The Scribbler

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Stephen King denounces Stephanie Meyer & other writers

with 28 comments

Stephen King, the self-confessed greatest writer in the world

Stephen King, the self-confessed greatest writer in the world

Mediocre horror writer Stephen King has made it clear that he is not a fan of Twilight. In a new interview the writer commented on the teen vamp serialist, Stephanie Meyer, by saying she “can’t write worth a darn”, apparently.

In an interview with USA Weekend while promoting his new book, Stephen King Goes to the Movies, the best-selling novelist said Meyer can’t hold a candle to J.K. Rowling.

King said: “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.”

Curbing his attack slightly King explained while he’s no fan of Meyer’s writing, he does appreciate her storytelling for her target audience.

“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.

“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.”

King is renowned for not mincing his words about fellow authors. He even highlights some in his book, On Writing.

In the same interview, King also called bestseller Dean Koontz “sometimes … just awful” and James Patterson “a terrible writer” who is “very, very successful.”

Have a look at a classic clip from Stephen King’s The Shining below:

So, do you think Meyer’s vampire’s suck or is King being unfair? What novelist to you rate and who is overrated? Comment in the reply box below

Words: Dean Samways

28 Responses

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  1. dear god, where on earth does Stephen King get off? Does he realize what other writers say about HIS crap? no, it’s not all crap, but great literature it ain’t. He’s got chutzpah.


    February 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

  2. Absolutely. As the article says he is at best a mediocre writer. I went to a Chuck Palahniuk reading and he couldn’t wait to slag off King’s style of writing.

    It’s predictable at best.

    Reading something should be a struggle, it should tell you something about yourself you didn’t know. With King I get nothing like that.

    Who do you rate then?

    Dean // Editor

    Dean Samways

    February 6, 2009 at 7:46 am

  3. Meyer jumped on the bandwagon of teen-lit, used a very stereotypical story (vampire human love) and made a killing of it.
    Her writing style isn’t great, but, it is captivating.
    Rowling however, is one of the greatest writers of our times, she finds a way to intrigue and enthral us which explains why the Harry Potter franchise is so massive.

    King however, has no right to judge somebody on their writing skill. He’s hardly one to talk about bad writing is he? Where does he get off calling Dean Koontz awful? Koontz is a brilliant author as is Patterson.

    Also, why would King be interested in Twilight? It’s hardly aimed at middle aged men is it?

    Niamh Lincoln

    February 22, 2009 at 4:48 pm

  4. Haha! Good arguments all round Niamh. Sounds like you’re into this sort of writing.

    Hope you like the blog. There should be writing tips and more features up soon but I’m having trouble finding the time 😦 Maybe you or someone you know who’s into writing wants to get involved? 🙂

    There’s a new post up now from my greenhorn novelist blogger.


    Dean // Editor

    Dean Samways

    February 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm

  5. My opinion, written in facebook:

    Scribbler has a blurb on Steven King with some typical whiny comments. Yet, King commands an air of respect because he’s unapologetic in his stance on writing. It’s not a matter of egotism vs. humility or even tact. It is called certainty and the presence of center. He is entitled just as all writers to critique. A true writer shirks not from criticism nor hastens to its appeal. To write well is to begin defined yet open to become. Authenticity as writer, to exist as a viable constant, is to evolve via wise discernment steeped. Never would such dismiss the importance of savor encompassing aroma from contrasted vapor mix. It is that eventual of dissipation, yet moments King’s well versed and unabashedly stands to recognize.


    March 7, 2009 at 7:35 am

  6. Pst!

    A retort anyone?

    Seriously though, Cat, you sound very much into your writing. Whereabouts on facebook did you post this comment? Within a group? I’d love to observe the comments in reply to this.

    Thanks very much for your contribution.

    Dean // Editor

    Dean Samways

    March 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  7. What if a famous horror celebrity slagged a young writers early book when it came out in book and later movie form? Carrie came out like Twilight 3 years later as a film. Can you imagine in the early 70s somebody like Rod Serling or Richard Matheson (or pretend that the late great Edgar Allan Poe the MASTER himself was alive in the 70s and was saying ” oh reading Carrie this new popular writer king can’t write worth a damn” ? It would hardly have been fair since he would go on to write much more. The classy thing to have said is: “well I dont like that book its not well written HOWEVER Meyer is a new writer as I WAS when I wrote Carrie and Rage so I hope in the future she will improve as I did” (King has said on many occasions that Carrie and Rage were some of his worst writing–notice its some of his earliest). THAT would have been understandable.

    PS I am a huge fan of stephen kings writing especially when he gets into his own grove later with the shining and misery and needful things and on and on. however that took TIME. I compare Carrie to It and well Carrie is technically inferior to IT and the later works because he has had much more experience by that time. But if a famous writer in the early 70s said based on early published success of Carrie etc “oh he cant write worth a damn” it would be silly since we are talking about somebody at the beginning of their success.

    That’s the point. King should know better. Yes its a free country and yes he has a right to his opionion but that doesnt mean he shouldnt be classy about it.



    March 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm

  8. grove = I meant groove. I didnt proofread so sue me. Its the internet what do you expect.

    PS his critical response about Dean Koontz is a whole different matter. He said that sometimes “Koontz is awful” and in another interview years ago he said he has read “all of Koontz’ works” King is obviously honest. He calls them as he sees them. But you dont use the same measuring stick on a rookie baseball player in the pros as you do on DiMaggio. As for Koontz sometimes being awful. Well I think King would be honest and say sometimes he has been awful too. By the way Koontz always seems to take the high road and I have never heard of him criticize other famous writers. He said some very kind things about my man King in his book “how to write bestselling fiction” (dean koontz circa 1982 or so by WD books). King’s own mother said to him once (as recounted in several King biographies) “if you have nothing good to say then dont say anything”. King I love you very much brother but you are forgetting your roots as an obscure sometimes published writer in such mags as “juggs” and “busty”. But you moved on and grew.


    March 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm

  9. PPS finaly just in case you dont think Im a real fan of King. I would like to say in NO uncertain terms. KING IS THE BEST WRITER OF SUSPENSE AND HORROR alive bar none. however Stephanie Meyer is NEW. You dont treat her work the same way you treak Koontz.

    imagine: Edgar Allan Poe on Carrie: “oh that guy cant write to save his life.” Edgar Allan Poe was a class act all the way. He did not like certain Dickens’s early stuff but kept that to himself (presumably because it was EARLY stuff). Later Poe hosted Dickens when Dickens visited america and loved his later works. King is honest enough that if Meyer gets better years from now I bet he’ll say ” the latest book was good” if its good. So its not about his honesty its about him knowing when to ferme la bouche.


    March 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm

  10. final note: full sentence king said about koontz: “You’ve got Dean Koontz, who can write like hell. And then sometimes he’s just awful.” so like I said he calls them as he sees them but I think you need a different measuring stick when you do it with a new writer regarding her first success. Koontz has been around a long time as has King.

    bye all –got to get back to my reading. Im reading Ramsey Campbell. A great writer (now). His early work not so good….


    March 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm

  11. King has given the genre CLASSICS. The Stand, Carrie, Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Tower-the man knows writing. Koontz can be good but he has wrote the same “good guy” characters for about ten years, uses humour above character development and rarely has anything below the text of his writing these days. It all feels phoned in.

    As for Twilight, you don’t need to be a best selling authur to know they are just plain awful.


    April 5, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  12. So what makes King stand out from Meyer as a writer though Kelly? It’s easy to say someone is awful but why?

    My personal feeling is, in terms of genre as you highlighted, that horror is all a bit tired. I don’t want to read a scare-a-chapter. I want a book or a piece of writing that will challenge my perceptions of the world, the traditions I hold dear and the tests the qualities of human nature that I consider great and dark.

    And as yet I have only found a handful of writers who actually do that (Palahniuk & Easton Ellis to name a couple – if anyone knows of anymore please pass on any suggestions).

    Thanks for contributing Kelly. Hope you post again in response to this.

    Dean // Editor

    Dean Samways

    April 5, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    • Heres a list of NON horror classics by King:

      The Dark Tower Series
      The Shawshank Redemption
      The Green Mile
      The Body(the movie “Stand By Me” was based of this)
      Lisey’s Story
      Bag of Bones

      I bet you’re one of those modern literary snobs who think that most modern writing is shit. Just like literary critics in their time did for J.R.R Tolkien, Charles Dickens, and E.A.Poe. Just because something isn’t life changing or has a hidden meaning, doesn’t make them a bad author, just not a classic. Stephen King books ARE well written and very entertaining. Bad writing are things like: improper grammer, purple prose, flat character development, or unrealistic dialog.


      July 22, 2009 at 12:42 am

  13. “Scribbler has a blurb on Steven King with some typical whiny comments. Yet, King commands an air of respect because he’s unapologetic in his stance on writing. It’s not a matter of egotism vs. humility or even tact. It is called certainty and the presence of center. He is entitled just as all writers to critique. A true writer shirks not from criticism nor hastens to its appeal. To write well is to begin defined yet open to become. Authenticity as writer, to exist as a viable constant, is to evolve via wise discernment steeped. Never would such dismiss the importance of savor encompassing aroma from contrasted vapor mix. It is that eventual of dissipation, yet moments King’s well versed and unabashedly stands to recognize”

    What a load of crap!


    July 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    • My response as well. I can’t believe this person actually meant this gibberish–I think it’s a spoof, as it’s nonsense which appears to play on Elizabethan writing. “A true writer shirks not from criticism nor hastens to its appeal” seems to be a play on the lines of “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments” and similar sonnets. The rest progresses to complete incoherence but has fragments similarly reminiscent of the Bard. If this is not a spoof, the ‘writer’ needs to reconsider what they use to stay up the night before an exam…


      March 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm

  14. The Shining is one of the most boring and pointless films ever made. It’s neither scary nor intelligent and it confounds me as to how so many people can rate it as one of the best horror films ever made. It’s shockingly bad. I haven’t read the book and I do realise that novels are usually much better than their on-screen adaptations, but I have to ask how could one get it so terribly wrong?


    July 19, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    • stephen king hated the shining movie


      June 1, 2012 at 11:50 am

  15. When a writer is as successful as Stephen King, he can say whatever he likes about other writers. It is his opinion and people can take it or leave it.

    I read all of the Twilight saga and enjoyed it. I did roll my eyes every now and then with her flowery prose and constant modifying of EVERYTHING. It can be annoying.

    Every writer has their style, and every reader has their preference. King can be overly psychological for my taste.


    July 31, 2010 at 4:19 pm

  16. Stephen King has a genius that no one can rightly deny. Sure, there are those of you that hate him (some of you JUST because he dissed on Stephanie Meyer), but some don’t understand that genius. Stephen King is successful, incredible, and there’s A REASON that almost EVERY ONE of HIS BOOKS are #1 bestsellers! His writing ranges from horror, to mystery, to even love stories or things close to non-fiction. Personally, in my experience as a growing author and constant reader, I have never found any author with more knowledge, genius, and writing mastery as KING


    November 4, 2010 at 4:17 am

    • As an evolving (I hope) novelist, I too, agree that King is well – King. I still pick up ‘On Writing’ – a great book, and if you’re an aspiring writer you will do well to avail yourself of a copy. He has that magical quality that matches one of the titles of his books – IT! His writing is visceral. His characters are people you would recognize on the street. And he doesn’t just write horror as someone pointed out: Think of Shankshaw Redemption, Misery, The Green Mile, Stand by Me (from The Body in Different Seasons) and more. Clearly, I’m a big fan. At the same time, I also enjoy Dean Koontz. -:)

      Joan Hall Hovey

      July 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm

  17. OH, and one more thing in addition to Stephen King’s mastery…to any of you constant, loyal readers to the King, has anyone noticed his ability to create characters? If i could write like that, and create characters so…tangible, and so believable, I would!


    November 4, 2010 at 4:19 am

  18. I guess everybody has either forgotten or didn’t know that Stephen was an English teacher for a few years before he sold “Carrie”. If you go back and read “On Writing”, I think you would understand where he is coming from. Besides, it seems to me like he understands fully well what the “Twilight” series is, so that should justify what he was saying.
    Besides all of that, can’t a book strictly be for entertainment? My personal opinion is that if you can’t enjoy entertainment stricly as entertainment, you might want to visit a proctologist and schedule a stick removal, ASAP!


    January 6, 2011 at 8:24 am

    • Bravo! I have read King’s book, “On Writing,” and gosh what a work of art as the saying goes. I indeed, emphatically agree!!!


      March 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm

  19. Alright people are jumping on this and I’ve got a thought to clarify. King was asked a question on what he thought of today’s writer’s aiming their works at young fiction such as the likes of j.K. Rowling and Steph. I believe his motives where less attacking Stephanie and more defending Joe Rowling. For some reason they have been bunched together. In the quote there was a comparison on how Meyer can’t write but I think he was more comparing it to the likes of Joe who is in her own right a master. It is my opinion that Meyer is just an over glorified romance novelist who is riding a trend that won’t last into the next generation of readers. King has captivated audiences with timeless stories. For example, King’s IT came out when I was like 2, my sister read it when I was like ten and now twenty years later I am finally sitting down to read it. This book is something that crossed not only into my sisters generation written about my fathers generation, also IT captivated my own, and even my kids. I think when King is long gone he will be remembered more like Bram Stoker and the likes there of., and if Meyer doesn’t take his words to heart and start writing newer and better material instead of riding this teenage wet dream of a story; she will only be on the mind of nostalgic grown up Twi-hards and will be forgotten past that generation.

    Kodiak the uncanny

    March 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

  20. @Dean Samways, try reading J.M. Coetzee. Life and Times of Michael K would be a good start.
    PS: I just noticed how old this blog is #chuckling#


    June 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

  21. @Dean Samways, try reading J.M. Coetzee. Life and Times of Michael K would be a good start. Or Disgrace, they even turned it into a movie.
    PS: I just noticed how old this blog is #chuckling#


    June 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm

  22. I love it when people are critical of people being critical. In other news, critcism is easy. Creating is another matter.


    August 4, 2012 at 9:14 pm

  23. You’re mislead (you who shall go unnamed) when you say that good writing should be a struggle to read – – good writing should flow like water over a cleft rock, It should be easy to read and seem as if it was easy to write. Mind I say ‘seem’. Consider Hemingway, Capote, Harper Lee and so many more great writers. What’s easy is to be vague and cumbersome and obscure. Stephen King is a genius and his genius lies in his powerhouse of a ‘voice’, in his characterization and dialogue. He engages the reader’s imagination fully. His work rings true. He writes about ordinary people in ordinary places, facing extraordinary circumstances. And his stories don’t always end happily. As for the films, they are an entirely different media and should not be confused with the books. The best films were Stand by Me, Carrie and Misery. Also Silver Bullet. But it depends on who wrote the screenplay and who directed it that makes a great King adaptation to the screen. But I also am a tad uncomfortable when he disses other writers. But then, many of the great ones do because they’re so offended by bad writing..

    Joan Hall Hovey

    September 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm

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