinary Writers) and I can totally relate to her! As a child, I hid my face behind my father or under the pillow. Now that I'm all grown up, I still wouldn't watch any horror film without anybody with me. I also learned a trick - I switch the volume off so I won't hear the frightening background music!
So, let me tell you about Misery. It's a story about Paul Sheldon, a writer. He had a car accident and was saved by Annie Wilkes, a former nurse and his Number One Fan. Here's the rest of the summary on the back cover: She pulled him out of the car-wreck, brought him home, splinted and set his mangled legs. All he had to do in return was to write a very special book, just for her, all about her favourite character from his novels. One he'd killed off and now had to bring back to life. Because if he didn't, if he was bad and didn't do what nurse told him, she would be cross - very cross - and do things that would make him scream and scream....
Tell you what, Annie Wilkes is the most compelling character I have ever read so far. She terrorized me. She's terrifying. Scheming. Crazy. Very unpredictable. You wouldn't want to ever get near her. The scariest thing is - she could be real. You could be doing some shopping and an Annie Wilkes could be any one of the other shoppers! This is one book that will take you to the edge of your seat, I promise you! My imagination went wild. In the middle of the night as I read the book, I had to make sure all doors were locked!
There was something Annie said to Paul in the book that I liked, though. She said this when, in the book that Paul was writing, he killed the protagonist, Misery. Annie was extemely furious, shouting at Paul, 'You killed her!' But Paul said he didn't kill Misery, she died. So here was what Annie said:
"But characters in stories DO NOT just slip away! God takes us when He thinks it's time and a writer is God to the people in a story, he made them up just like God made US up and no one can get hold of God to make Him explain, all right, okay, but as far as Misery goes I'll tell you one thing you dirty bird, I'll tell you that God just happens to have a couple of broken legs and God just happens to be in MY housing eating MY food....and....and"
Isn't that true? Two weeks before I read Misery, I remember reading a chapter in a manuscript that my bestfriend is currently finalising. One of the characters died...and it made me cry. So I e-mailed her and I said, "You killed him! You made me cry because you killed him!" It made her laugh, because I was talking like it was a real person who died. It's funny, isn't it? That as a writer, you play God because you make people up. You can make them do what you want them to do....and you can kill the ones you don't like. Like Annie Wilkes. Yes, you really would feel like killing her. Because I am telling you, she scared me more than the Dementors in Harry Potter did! Or even Voldemort! I will not tell you what happened in the end so as not to spoil it. If you like horror/thriller books, this one is for you!
How about you? What are you currently reading? How do you find the characters? What do you like or dislike about them?
Note: The above are quotes from Stephen King's Misery. This is not a paid advertisement. Disclaimer: This is my web blog, the opinion expressed above are 100% mine and not that of the author's or publisher of the above-mentioned book. This site makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness of any information and will not be liable for any errors, omissions in this information arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.