When the name Stephen King is mentioned, everyone knows who he is. He is the world renowned horror writer who has published over 63 novels. At the age of 72 he is still writing. But he was not always this successful.
Actually, back in the days where he was just starting to write, he was getting rejected left and right. Can you imagine, rejecting a manuscript of Stephen King? Crazy! Eventually he was published in a few magazines and was even writing under a pen name of Richard Bachman.
Stephen King’s Carrie is one of his most known novels and one of his first successes. However, it almost ended up being thrown in the trash and never published!
What is the story behind Stephen King’s Carrie?
By the winter of 1972-73, Stephen King and his wife Tabitha King, were living in a double-wide trailer west of Bangor. Stephen King was teaching English in a nearby town of Hampden and their situation was worse than ever. He was only 26 years old when he started to write Carrie.
One day he was washing the stains off the wall in a girl’s locker room and he saw an unmarked metal box. It was too small to be paper towels. It turned out to be a dispenser for sanitary products. This was completely different from the boys lockers which Stephen King noted.
At the same time, a few years back he remembered reading Life magazine. It was an article about poltergeist phenomenon and telekinetic activity in young adolescents. There was apparently evidence to suggest that, particularly girls in adolescence, might have such powers or be more susceptible to develop them around that age.
Boom! Two Unrelated Ideas Became The Basis For A Novel.
Stephen King started to write Carrie… He had trouble making it into a short story which could be published in a magazine, where he had the most success so far. Without fleshing out the characters, setting and story properly, it would have been a short mess. He was not happy with how it was going and he decided to throw it away…
How Carrie Was Saved
In his book; A Memoir Of The Craft, he tells us that he came back from his teaching job the day after he threw Carrie away and found his wife reading over the start of the novel. She found the manuscript in the trash, crumpled and covered in ash. Tabby (that’s what he called her) fished out the papers and read them.
Perhaps it was by dumb luck, but she found the initial draft and wanted Stephen King to go on with writing and finishing this story. She saw something in it.
Tabby helped him with a few details regarding the time of the month for women and the finer details of how it works in schools. Stephen King was not sure about it, but his wife believed in him and that gave him the courage and he wanted to continue with the story.
Stephen King’s Carrie Rejected
Nowadays, these words would probably never appear together in a sentence. But back in the days when Stephen King was writing Carrie, it actually happened. In fact, his novel Carrie was rejected 30 times before being accepted! No one wanted to publish science-fiction novels which dealt with negative connotations.
It was finally picked up by Doubleday and the rest, as they say it, is history. Carrie became one of Stephen King’s most successful novels and has sold over 350 million copies.