Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why we love bad writing - Laura Miller

Why we love bad writing - Laura Miller -

I'm having a good time working my way through Martin Millar's urban fantasy novel Lonely Werewolf Girl. While the writing is not bad by any means, Millar is another example of an author who violates the conventions that we learn in writing workshops and critique circles.

Namely the whole showing versus telling thing.

His novels are almost entirely telling. Sometimes it's a disembodied neutral narration of events. Often it's one character explaining what just happened off camera to another.

Even when action is actually playing out, Martin shamelessly jumps points of view between characters. Sometimes in the same paragraph.

And it works.

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