Sunday, April 24, 2011

Different is sometimes good!

I'm reading LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at the moment. I'm about 20 pages in and I'm enjoying it. It's a real dark book. The characters are fantastically written. They are my favourite type of characters. Morally grey. They are disturbing. Weird. Fucked up. It makes for a great read. The main character, Oskar, wants to be a serial killer!! If that's not disturbing enough, the sub plot about bullying is pretty dark. One thing that has caught my interest about the book is the way the author writes his sentences.

He "tells" instead of "shows" and writes short, choppy sentences, without much structure. For example he will say: Oskar was walking home. That is calling "telling" not "showing" and is a big boo-boo. You are not supposed to SAY what is happening or what a character is thinking or doing. You need to SHOW it in words. For example: Sara whistled as she skipped down the path. It paints a different picture, doesn't it? You get the feeling you are THERE and watching Sara walk home. It makes it seem more real.

The author also writes sentences like "He walked across the path. Left at the brown door. Right at the fountain." etc..etc... I use short, choppy sentences seomtimes. It can work in the right circumstance. Something like: It was second nature. Instinct. She did not have to think about it.

But this guy...he uses these sort of sentences all the time! It doesn't bother me. But it got me thinking that this is another example of an author breaking the "rules" that I have been told by other authors never EVER to break. It just goes to show that you can write crappy sentences and sometimes slip into the wrong tense...but if your STORY and your CHARACTERS are good no one will care.

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