5+ Things to Know About Stephen King’s Writing Style

Things to Know About Stephen King's Writing Style

Stephen King has had one of the most prolific writing careers of our time – of all time, really.

If you haven’t read Stephen King, you’ve probably watched a movie or TV show adaptation of one of his books.

Odds are, many of you have done both.

Stephen King’s writing method is a breath of fresh air

King doesn’t outline his books, nor does he go in with a solid idea of where the story is heading or how it’ll end.

That would ruin the fun, he says.

Instead, King starts with an idea – a character, a place, a moment – and works from there

He’s written a laundry list of bestsellers with this routine.

King’s novels include:

  • Carrie
  • ‘Salem’s Lot
  • The Shining
  • The Stand
  • The Dark Tower series

What’s interesting about Stephen King is that he doesn’t seem to believe in writer’s block.

He once said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” We’ve all had this feeling.

This way of thinking has led him to produce an incredible body of work.

Stephen King character development

King also creates characters that readers tend to easily identify with due to their inherently flawed but human traits.

In other words, Stephen King’s characters are relatable because they make the same mistakes we do.

This is a great lesson for writers or anyone trying to form an attachment to their audience: your audience can relate to flawed characters.

People don’t want to read about or see flawless human beings in your ads – they want to see someone who looks and feels like them.

Stephen King description style

Stephen King is known for his ability to bring even the most mundane objects to life with his writing.

This is because he takes the time to describe even the smallest of details surrounding whatever object he’s focusing on.

For example, in It, Stephen King describes Pennywise the Clown’s costume in such vivid detail that readers can practically see it in their minds.

This is a valuable lesson for copywriters: don’t be afraid to get specific. The more specific you are, the easier it is for your reader to visualize what you’re talking about.

Stephen King dialogue

Stephen King is also a master of dialogue.

He puts a lot of thought into the way his characters speak, and as a result, his dialogue sounds natural and realistic.

This is important for copywriters to keep in mind because so much of their job revolves around writing dialogue – whether it’s in the form of an email, chatbot message, or even a landing page headline.

If you can learn to write dialogue that sounds natural and realistic, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Things to Know About Stephen King's Writing Style

Why this matters for copywriters or marketers

Marketing can often be an intense, by-the-book, analytics-obsessed game. This results in cookie-cutter ads, templated blog posts, and marketers endlessly copying each other, praying for success.

But the most memorable marketing almost never arises from analytics-obsessed templates. It arises from somebody writing like Stephen King, starting with an idea, and seeing where the story takes them.

Next time you write copy or brainstorm ad campaigns, take a step back from the numbers and the templates and the Twitter threads.

Write like Stephen King for a while – it’s almost necessary if you want to create something truly memorable.


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