The amazing novel Stephen King’s It (or Stephen King it), first published in the year 1986, is widely known for its multigenerational horror saga and monstrous page count. With the advent of a new film version, there has been much ado about the book again lately. This is the book’s second showing on screen, following a previous television miniseries in 1990.
If you’ve not read this book before or just have a brief familiarity with it, you might think it’s just about an evil killer clown. But there’s a lot more to the extensive story of “The Losers’ Club and the illusory setting of the whole thing in Derry, Maine. In this article are 11 Facts You Might Not Even Know About Stephen King’s It, the bestselling novel in the world in 1986.
11 Facts You Might Not Even Know About Stephen King’s It
1. IT TOOK STEPHEN KING FOUR YEARS TO WRITE “IT”.
Stephen King is a scandalously prolific writer, with well over 50 novels to his real name (he’s used at least one pen name). In fact, when It initially came to light, the book IT was just one of a group of four books Stephen King published in the short period of just 14 months. Between the year 1986 and 1987, Stephen King published the following books; The Eyes of the Dragon, The Tommyknockers, Misery, and It. Given that level of productivity, one could so easily assume that Stephen King flawlessly produces bestsellers in just a few months. However, appearances can be deceptive: It took no less than four years for the book to get written.
2. THE BOOK WAS INSPIRED BY AN OLD NORWEGIAN FAIRY TALE. (Stephen King It)
Remember the classic Norwegian fairy tale titled The Three Billy Goats Gruff? It’s about three hungry Billy goats outsmarting a bad-tempered dwarf under a bridge. While this tale might not sound anything like a 1000-page-plus horror novel, but according to Stephen King, IT was a primary inspiration for his novel it. He expanded that bridge to become an entire city, and the dwarf became the petrifying demonic entity that is known as IT.
“I decided that the bridge could definitely be the city if there was something under it,” wrote Stephen King on his personal website. “Now what’s under a city? Sewers, Tunnels…. I thought of how such a tale might be cast; how it might be possible to build a ricochet effect, interweaving the strange stories of the children and the adults they become. Sometime in the summer of 1981, I realized that I had to write the troll under the bridge or leave him—IT—forever.”
3. STEPHEN KING’S IT’S IS HIS SECOND LONGEST BOOK.
With a staggering page count of 1138 pages for the printed version of this novel, It ranks as the second longest novel written by Stephen King, right after The Stand (which clocks in at a whopping 1153 pages) to take its place as his longest work. Stephen King’s novel IT weighs four pounds.
4. THE EVIL “IT” COMES TO TERRORIZE THE TOWN OF DERRY EVERY 27-YEARS. THE MOVIE OF “IT” ALSO SHOWS UP EVERY 27-YEARS TOO.
In the novel, the evil creature known as IT is not really a clown; IT is a malicious being that takes on special forms tailor-made to the individual it’s terrorizing. The most common form of the evil being is that of a clown, however, IT also takes the form of creatures such as vampires and werewolves, wreaking the most murderous havoc on the small (fictional) town of Derry once every 27 years. Strangely enough, the new movie version of the story is making its debut in theaters 27 years after the first 1990 miniseries.
Perhaps it is best to point out that the reason for this is that in years gone by, production of the film has changed hands and stalled so many times that this situation can only be described as pure coincidence.
5. “STEPHEN KING IT” IS THE MOST SEARCHED TERM ON GOOGLE
According to reports published by the internet giant, goggle, one of the most searched terms in the last two years 2017-18, is “Stephen King it”.
6. THE MOST CONTENTIOUS SCENE IN THE NOVEL IT IS TOO DISTURBING FOR ANY VERSION.
Stephen King’s “it” contains a notorious sex scene that is abnormal in today’s society. In it, the main group known as The Losers’ Club consists of 11-and 12-year-old kids. At a point, they got lost in the sewers below the town after temporarily defeating the creature IT. In a bid to find their way out of those sewers, they all have sexual intercourse with the only female member of the group in a kind of ritual for insight. “Mike comes to her, then Richie, and the act is repeated over … she closes her eyes as Stan too comes to her and she thinks of the birds,” writes King in the novel It.
“I wasn’t really thinking of the sexual aspect of it,” explained Stephen King later on of his purposes in writing the disturbing scene. “The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood … Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues.”
7. STEPHEN KING ONCE HAD A SCARY CLOWN ENCOUNTER
In an interview with the curious Conan O’Brien in 2005, Stephen King revealed that he’d also had a scary clown experience, and it was with none other than Ronald McDonald. Once, while on a plane, Stephen King says Ronald McDonald came to sit right next to him, in the full attire of a clown. “I kept thinking, ‘What if the plane crashes? I’m gonna die next to a clown,” said Stephen King.
8. IT WAS WRITTEN BY AN AUTHOR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF HARD DRUGS.
Stephen King has been totally sober for more than three decades now, but in his younger days, he battled with addiction to hard drugs (cocaine) and alcohol. However, his productive writing career did stop during that time; he merely continued writing in that condition.
“I was a heavy [cocaine] user from 1978 until 1986, or something like that,” Stephen King revealed to Rolling Stone. According to Stephen King, the last novel he wrote before quitting drugs was The Tommyknockers—a book he published after.
9. THE TOWN OF DERRY IN IT IS A STAND-IN FOR THE ACTUAL TOWN OF BANGOR, MAINE.
Stephen King’s IT is set in the imaginary town of Derry, Maine. According to Stephen King himself, that town is a substitute for the actual town of Bangor, in the state of Maine, USA, where he has been living ever since the year 1979.
Stephen King says that he and his wife were considering the opinion of moving to Bangor or Portland at the time; Stephen King was in favor of living in Bangor because he considered “old” Portland to be “a yuppie town”, while Bangor was, in his own term, “a hard-ass working-class town … “and I also thought that the big story, the IT story, I wanted to write, it was here … all my thoughts on evil monsters and the old children’s tale Three Billy Goats Gruff… it was here”
10. STEPHEN KING CONSIDERS THE NOVEL IT HIS “FINAL EXAM” ON WRITING HORROR
Many know Stephen King as a master of horror, however he’s stated before that he has no response when people ask about his motivation in that direction. The book “IT” was his final response to these inquiries.
“I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t you write a final exam on horror, and put in all the monsters that everyone was afraid of as a kid?'” reveals Stephen King to TIME in late 2009. “And I thought, ‘How are you going to do that?’ And I said to myself, ‘Well, I am going to do it up like a nice fairy tale. I am going to make up a town where these weird things happen and the people ignores them.’”
This he finally did.
11. THE EVIL ENTITY TAKES ON A CLOWN FORM SIMPLY BECAUSE STEPHEN KING BELIEVES CLOWNS SCARE CHILDREN THE MOST.
Stephen King has stated time and again that his goal with the novel “IT” was to mix all of the scariest monsters in fairy tale together.
“But then I thought to myself, ‘There ought to be a binding, horrifying, nasty, gross, creature sort of thing that you sure don’t want to see, one that makes you scream when you see it,’” explained King. “So I thought some more, ‘What scares kids more than anything else on earth?’ And the answer was always ‘clowns.”
Not many know this, but Stephen King is one reason I am a writer today. His style of writing and fascinating plots got me hooked at an early age. I saw him as a challenge more than anything else.