I'm currently about halfway through Stephen King's Revival. In my younger days, I read a lot—let me repeat:a lot—of King. And then one day I didn't. Part of it was my tastes changed, or rather broadened. I was no longer focused so tightly on horror. And part of it was, because I had read and reread his books so much, they felt like well covered ground.
Now that I'm writing myself and in a similar genre to the great man, I felt the need to revisit him. It didn't take many pages before I realized I had been cheating myself. Stephen King is undeniably a master storyteller. And I haven't just been enjoying this book, I have been dissecting it and trying to learn as much as I can.
These are three lessons I've picked up on so far. In terms of creating an engaging story, they are incredibly obvious, but they fact these techniques aren't more widely used shows how ingenious they really are. By dropping these small teases, mini-mysteries are created in the reader's mind.
I do admit that the structure of Revival favors this approach, as the narrator is relating events that he has already lived through. I'm still trying to work out how to achieve it when events are unfolding in present rather than retrospect, but this is just too good of a technique not to put the effort into figuring it out.
I started to read Stephen King again out of the curiosity of re-familiarizing myself with an old favorite author I hadn't read in while. I didn't expect to learn so much, but I did. I will be pushing myself to use these lessons in my own books.