Tag Archives: Carrie

The Shining – Stephen King’s Book vs Stanley Kubrick’s Movie

The shiningThe-Shining-1980Stephen King is undeniably one of the most consistent and imaginative fiction writers of all time. The Shining, like many of his books (Carrie, Under the Dome, Cujo, Children of the Corn, Pet Sematary, Misery, It), has been adapted into movies and has earned him the nickname ‘The Horror King’.

There must have been some miscommunications when The Shining was made because the movie is significantly different from the book. If the titles were different, they could pass for two entirely different stories.

In the movie the main character, Jack Torrence was portrayed as a one-dimensional insane man whereas in the novel he is a recovering alcoholic and aspiring writer. Jack loses his job and has no choice but to take a job as a Caretaker at the Overlook hotel and there he gradually goes insane.

The admiration that Jack’s son, Danny has for him was not addressed at all in the movie as well as his constant struggle to stay sober. Important aspects like these make Jack Torrence from the novel an entirely different character than the Jack Torrence from the movie. In the novel, he also regains his sanity and saves his family but he dies crazy in the movie.

Wendy Torrence, Jack’s wife, was a crying banshee in the movie. She was a lot more than that in the book. Also, Danny’s ability to ‘shine’ was very understated in the movie whereas it is the core of the book.

Stephen King has publicly expressed his dislike for the movie adaptation. I have always wondered why he felt it did not do his book justice. After reading the novel, I understand why he felt the way he did. He might have been insulted because Stanley Kubrick changed his story but used its name and the STEPHEN KING notoriety.

Although the movie did not match the book, Jack Nicholson’s performance was legendary; maybe one of the best ‘crazy’ portrayals ever on film. However, this is a clear case of the book being better than the movie. King’s style can be quite alluring to a reader who enjoys the artistry and skill of ‘show, don’t tell’.

I guess the lesson here for a writer or any artist for that matter is: before you give someone the rights to replicate your work make sure you are in agreement with how it would be replicated.


Work in Progress 1This week was all about the countdown to the four day, Easter holiday. Usually, I go to the beach, as does everyone else in the country. This year I plan to relax at home, and work on my novel. Maybe go to the Cinema. I’m just glad for the consecutive days off.

I was disappointed that I didn’t have more progress to report in my last post. From last Friday, I made a greater effort. I began editing chapters one and two again. After I read Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ a few weeks ago, I combined my first three chapters into two. In ‘Carrie,’ he exposes Carrie’s telekinetic woes, and an intense bathroom scene very early in the book. My novel does not need that type of shock element. Nevertheless, I was compelled to ‘tighten up’ the writing. I introduced one of the main characters in chapter one rather than in chapter two, in order to entice readers with one of the more significant scenes earlier in the book.

It is always recommended that writers write and read often. Of course, you will not change your story every time you read a book. However, because ‘Carrie’ began in such an intense and captivating manner, it forced me to notice that my story lagged a bit.

In my opinion, Stephen King is the King of writing. I never liked reading until I read ‘The Green Mile’ several years ago. He knows how to hold your attention, and drag you into his world.

My favorite part of reading is creating my own visual version of the story. No two people see a story the same way, until it’s made into a movie.

Chapters one and two will get you acquainted with the protagonist and her situation. Four main characters are introduced. You will begin to form your opinions and choose sides.

Chapter three encourages imagination. It is one of my favorite chapters throughout the book.

The essence of the first chapters is the same. The story just moves along more quickly. Every time I rewrite, I feel better about the story. I made this last change after I finished chapters one and two, thinking they were ready to be edited professionally.

To conclude, chapter one is semi-finished. I’ve printed it twice. This means that I’ve edited it three or four times. It’s off limit for a week, and then I’ll pick it up again.

I’ve started chapter two. It’s printed, but I haven’t begun editing. For me, once I have typed the story the way I want it to read, the final analysis has to be done using a printed copy.

Not bad for a week’s work.