The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson

January 21, 2011

Dude.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is most likely the best thing to come out of Sweden. I loved it.

The book had an excellent hook which sucked me in right away, and the rest of the plot had more twists than a mountain range road. The characters were unique, in particular, the heroine, Lisbeth Salander.

I expected Salander to be the main protagonist, but she was more of a side kick. She was a really different character to any other I’ve read about: an outcast in society, anorexic, doesn’t give a damn about rules. She’s a total badass.

After the hook/prologue, I thought the beginning was a bit slow, and I initially had doubts as to the quality of the books. But I read through the beginning and it quickly began to pick up the pace. It was such a good read, I probably read the last half of the book in two or three days, reading for hours on end. I simply couldn’t put it down.

It was a really gritty book, with murder, rape, and torture, and at times, it probably wasn’t the best thing to read at night. It had a strong theme of sexual violence, and interestingly, the original title in Swedish was Men Who Hate Women.

I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good murder book. It’s a disappointment that author Stieg Larsson isn’t alive today to enjoy his international success and continue to write. Great work, Stieg!

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The Importance of Short Stories

January 19, 2011

Up until just recently, I was never much of a fan for writing short stories. I always thought I could investing my time into something else, like my novel.

But recently, I’ve come to realise just how important short stories are. In my opinion, short stories are a great way to experiment and try out new things. They’re short with simple plots, and the time you invest in them is minimum. That means that you can practice your skills before applying it to something major.

What are your thoughts on short stories?


When Writing Becomes Work

January 17, 2011

I’ve always enjoyed creating. I’ve always enjoyed writing. When I was younger, I would write for fun. That’s why I’ve never really revised anything before.

But this revision is not fun. It’s starting to become work. Sometimes, I have to sit down and force myself to work on the revision.

Lately though, I’ve been working on a short story. It’s a little different from my usual work; my WIP, and what I usually read, are thrillers, while this short story is a murder mystery – a genre I haven’t written in (or read) for a while.

I’m having lots of fun writing this. I’ve had the idea for a while, but never really did anything about it until now. The details came as I wrote it. Originally I was going to have a team of detectives, but when I started writing, I decided on just one detective, plus her sidekick.

Tell me, in the comments: what do you do when writing becomes work?


Just a Little Joke

January 14, 2011

A woman applies for a job. Her application is successful and she gets an interview with her employer. The interview goes well until he asks her:

‘Ma’am, could you tell me, what are some of your skills?’

‘Well,’ the woman replies, ‘I write short stories, several of which have been published by big writing magazines. I’ve written three novels in the past three years, and the latest book has landed me an agent. The book is scheduled to be released in November. I’m currently writing a sequel to the book and I should have the rough draft finished in May.’

The employer nods. ‘That’s very interesting, but I was referring to what skills you have which could be used during office hours.’

The woman replies ‘They are my office hour skills.’


New Year, New Font, New Passion

January 10, 2011

I’ve always used to Times New Roman to type. Always. I’ve never even considered using anything else to type.

But, this year, I spontaneously decided to change the font of my WIP to Georgia… and I love it! Ever since changing, I’ve had a renewed passion for writing, and the words are just flowing out onto the page. I’m easily going over my daily 250 words which I try to write each day, in record time! (It can usually take half an hour to get my 250 words. I haven’t timed myself in Georgia font, but it doesn’t feel like 30 minutes).

What font do you use to write?