What I Learned from Sharp Objects

Posted on June 16, 2013. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , , |

I have been confined to my bed. It sounds so romantic when you say it that way. Better than “bed rest,” in any case.  And, in truth, thankfully, they have recently given me permission to do things like sit up, so it’s more like chair rest.

Still, for the sake of the monster growing in my belly, I am supposed to take it easy, which means I get to do a little summer reading, a couple weeks early.

I figured I would try to find a few good books that may be similar in style or content to the novel I am trying to finish.  I had heard a lot of good things about “Gone Girl,” which seems to be this season’s “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but when I went to buy it on Amazon, I liked the premise of “Sharp Objects” better, so got that one instead.

I was very happy with the book – which took me about 3 bed rest days to read. I am not about to write a review of it other than to say it moved at a quick pace, kept me interested, and I liked and sympathized with the main character.

What was great for me, personally, was to see how much detail and information Gillian Flynn included about location and character in each chapter.  My critics – meaning friends who are reading my chapters for me – keep telling me that my novel is moving too quickly, that they need me to give them more information about the characters, about the world I am creating.  And I keep balking. I am writing an action/thriller after all.  It should move quickly.  I don’t want to slow it down or bore people with too much information.

But “Sharp Objects” never felt slow or weighed down and I definitely felt like I knew the characters and I knew the world of the book.  Flynn included lots of information by sprinkling in a few very descriptive sentences here and there.  And I think that’s the key.  She didn’t necessarily use a ton of space to describe a new character, but she used good descriptives. She didn’t write long paragraphs about a location, but she painted a good image.

I guess it goes back to quality over quantity. I can see how, by adding just a little more meat to my book, without making it too fat, I can flesh out the world and the characters. I just need to choose my words carefully – a filet mignon of language rather than a large paragraph of flank steak.

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: