Last night I finally sat down and sketched the prize for my contest winner, Producthoochie. I want it to be a surprise for her, so I’ll wait to post it until I’m sure she’s got it, but here’s a small preview below!
The contest ending means it’s also time for me to follow up on the book in quesion, Dan Brown’s Inferno.
I know I initially called this one a ‘READ,’ but I actually quit just a few pages after I published my review.
Why? Both too much and not enough were happening. “Now what the hell do you mean by that?” You may ask.
Well, after Langdon awakes in the hospital with AMNESIA there is a shootout, a car chase, then another shootout, with nothing in between to give us context. To make natters worse, Brown introduces new characters who weigh in the action but don’t contribute to the plot.
Now I know Brown is attempting to use this as a device to hook us and keep us entertained, but it falls flat and I’ll tell you why:
Action scenes in novels are boring.
Think about it. You’ve seen movies with ten minute long fight scenes that are entertaining, but you rarely see fight scenes in a novel that go longer than a paragraph or two. This is because fighting is a release to tension, not tension itsself.
Stay with me on this (I’ll quote the article where I learned this later today when I find it) but in writing, tension comes from something the readers KNOW is going to happen, but hasn’t happened yet. Romances do this incredibly well–we all know the hero and heroin are gonna hook up, but things keep it from happening and we keep interested.
The reason why fight scenes are not usually as interesting is because as soon as they’re over the tension is resolved. Also it can be tough to visualize some of them. Think about Hunger Games; there’s a lot of fighting in that book, but the fight scenes themselves don’t usually last more than a few passages and they always lead to more tension.
It’s a mistake all authors make at some point, but as this is Brown’s seventh or eighth book, it seems a little strange. My fiancee even speculated this was an earlier work by Brown which they decided to release now.
So anyway, action in the book =\= entertainment. Tension = entertainment.