by Shelt Garner
It’s interesting how different authors interpret Stieg Larsson’s first three books involving Lisbeth Salander. What I liked about them — and the element I hope to emulate — was the characters.
I really like The Girl Who Played With Fire the best of those first three books because of those three books that make up the Millennium Series, it’s the one book that really reads like a normal novel. The first book is way too slow at times and the last book is just, well, weird. It’s too complex and about conspiracy theories that Larsson obviously believed in.
I continue to pause my writing on the first novel for about a month. It’s a real struggle. Every day since I went on this “pause” I’ve felt the urge to say,”Fuck it,” and read the first draft so I can turn around and start actively working on the novel again. But I know there are plenty of other things I could be doing while I wait to start up again.
I need to do a lot of reading, for one. A whole lot. I’m going to read — or try to read — the latest book in the new series featuring Salander. I’ve read just a few pages and I already taken aback by how different it is in tone from the other books (I tried to read the first post-Larsson written book in the series and…kinda got bored midway through and stopped.)
But I really need to read any and everything I can get my hands on while I pause my writing. And I also need to throw myself into working on development of the other four novels. I need to remember as I do that, of course, to stay flexible. That’s the one thing I’ve learned from all this work over the last few years is don’t grow too attached the specifics of anything in your outline.
Everything should be up for reworking or change as need be.
I read another novel that is trying to do what I want to do — cater to the Larsson audience — and I was again taken back by how different it was from what I expected. Larsson’s work is very much slow-burn in nature. It’s as if the author of the book in question was trying to cherry pick the best bits of the Larsson stuff so he could be more of a hack.
I don’t know. Whatever. I have my own vision and interpolation of what made Larsson’s work great and I’m going with it. The first three novels in this five novel project are DEFINTELY very “me.” They have my sense of humor and aren’t nearly as dark as Larsson’s stuff, which is probably bad. I need to work on making all these novels darker.