It It question


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Stephen King recycles characters?
Stephanie Stephanie Oct 27, 2014 02:42PM
I'm sure that part of this is to build a broader world for his characters, but has anyone else noticed Stephen King using the same characters (or at least their names)?

A prime example of this is in 11/22/63 when Jake meets Richie from the Ditchie and Bevvie from the Levee.



Yes, this is absolutely intentional. Many authors do this to some extent to connect books that do not seem to be connected. Stephen King is a master of it.

He uses names, locations, and even organizations to connect his book.

You have hit on characters, but how many of his books were set in or mention, Castle Rock, Bangor, Derry....and others.

How about an organization..."The Shop" invades Haven in "The Tommyknockers" to control the aliens.

"The Shop" is responsible for the Lot Six experiments in "Firestarter"

And is also involved in The Arrowhead Project in "The Mist"

And is mentioned in "The Langoliers"


If you tried to map all of the connections, it would take one heck of a board to do it on.


I think it's a bit of both. Stephen King does have some intentional character cross-references. They're the equivalent of in-jokes for his fans.

But he also has a number of stock characters that he keeps on coming back to. The big two for me are different versions of himself and the kindly wise old father figure.


Nathan (last edited Oct 28, 2014 03:14AM ) Oct 28, 2014 03:13AM   1 vote
King once said something along the lines of when all is said and done we will look on his work as one big gigantic book.

He isn't recycling by any means. He's just slowly but surely evolving this book that we all love.


Not to mention The Dark Tower series and its connection to almost every great work of King...

http://stephenking.com/darktower/conn...


Call it what you will. He writes these easter eggs for his constant readers (his name for his fans). I enjoy them when I come across them. It is a way to tie his universe from all of his books to the Dark Tower series.


Nah, that's not recycling, that's just referencing his other works. Any writer of books/TV/movies does the same thing, all the time.


It's not recycling. It's checking to see if I am paying attention! Every time there is a reference to a character or a town I smile. I LOVE when he does that!


King has always recycled not only characters but locations. Its a part of the King Signature. OMG how many times has Pennywise made an appearance in books of Kings.


Oh it is very intentional and often serves a wider purpose - if you read the Dark Tower series, it makes it all come together.

What gets me is how amazing his planning has been for the ways the plots of stories and characters and settings interact through his books, he really is such a clever guy.


These are some of the reasons why I love King so much. His world building goes so much deeper than just book to book. It is a world he's been building for his entire career. Nearly everything weaves together in some way or another, and if it's not /this/ main universe, it's an off shoot from it.

All things serve The Beam.
All the characters have some part to play somewhere. Richie and Bev are in 11/22/63 because at the time he was in Derry, and it was not long after the events in It.

Roland and the Ka-Tet run into Ted Brautigan from Hearts in Atlantis at some point in the Dark Tower stories. There are references to Delores Claiborne in other novels as well as Salem's Lot and so on and so forth. I even remember something about Carrie White in another book, though I can't recall which one right this moment.

The beauty of King is the fact that he is able to include these little gifts to his constant readers, without making them feel forced. Just a little mention here to let you know that yes these works mean as much to him as they do to all of us who have followed him all these years.


Just finished listening to King's novella, UR, where an appearance is made by the "low men in yellow coats" from Hearts in Atlantis.


My first SK book was 11/22/63 and now I'm reading It. I was very excited to meet Richie from the Ditchie and Bevvie from the Levee, to see this Derry that had been just a middle point, a trial version for Jake in 11/22/63.


Scott the one you're thinking of is The Dark Half, I believe.

M 25x33
Removed Removed Yes absolutely it is. Thanks :)
Jan 03, 2015 08:41AM

Allan Pangborn appeared in Needful Things, but was also in the novel who's name escapes me about the author who writes under a pen name which comes to life.


I don't think OP is too off the mark. I was very sick of SK 's protagonists being writers for quite a spell, not to mention the caricatures of highfalutin conservative religious crackpots.


I love it when you are reading one of his books and you realise hes doing it again. It always makes me smile.


I also love that King references his old characters. Also, now there is even cross-referencing done between his world and his son Joe Hill's world (read NOS4A2 if you haven't yet). I love that.


He does EXACTLY that. Read the full Dark Tower Series and you'll see that one character keeps popping up with different names.


They are not recycled characters, they are connections between books.


King's universe is so vast, that can bring characters and events to complement and enrich their works.


I am completely ok with it, makes you think the characters from different books might be re-introduced in a future book.


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