The Big Question in the Book

I'm reading Stephen King.

Yes, the horror master is actually...pretty amazing! Ever since I read King's memoir On Writing I've been fascinated and have wanted to read one of his books, one that wouldn't freak me out though. A trusted acquaintance recommended King's fantasy series The Dark Tower and I've been sucked in. I'm on the third book and am loving the characters, the dialogue, the big words, the awesome premise.

But I also noticed something else.

The main character, Roland the Gunslinger, has quite a character arc that translates into A Very Big Question. This is posed in the first book and it's a thread that is seemingly going to run through the entire series.

Is the sacrifice of one (or a few) good/right/justified by the saving of the world?

This one, general and yet moral question has hooked me right along with everything else. Do you have A Big Question in your work? Is there a particular moral or theme that always hooks you, no matter the genre?


Unknown said…
I haven't thought of it quite this way before. I usually approach the moral question at a smaller scale, but I'm going to try this for my new WIP.

Great post, Jessica. :D
Jessica Nelson said…
Thanks...this series is SO good so I'll give the credit to the Kingster. lol
Brandi Boddie said…
I find myself gravitating to books where the characters undergo a lot of growth. In my own stories, I make sure that every character has some redeeming qualities. Enjoy your Stephen King novel!
Karen Lange said…
The books I read are generally about personal growth or good vs. evil. Thanks for giving me something to think about! :)
Jessica Nelson said…
Brandi, redemption is one of my favorite threads!!

Heehee, anytime, Karen. :-)
Patti said…
There probably is, but I can't pin point it. Probably braver, when seemingly fearful people become more brave.
Nancy said…
Jessica, I love redemption as a theme very much.

Incidentally, there is a collection of new Sherlock Holmes stories available and Stephen King did a very good (non scary) one. I think it's called The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, but I'm not sure.
Jessica, ever since reading King's memoir on writing, I've wanted to read one of his books as well! I'm working through the Moral Premise for my current wip, and it's making me think about a big story question.
Sandra Orchard said…
Hmm, this is intriguing, because it's a question my heroine is asking herself these days. :)
Unknown said…
I'm a little ashamed to say I've never read Stephen King's you've got me wanting to!
Terri Tiffany said…
Read his newest one on Kennedy--fascinating excellent work! Oh to write even a little like him!
Unknown said…
Yes! I agree about Stephen King's book about the Kennedy assassination. I welcome you to check out my blog post about this novel:

Funny, I didn't get into the Tower series, but maybe I should try again.

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