First lines: Storm of the Century

Little Tall Island, the same island where Dolores Claiborne did or did not made her husband disappear, is being hit by probably the heaviest storm in, well, a long while. It’s a big one, and the people in this small community are cut off from the main land. Then, in good Stephen King tradition, Evil comes

As Storm of the Century was originally conceived as a mini-series for TV, the only release in book form is the official screenplay. Which means that the dialogue, scene headings, scene descriptions, camera movements and all that are formatted as one would expect a screenplay to be formatted. (For those of you who have no such expectations, here’s a guide to script formatting.) This takes some getting used to, but I thought it actually worked rather well. Sure, the constant reminders that the wind howls around the town hall, the waves are pounding the lighthouse, and it snows like it hasn’t in ages while the wind still howls get a bit annoying. But the screenplay format offers possibilities that might not work as well, or at all, in a novel. Simply telling what the camera sees (e.g., close up on a face, where we slowly see the realization of the evil that has just been done) works better than, say, following a bird around as it flies over the woods and though town.

Would Storm of the Century work as a novel as well? Probably. Would it be as engaging as this screenplay? Who knows. Would it be worth checking out the mini-series? I think I might just give it a shot.

Book read
Stephen King — Storm of the Century: an original screenplay
First line
SNOW is flying past the lens of THE CAMERA, at first so fast and so hard we can’t see anything at all.