The Curious Case Of The First 125 Pages of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’

by Shelt Garner

I’m kind of obsessed with Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” series for a number of reasons. While I started off trying to write an American homage to those first three books….uhhhh….that’s not what’s going on now.

My novel is now a lot more scifi by way of James Bond than Larsson’s works. But there is one specific aspect of the first book in that series that now, as I begin to study scene structure I wonder a lot about — why are the first 125 pages or so of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so….boring?

It’s just a lot of exposition and backstory. It’s a datadump. You name it. It’s just really meh. Then around 125 pages in, the whole series zoooooooooooooms by. It really becomes a page turner.

I have a theory, now, that maybe it’s not that he wrote and re-wrote those first 125 pages over and over again (I feel his pain on that one if he did), it’s that he maybe changed the structure of his individual scenes at that point? I only bring that up because, well, I’m really getting into scene structure now and I’m hoping that my novel will go at a nice clip now for readers. But there is so fucking much I don’t know yet about subplots, etc. But you can’t edit a blank page as they say, they should come gradually between now and the second draft when I really start looking for people to read this thing.

While I’m a big Larsson fanboy, I’m also a very lazy Larsson fanboy — I pretty much know absolutely nothing about him other than he dropped dead of a heart attack right after he sold the first three books. And I know he was a well regarded Swedish journalist.

Other than that, nothing.

I like to imagine that we’re about the same age and, as such, we have that pretty big metric in common. But….I may be fooling myself. He could have been not my age, but a lot younger and just looked my age.

Anyway. The novel is going well at the moment.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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