When I first read Stephen King’s opus, The Dark Tower, I was much younger and eating through books like gravy and mozzarella covered curly fries while drunk in a diner. I was not yet a writer so my opinions on storytelling was much different.
As I am going through them again I am noticing their flaws. I still cherish this story but some of King’s decisions are strange and I think part of the problem is how long it took to finish the seven original novels.
Granted, this is just my opinion. I am sure some people believe the story is perfectly fine as it is. I am also sure, having done writing myself, that Stephen King is not lying when he talks about how difficult it is channeling Roland’s story and how the story wrote itself when he can.
Still, here’s what I would change going in chronological order of the books starting with books 1-3.
– Let’s start with the problem of Marten Broadcloak / Walter Padick / Randall Flagg. I like the idea of Randall Flagg being a cross-dimensional villain in Stephen King’s books but all the names and different identities are excessive. Marten Broadcloak is Randall Flagg is the Man in Black that flees across the desert. No Walter O’Dim, Walter Padick, and all the other names he goes by. It’s just too much.
– Plant more seeds for the Crimson King here. He’s mentioned once by a throwaway character in this book and then we never hear his name again until book four and only on some graffiti.
– All the information doesn’t have to be given at once but more insight into what Roland intends to do when he gets to the top of The Dark Tower should be foreshadowed here.
The Drawing of the Three
– If Nineteen is going to be a reoccurring theme, then start with it here.
– Give the readers hints that Marten (no longer Walter) is not really dead.
The Drawing of the Three / The Waste Lands
– The Drawing of the Three is by far the best book of The Dark Tower series but the best ending for this book is the part one of The Waste Lands. Jake Chambers should have been drawn to Mid-World in the second book. The reunion scene between Jake and Roland was the catharsis readers needed for all that tension in book two.
– Plus, now we learn the Ka-Tet will be following the path of the beam in book two rather than waiting until book three.
The Waste Lands
– With the drawing of Jake in book two where it belongs book three can end where it should, with the beginning of book four and the end of Blaine the Mono.
– Without the drawing of Jake in this book the story is kind of lacking. What it needs is more development of the overall plot. Like in the last book let’s get a glimpse of Marten’s / Randall’s point of view.
– It takes way too long to get to the plot of Susannah’s pregnancy, and not only diminishes this conflict but Mordred as a villain overall. Let’s start addressing it here.
– As early as River Crossing or somehow in the city of Lud let’s have the group find out there is something wrong with the beams rather than later on in the series. It’ll make the journey to the tower more urgent.
– Even more nineteen, that way close readers will start to see the patterns but casual readers will still be surprised in book five.
– With what horrors Roland and his Ka-Tet see in the waste lands, let’s acknowledge that they’re probably from the Prim, the primordial chaos where demons in Roland’s world comes from.
You can navigate to the other parts from here:
Changing to The Dark Tower – Part I – The First Three Books
Changing to The Dark Tower – Part II – Wizard & Glass
Changing The Dark Tower – Part III – Wolves of the Calla
Changing the Dark Tower – Part IV – The Song of Susannah
Changing The Dark Tower – Part V – The Final Book & Mordred: All Hyper, No Substance