Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Book Review

Well, my daughter got me hooked on the series, so I had to read the first book by Jeff Lindsay.  This, my friends, is an excellent demonstration on voice.  The character narrates his own story, but the style is so twisted and demented, yet subtly human, that you really very easily connect with him.  You want Dexter to do well, but you can't believe you're rooting for a serial killer.

Here's the one thing, though, that I would warn about:  like a prepubescent boy, your voice must change.  One of the frustrating parts of the book was its finale, and it might've been intentionally frustrating if Lindsay purposefully left his characters voice as even keeled and flat as it was the rest of the book.  But at the end, when the actions are frantic and the tension is rising, I found that the same tone almost took me out of the story and nearly made me as apathetic to the situation as the character himself was.  I was looking for the character (and his voice) to change, to be more tense, or more frightened, or anything making him more HUMAN.  But there was no change.

Someone once said at a seminar that I attended that the whole purpose of story is to take the reader through the change the hero goes through.  Without that, you're just reporting events.  So if you're writing in the first person, or even writing thoughts in the third person, as the ending rises in tension, so too must the voice.  As the character changes, so must the words we read change.

But it's still a good book, and I do recommend it if you've got the time.  If not, watch the series.  I think the voice and the character there match much better.

Anyway - keep on writin'!

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