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Stephen King Comments on JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer

Celebs on HP
Posted by: sue
February 03, 2009, 07:52 PM

Scores of readers let us know about a new interview with acclaimed author Stephen King, who has made some new comments regarding Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. Speaking with USA Weekend, Mr. King compared the two authors and had some blunt things to say about the Twilight author Meyer. Quotage as follows:

Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. ... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."

"Somebody who’s a terrific writer who’s been very, very successful is Jodi Picoult. You’ve got Dean Koontz, who can write like hell. And then sometimes he’s just awful. It varies. James Patterson is a terrible writer but he’s very very successful. People are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it's not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that’s a shorthand for all the feelings that they’re not ready to deal with yet."

Thanks to everyone who emailed!

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466 Points

She’s got good ideas, but her characters have no depth. For me, that’s one of the things that makes Harry so wonderful. I know the characters so well, that I could predict how they would act and react in everyday situations. They are just so real. With the Twilight characters, what do we really know about them? Bella is clumsy and loves Edward. Other than that, she has no personality. That’s why Stephen King said what he did. Meyer’s characters are as flat as the paper she writes them on.

Posted by LFMD [FTC] on February 04, 2009, 04:30 PM report to moderator
176 Points

I had seen this before. I totally agree! I mean the stories are compelling but the writing always did bother me a bit.

Posted by Julianne Flowers on February 04, 2009, 04:37 PM report to moderator
32 Points

OMG! no way, no f-ing way.

Everyone can have their own opinion, and like her or not, that’s harsh so poor Stephenie. And I just so happen to LOVE the twilight books, and seriously, Fang from “Maximum Ride” is pretty cool too.
Oh how I would love to have this fight face to face with him! Honestly, how old is he anyway! The series IS for 16 year-old girls, and Edward is allowed to say any cheesy line he wants!
Run while you still can King…

Posted by ice-alchemist on February 04, 2009, 04:42 PM report to moderator

I’m currently reading the Twilight series and am on the last book (just started it). I’ve heard a lot of fans didn’t like the last book, so I’m kind of nervous about reading it, but I will hold off my judgment until I’m finished. What I can say about the books so far is that I have mostly enjoyed them. Stephanie Meyer doesn’t hold a candle to Jo Rowling when it comes to writing, I’ll give you all that, but she’s not a bad writer.

I think the biggest problem with her writing is her choice of perspective. Having chosen to write the books from first person, we readers are forced into knowing everything the main character, Bella, is feeling and thinking, and that’s not always a good thing. One of the brilliant things about the way the Harry Potter novels are written is that they are third person limited point of view, and as such, leave us guessing. We find ourselves wanting desperately to know what’s going on inside the characters’ minds, but we’re limited, even with Harry at times.

With knowing all of Bella’s thoughts and feelings, we’re forced to live and relive her experience, mental or physical. Think about how your mind typically works. You may have many of the same thoughts go through your mind on a day to day basis. You may often think the same things about certain individuals, like using certain words or phrases to describe them. Her overuse of feeling Edward “perfect,” “angel,” etc. is due to us being forced into Bella’s mind.

I think it would’ve been better had the books been written third person. I’m more interested in wondering what Jacob or Edward might be thinking than Bella and find it frustrating to have to deal with Bella, Bella, Bella, and more Bella.

The storyline itself is interesting and very good, I think. I like the love triangle and the tension between the characters. I would’ve liked to have seen more of a climax in the first two books, but overall, I am enjoying the stories.

I think it’s unfair for so many people to be blasting these books without, perhaps, explaining why they feel that way. You can say the writing is bad, but use an example of what you mean by “bad.” I tried to do so above.

Posted by sindie11 on February 04, 2009, 04:45 PM report to moderator
1252 Points

Oh my, that was the best thing I have read in a while. Go Stephen King.

Posted by Lacarnum Inflamarae on February 04, 2009, 04:52 PM report to moderator
70 Points

Heheheh…Stephen King is great. Coolest Harry Potter fan-guy who also writes.

Posted by Helios Lightra on February 04, 2009, 04:52 PM report to moderator
7239 Points

I think every author has his or her own take on one anothers writing. I respect Mr King, as a great author of Horror/Suspense Novels, and I’m very sure that Ms Meyers [I hope that’s spelled right] writes very well…for their individual style. I also believe that, given those two remarks, that everyone reads differently. Whereas JK Rowling writes to young people, one way, Ms Meyers writes another. Mr King is [IMHO] in the middle between the two. He has elements of both. Adolescents learning about life, the horrors of the imagination, and redemption of good over evil. I know that’s kinda “deep”, but that’s how I see it. I like all three authors, and I am not in the privileged position of telling others “who is good” and “who is bad” or which someone else should read “because so much better than_____”

Posted by Confederate Lady [CL, Rawwrrrr] on February 04, 2009, 04:57 PM report to moderator
414 Points

I love Twilight, but honestly there i no comparison between it and Harry Potter, the depth of the storytelling and the issues raised seem to me to be on another level in Harry Potter, whereas for me Twilight is just a love story and doesn’t have as many levels to the story.That said, I feel Stephen King was a bit too damning abouut it, if it gets children or teenagers to read who normally wouldn’t, and I witnessed this with some of my friends, then whats the harm?

Posted by bealen on February 04, 2009, 05:15 PM report to moderator
11307 Points

stephanie meyer deserves to get the verbal crap kicked out of her. Although I don’t much care for Stephen King I love that he said this.

Posted by GF_of_Seamus on February 04, 2009, 05:32 PM report to moderator
123 Points

well, somebody had to say it

Posted by MaggieM (ROAR) on February 04, 2009, 05:35 PM report to moderator
415 Points

Well put, Stephen. Couldn’t have said it better myself. :)

Posted by kira902k on February 04, 2009, 05:38 PM report to moderator

Twilight fans may be furious indeed; and I wouldn’t actually say she writes completely bad (I believe one of the best aspects of Meyer is her narrating voice, which is very real, for any writing.)

But for the most part, I agree with Stephen King. Rowling uses far more complex aspects of literature in her writing.

Posted by PCC_Wizard on February 04, 2009, 05:39 PM report to moderator
133 Points

Dude…no one can compare to JKR, but even without that comparison, Meyer sucks. I read Twilight and thought it was horrible!

Posted by Christy on February 04, 2009, 05:50 PM report to moderator
539 Points

Another reason to love Stephen King! :D. Stephenie Meyer is not a bad writer, but she lacks experience and sometimes I feel she uses her plot line to get her through the tougher parts to write or to cover up the fact that she has no experience in the business. Of course, J.K. Rowling didn’t have much experience when she wrote Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone, so I guess in the end, J.K.R. is more talented.

Posted by Saoirse42 *ROAR!* on February 04, 2009, 06:00 PM report to moderator
267 Points

I really found Twilight unreadable. Even ignoring her technical skills as a writer, the plot pacing and complete lack of suspense killed it for me. I like that King put it so bluntly!

Posted by Kerning on February 04, 2009, 06:06 PM report to moderator
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