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Like many writers, King knew that writing was his talent. And indeed, it surely was.
While living in a trailer, King went to work on his fourth novel. It was to be a short story for Cavalier Magazine.
King had the idea to write about a teenage girl named Carrie with the gift of telekinesis. He got this idea from a book he had previously read about mental abilities. However, his idea for the main character's personality had derived from paying close attention to a girl he knew in middle school and high school.
"She was a very peculiar girl who came from a very peculiar family. Her mother wasn't a religious nut like the mother in Carrie; she was a game nut, a sweepstakes nut who subscribed to magazines for people who entered contests … the girl had one change of clothes for the entire school year, and all the other kids made fun of her. I have a very clear memory of the day she came to school with a new outfit she'd bought herself. She was a plain-looking country girl, but she'd changed the black skirt and white blouse – which was all anybody had ever seen her in – for a bright-colored checkered blouse with puffed sleeves and a skirt that was fashionable at the time. And everybody made worse fun of her because nobody wanted to see her change the mold, " said King.Once King finished the first three pages, he threw them in the trash--something I would do.
King had said:
"Some woman said, 'You write all those macho things, but you can't write about women.' I said, 'I'm not scared of women. I could write about them if I wanted to.' So I got an idea for a story about this incident in a girls' shower room, and the girl would be telekinetic. The other girls would pelt her with sanitary napkins when she got her period. The period would release the right hormones and she would rain down destruction on them… I did the shower scene, but I hated it and threw it away."But like any other good spouse, King's wife dug his papers out of the trash, encouraging him to finish it. And once he finished it two weeks later, he sent it out.
Soon enough, he received a telegraph that said: Carrie Officially A Doubleday Book. $2,500 Advance Against Royalties. Congrats, Kid - The Future Lies Ahead, Bill.
Before he knew it, New American Library had purchased 400,000 rights for his paperback book, and a year after the release, it sold one million copies.
Now, over forty years later, King is still known for Carrie and many other books he's written that makes readers afraid to sleep at night.
What to learn from Stephen King:
-Even if you have a wacky idea, don't give up on it. The odd ideas tend to be the best ideas.
-Can we just take a moment to reflect on the fact that King wrote a stellar book in TWO WEEKS. That's a record.
-Though Carrie was his fourth novel, it was his first published book.