Analyzing Writing V – The Shining by Stephen King


One of the most recognizable titles that he has ever written.  Yet absolutely NOTHING like the movie save a family of three maintain a hotel in the winter and weird things start happening.

 Character Switching

King uses the character switching narrative structure for the second time in his career. The first in his previous book.

And again, he begins to switch perspectives rapidly as the climax comes closer.  And just like in the Gunslinger, the action moments are simple sentences of rat-a-tat-tat.


The plot of this book is that a family goes to a hotel to maintain it during the winter.  Then, a giant storm cuts them off from a small Colorado town.  But then, an even worse storm begins just before the climax of the book.

I find it interesting that this important plot element was, in fact, the epilogue of Salem’s Lot.  In the epilogue of Salem’s Lot, there is one of the worst snow storms to hit the east coast.  Now, it may be the same system, it may not be.  But it is an interesting bit of foreshadowing.

Failed Redemption

So, Kubrick’s The Shining is basically a visually stunning version of a Jason Vorhee’s movie.  The main character of Jack doesn’t really have a character arc, but in King’s version, his character is that of failed redemption.  He’s a character that we get to know throughout the book and how hard he tries to keep his temper, and how often he can’t control it.

A bit of speculation

So, I have a bit of speculation here.  Now, I haven’t read The Shining’s sequel, so keep that in mind.  I suppose that won’t be until probably the end of the summer.  But I think that the main character of Jack has something that is the opposite of the Shining.  The Shining is a clairvoyance that allows people to see things and control things.

I’m gonna call the opposite of the Shining the Black Hole.  They suck up energy of the Shining, thus seeing things and are controlled by the things.  That’s what happens to Jack in the novel, he sees and interacts with the Hotel and is eventually controlled by it.  So, yeah, that’s my speculation.


I was very creeped out by the story.  Although, that creeped out factor may have been because a tornado siren went off at the creepiest moment in the book SPOILER when the topiary comes alive in Weeping Angel fashion END SPOILER.  So, there was something that creeped me out.

I would like to pay more attention to this creeped out feeling, so that’s what I am going to focus on next.

So, the next book that King published was a collection of short stories called The Night Shift.  So, I’m going to write a post about each of the short stories and what King does in them because I haven’t read many short stories, so it would be good to learn about that genre of fiction.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.


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