Another writing prompt from the random situation generator I found on line, to spark writing creativity. There were a few random situation prompts, this afternoon that caught my eye- being a writer this one stuck out. I’d love to share why I love this particular book , (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn), and how it helped me make some hard decisions as a writer and now author.
Where do I start with this book? Have you read it? If not you really should. If you’ve seen the movie the book is miles better, even though the movie is also good. A few of the things I admire about this book is firstly the genre, (psychological) thriller, the characters, the actual story line’s nuts a bolts (human relationships) and the way Gillian wrote the book. She did something that a lot of writers/authors (not me) shy from- she wrote in the first person. Some say, that this is a sign of amateur writing, I completely disagree and fight this point tooth and nail … I think if you can do it and do it well – get on with it. From experience it is a challenge to do this, if you write in the suspenseful type genres. Do y’all know what it takes to write in first person well enough for it to have the right impact on readers ? A hell of a lot! Gillian did a fantastic job, I can’t praise her highly enough. You have to react to situations like the character, not how you personally would and be consistent- challenging not easy.
When I read Gone Girl, I was there, totally engrossed, mouth open. I felt like I was right there with the main (crazy ass) female character, Amy dressed in black with my hat low, ready to commit the crimes she did in the book, along side her. I saw, felt, heard, tasted, smelt and experienced everything she did in all the (unthinkable) acts of madness Gillian made this character do, in this brilliant suspenseful thriller. In my (humble) opinion the story would not have had the same impact on me as a reader, if it she wrote in third person.
Apart from the choice of how Gillian decided to tell the story, through her characters as opposed to third person as the author. And the brilliant ( unpredictable) twists and turns, the character development was spot on! From chapter one, I sensed Amy was a nut job I never liked her as a person, she was out of this world crazy, but guess what I was not about to put that book down. In my view Gillian created a villain and unusually a female villain- a total bitch I hated, but she ( Amy) made me want to read right to the last page. To do that as a writer I think is something to be very proud of. Nice job Gillian.
How this author’s book helped with my own tough decision making as a writer is also quite important. Firstly, I honestly believe that when one has a story-line knocking between their ears, the story will tell YOU how you write it eg suspenseful, scary, horror, thrill, third person, first person whatever. That’s been my experience, while writing two books and now on my third. A Stranger in France (my first book) the story-line and characters I had in mind told me three things 1. suspense is the theme and overall feeling of the story 2. Kim you have to write first person if you want readers to feel and experience, what each of these characters go through, in the twists and turns you have in mind, third person won’t work. What reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl did for me personally as a writer is to allow me to say f*ck it! I don’t care what anyone says about writing first person. I am in the driver’s seat I am the writer damn it I’m going against the “norm” or what is considered as the usual approach for my genre ( romance), I’m writing in first person, and I’ll do it as well as I can ! To be honest if an editor or publisher said to me “Kim write this ( book) in third person” I would have said no and self published, that’s how strongly I felt about it and how much I enjoy first person writing- becoming the characters as I write. So Thank you Gillian! You gave me some balls that I will carry with me for life as a writer, after seeing an example of perfect first person writing, with excellent character development. I’d do it all again … in fact I did 🙂 and I plan on writing more stories maybe in first person, using excellent character development. Thanks Gillian!