Favourite genre - not me. I grew up addicted to Stephen King novels (before they got weird), fell in love with The Great Gatsby and raved to you about the YA novel Unwind (in Read to Write). I like to share all the non-fiction books on writing with you, but today I've another novel I must praise:
Peter Temple's Truth
This novel has won the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award and is well deserved. If you write crime fiction, mysteries or urban stories, you must read this novel. Not even optional, you must. It seems at first a grimey cop story, with our protagonist trying to solve a murder at all costs, despite a corrupt environment, but it becomes so much more. Truth shows human weakness. Especially in our protagonist. Modern urban life is contrasted with rural bush culture. Conflicts come in the threat of man and nature and at one stage we even have to question our protagonist - could he really be capable of what is suggested? Even the title is so cleverly woven from threads of the protagonist's life.
I try to learn from good literature, and this writer has given me two gems of wisdom - flaw your characters and flaw them some more (Lousy Characters Rule) and don't let the written language stand in the way of the story. Temple plays with grammar, many sentences are structured so short they remove definite/indefinite articles and qualifiers. In a previous post, I spoke about power positions in sentence structure (First Impression and Lasting Impact). Just looking through this post, I can see my powerful first place of the sentence is taken up with: I, this, if, not, it, the and so on. Poor use of a power position. "Truth reveals human weakness" carries more impact than if I'd said, "This novel reveals human weakness".
I'll read more from Temple, but tonight? I'm settling into bed with my Kindle edition of:
Cinders by the talented Michelle Davidson Argyle
Check out her author site: