I was watching a DVD of Stephen King’s Misery the other night. Good flick, but not totally believable. I mean I bought the bit about the romance author being held captive by the deranged fan. Go on any news source website and, sorry to say, you’ll read similar accounts of real-life events. No, I’m talking about the male lead, Paul Sheldon, producing a polished first draft of his manuscript on a manual typewriter no less. Yeah, right. Like that would really happen in real life. The other unbelievable scene is when he and his agent are discussing the fact that his novels put his daughter through college. Really???? Hey, it’s only a movie, and that scene made me laugh, which was a good thing.
Okay, so the book was written in 1987, and back then the traditional publishers, (or the Big 6 as we authors like to call them), ruled the industry. Back in the day they did give big advances, at least for some authors. Back then some authors probably did make a good living off their books, and no doubt Stephan King was one of them. However, that’s not the case today, but I digress.
Anyway, it was a real hoot watching the polished first drafts coming out of Sheldon’s typewriter. Fun scenes, but pure fantasy. In reality, we authors write many, many drafts and revisions. A funny thing happens when we write, particularly when we write novels. Our characters come to life, and they change and evolve right before our eyes as the plot unfolds. This means we often have to go back and rewrite earlier chapters. (Which I actually enjoy doing, by the way.) What you all are reading with my books is the result of many rewrites and revisions, and that’s before I send the manuscript to my editor.
That said, I still enjoyed the movie. We authors love our fans, and Misery is a nightmare fantasy of a worst-case author-fan relationship. If you like suspense, without a lot of blood and gore, I recommend it.