For the last three years, writer Sage Hyden has been doing a great service to fellow writers everywhere with his Just Write video essay series. Some videos tackle a specific film or book, while others explore a type of humor, say, the pun, or a technique, like the plot twist. The videos are generally posed as questions: why does this film work? Why does this TV show make you cry? And how can you, as a writer, learn from it and take the lessons back into your own writing?
While all of the videos are informative, Hyden recently posted my favorite essay yet: “What Writers Should Learn From The Dark Tower.” The video delves into the way Stephen King uses myth and symbolism in The Dark Tower series, and along the way teases out some of the reasons the book works in a way that the recent film does not.
Click through for the video, but beware spoilers for The Dark Tower series, and for the Looney Tunes classic “Duck Amuck.”
Hyden hops back to King’s own book on writing, er, On Writing, to talk about how the advice he give new writers plays out in his own work. Then he explores the perfection of The Dark Tower’s opening sentence, and how he uses metafiction.