The man has some talent. Well, more specifically, he had some talent, got ridiculously wealthy, and has spent the rest of his life rehashing the same money-making techniques that got him rich in the first place. Which is fine for him, really. Whatever works, right?
But what pisses me off is his fans. Ever talked to a Stephen King fan? They're like fundamentalists. You can't get through to those people. You can lay out exactly why King has lost it, and where (about 200 pages into Firestarter, if you're interested), but it won't matter. You'll be shunned as a non-believer forever more.
He's a hack, writing the same stories over and over again, using the same half dozen or so characters, and always ending with some ridiculous deus ex machina that is proof positive that the man has no idea what he's doing.
Which brings me to my point:
PLAN YOUR STORIES!
Yes, I went all Billy Mays there, but I felt it was important enough to justify it. Plan your stories out, from start to finish. Get your characters in your head, flesh them out, and live in them for a while before you ever set pen to paper or fingers to keys. by "live in them" I mean just that. Spend a few days acting like your main characters. Approach every situation in the real world and ask yourself, "How would Protagonist deal with this?"
Know the story that you want to tell. Know how you want to tell it. Write all of that down first, and then fine tune it. You can tweak it as you get to the actual work, but if you do it right, you shouldn't have to do much of that at all.
The actual writing of the story should be the easy part. If you do enough preparation, it should just fall out of your fingers onto the page.
You should have notes. Reams of notes. You should have more notes than the actual work itself. That's fine. What you do with them when you're done is up to you. Personally, I try to keep mine, but scraps get lost here and there. Which kind of adds to the magic of it, I guess, but that's for another post.
As are Harry Potter fans. Fuck those people.