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Has Anyone Read This Stephen King Book Series? (1 Viewer)

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TheMightyAz

Mentor
Has anyone read The Dark Tower series? The reason I ask is because my heart dropped through to my stomach the other day when I saw one of the covers. I've been planning a novel in the background for a few months now called 'The Sixth Chamber', and the protag is a gunslinger in an alternative universe. He wears all black, has crow's feet around his hat and has a red kerchief he uses to protect him from dust. He has a crow for a side-kick.

Well, the cover I saw had a cowboy wearing a red kerchief around his neck and he had a crow on his shoulder. I'm pretty sure I've got other unique things that aren't in that series but that image has completely destroyed my confidence in my idea. Is the crow central to the story? I can lose or change the kerchief, no problem. What's the general story arc though?
 

Mark Twain't

Staff member
Board Moderator
I'm a little paranoid when it comes to these things. I keep thinking I'm going to come across a book or film that has the same theme as the book I'm writing. :eek:
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I'm a little paranoid when it comes to these things. I keep thinking I'm going to come across a book or film that has the same theme as the book I'm writing. :eek:
Normally, I don't care. I trust my ability to come up with unique ideas but this is going to be my first attempt at finishing a novel and I want any possible mental barriers out of the way. I've got until Feb before I start so if I'm going to make any adjustments to the story, I'd like to know what they are.
 

Mark Twain't

Staff member
Board Moderator
Normally, I don't care. I trust my ability to come up with unique ideas but this is going to be my first attempt at finishing a novel and I want any possible mental barriers out of the way. I've got until Feb before I start so if I'm going to make any adjustments to the story, I'd like to know what they are.
I shouldn't care either if I'm honest
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Seems a little coincidental. Is it possible you saw this book jacket a while back and it stayed in your subconscious?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Seems a little coincidental. Is it possible you saw this book jacket a while back and it stayed in your subconscious?
Nope. The crow was originally just a perspective for the start of the story. The camera was going to be set behind its ragged wings watching a figure walking over the plains. But then I brought the crow into the scene and made it part of the story.

I think I'll stick the little bastard back up there!
 

Selorian

Patron
Plot Summary from Wikipedia

In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of "Arthur Eld", his world's analogue of King Arthur. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. Many of the magical aspects have vanished from Mid-World, but traces remain as do relics from a technologically advanced society. Roland's quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland's world is said to have "moved on", and it appears to be coming apart at the seams. Mighty nations have been torn apart by war, entire cities and regions vanish without a trace and time does not flow in an orderly fashion. Sometimes, even the sun rises in the north and sets in the east. As the series opens, Roland's motives, goals, and age are unclear, though later installments shed light on these mysteries.

From Stephen King's website

The Dark Tower series tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, who is traveling southeast across Mid-World’s post-apocalyptic landscape, searching for the powerful but elusive magical edifice known as The Dark Tower. Located in the fey region of End-World, amid a sea of singing red roses, the Dark Tower is the nexus point of the time-space continuum. It is the heart of all worlds, but it is also under threat. Someone, or something, is using the evil technology of the Great Old Ones to destroy it.

It's been years since I read the series, but I don't believe the crow plays a huge part. If I remember correctly (and I honestly may not), the Man in Black uses crows or ravens to spy on people. Also, in the first book, Roland, The Gunslinger, meets a man with a talking raven.

I hope this helps at least a bit.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Plot Summary from Wikipedia



From Stephen King's website



It's been years since I read the series, but I don't believe the crow plays a huge part. If I remember correctly (and I honestly may not), the Man in Black uses crows or ravens to spy on people. Also, in the first book, Roland, The Gunslinger, meets a man with a talking raven.

I hope this helps at least a bit.
That helps tremendously, thanks. You know the funny thing though, I've taken this character from a short I wrote called 'The Gunslinger'. But then again, who hasn't written a story called 'The Gunslinger'? lol
 

robertn51

Friends of WF
...the cover I saw had a cowboy wearing a red kerchief around his neck and he had a crow on his shoulder. I'm pretty sure I've got other unique things that aren't in that series but that image has completely destroyed my confidence in my idea. Is the crow central to the story? I can lose or change the kerchief, no problem.

Yes. I have read this series. All but the literary ret-con ooze churned up around that monstrous film.

In the Dark Tower series first book, "The Gunslinger," in both the original and "revised and expanded" versions, there's no crow and the only raven is "Zoltan" and they're a minor character in passing:

"...Zoltan launched himself from Brown’s head and landed, flittering, on the gunslinger’s shoulder..."

Just an inconsequential encounter. With classic King adolescent hook: “Beans, beans, the musical fruit,” the raven recited, inspired. “The more you eat, the more you toot.”

No other birds mentioned. No kerchief either. Which is odd, come to think of it. Man on foot in the arid burned-out wilderness and nothing to cover his face? Or maybe I'm just pandemic-bound.

Also the gunslinger tracking the Man In Black, wasn't dressed in all black. He wore worn blue jeans -- his " holsters ... had rubbed away the bluing of his jeans (and thinned the cloth) in a pair of arcs that looked almost like smiles" -- and a shirt -- "... the no-color of rain or dust, was open at the throat, with a rawhide thong dangling loosely in hand-punched eyelets. His hat was gone."

Hat-less. Kerchief-less. Blue jeans. Light shirt. Two big revolvers. Lotsa bullets.

What you saw was probably just fanciful cover art, the artist using common visual tropes.

Your gunslinger has the feet of crows decorating his hat?

How does his crow side-kick feel about that?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Yes. I have read this series. All but the literary ret-con ooze churned up around that monstrous film.

In the Dark Tower series first book, "The Gunslinger," in both the original and "revised and expanded" versions, there's no crow and the only raven is "Zoltan" and they're a minor character in passing:

"...Zoltan launched himself from Brown’s head and landed, flittering, on the gunslinger’s shoulder..."

Just an inconsequential encounter. With classic King adolescent hook: “Beans, beans, the musical fruit,” the raven recited, inspired. “The more you eat, the more you toot.”

No other birds mentioned. No kerchief either. Which is odd, come to think of it. Man on foot in the arid burned-out wilderness and nothing to cover his face? Or maybe I'm just pandemic-bound.

Also the gunslinger tracking the Man In Black, wasn't dressed in all black. He wore worn blue jeans -- his " holsters ... had rubbed away the bluing of his jeans (and thinned the cloth) in a pair of arcs that looked almost like smiles" -- and a shirt -- "... the no-color of rain or dust, was open at the throat, with a rawhide thong dangling loosely in hand-punched eyelets. His hat was gone."

Hat-less. Kerchief-less. Blue jeans. Light shirt. Two big revolvers. Lotsa bullets.

What you saw was probably just fanciful cover art, the artist using common visual tropes.

Your gunslinger has the feet of crows decorating his hat?

How does his crow side-kick feel about that?
My story is dark and Gothic ... well, that's what I'm thinking right now. I've got til Feb to change my mind. The crow leads him to his prey. His prey is sort of like a werewolf I suppose (still trying to visualise what would fit best) and he always marks a killing by shooting a crow and tying it to his hat. He has typical prey and story driven prey. He finds the story driven prey by placing a bullet in the Sixth Chamber and spinning it. The name of his prey appears on the bullet and the crow sets off. He's pursued by a storm (preliminary thought to keep him from settling down) and is uncovering his past (the story driven kills).
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Nope. The crow was originally just a perspective for the start of the story. The camera was going to be set behind its ragged wings watching a figure walking over the plains. But then I brought the crow into the scene and made it part of the story.

I think I'll stick the little bastard back up there!
I just wonder though, since it's your first novel if it might be wise not to look like you may have been influenced by King, with the red bandana and all. There are other cool birds, in the raptor family, like a hawk, golden eagle or owl. And when you say camera, I think of the raptors' intense awareness of their surroundings. Especially when you mention it leads him to his prey. Raptors are carnivorous birds. That's why they have curved talons and beaks, as they use them to catch their prey. Also, the eyesight of an eagle is estimated at 4 to 8 times stronger than that of the average human. That seems to fit into your storyline. Just a thought...

However, it sounds like you may already have your heart set on the crow. And that as a writer is crucial. But you have lots of time to explore and if you come back to the crow, then it is meant to be.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I've read the series (I have a first edition of the second novel, the Drawing of the Three) - IMO the first novel is the best of the batch, the rest slowly went down hill as his ideas ran dry. He must have been tired of the story by the time the last one came out, because he used an overused trope to end the story.
 

apocalypsegal

Senior Member
Added to the above, even if he WAS all in black, you wouldn't have to be only copying King. You could also be copying Yul Brenner in Westworld, and Richard Boone in Paladin. LOL
And Johnny Cash. Also, my dad in his role in a re-inactment show a long time ago. He was in all black with a red bandana, but no crow. An outlaw, with a gang!

A lot of people will see your cover and think about the King novel. A lot of people won't notice. If it were me, I'd change the outfit up enough to be different (does he need a kerchief? Could it be something else, or nothing?).
 

Cephus

Senior Member
I tried twice. A really good friend, sometime around the time the third or fourth book came out, they tried to get me to read it. Gave me their copy and everything. The first time I tried, I got bored while the gunslinger was wandering aimlessly in the desert. I tried again a couple of years later and while I finished the book, I had no interest at all in continuing and, based on things that I've heard about the end of the series, I think that was a good decision.

I'm a big fan of early King. Not so much anything recent.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Has anyone read The Dark Tower series? The reason I ask is because my heart dropped through to my stomach the other day when I saw one of the covers. I've been planning a novel in the background for a few months now called 'The Sixth Chamber', and the protag is a gunslinger in an alternative universe. He wears all black, has crow's feet around his hat and has a red kerchief he uses to protect him from dust. He has a crow for a side-kick.

Well, the cover I saw had a cowboy wearing a red kerchief around his neck and he had a crow on his shoulder. I'm pretty sure I've got other unique things that aren't in that series but that image has completely destroyed my confidence in my idea. Is the crow central to the story? I can lose or change the kerchief, no problem. What's the general story arc though?
The first in that series, The Gunslinger, is one of my favourite books. Great opening line that pretty much sums up the story: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." I didn't get past about book five though. But it is a pretty cool series.

That said, I don't recall much about the crow. Zoltan, I think his name was. If I remember, he was there primarily as a comedic foil.
 
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TheMightyAz

Mentor
The first in that series, The Gunslinger, is one of my favourite books. Great opening line that pretty much sums up the story: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." I didn't get past about book five though. But it is a pretty cool series.

That said, I don't recall much about the crow. Zoltan, I think his name was. If I remember, he was there primarily as a comedic foil.
My opening scene is from the crow's perspective looking down on the protag walking through the desert with his saddle over his shoulder.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
My opening scene is from the crow's perspective looking down on the protag walking through the desert with his saddle over his shoulder.
I would read this, based on what you've said thus far. The SK connection doesn't bother me. If anything, it makes me want to read it more, to re-immerse myself in that kind of world.:)
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I would read this, based on what you've said thus far. The SK connection doesn't bother me. If anything, it makes me want to read it more, to re-immerse myself in that kind of world.:)
I've got the kind of tone and voice I want here:


The intention was to finish Apparition and then write the first chapter, so I may do that to see what the reaction is. It's a self contained first chapter so should sit by itself quite comfortably as a short. The above scene isn't in it though. I just need a strong first few paragraph explaining how there are splits in the heatwaves where time and space create doorways to other alternate realities, rather like Barkers highways to the dead in Books of Blood. If anything holds me up for a while, that will. It has to be bloody good. Anything less and I won't feel I've got an 'in'.
 

Kyle R

WF Veterans
King's main character in that series (Roland, the gunslinger) is kind of iconic. Many fans of King consider his Dark Tower series to be his magnum opus.

So I'd be wary about using too many similarities. A few similarities, though? That's not so bad. As the saying goes, "There's nothing new under the sun."

Since you haven't read the series, it's a sure bet that your story will be nothing like King's. No two authors will create the same book, even if they try. Virtually impossible. So ultimately, I wouldn't worry much about it. You're almost certain to write an entirely different tale. 👍
 
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