Breaking the rules

Like any other professional, a writer never stops honing his craft.  There are so many “dos” and “don’ts” in articles on how to write, that if an author tried to follow them all, he could cripple himself in the process. Whatever passion he was trying to convey could be lost while following the rules.

Stieg Larsson’s second novel, The Girl Who Played With Fire is a case in point. Here, the author writes from so many points of view, that the reader’s head spins with trying to keep up with who’s who, and yet Larsson manages to keep the reader engrossed. It’s his story that is so powerful, that no matter what rules are broken, the reader stays engaged.  Also, in his third book, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, Larsson surprises with large chunks of information dumps. Lesser characters are given biographies with greater detail than recommended by rules of writing, and yet, despite the information dumps, I kept turning the page. Again, it’s story, story, story.  He created so much suspense with beautifully executed characters and sub-plots within plots, that I can understand his need to give us everything he had in his arsenal. It’s a shame the author isn’t around to hear the applause.


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