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Jerome Parisse

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Member Since: May, 2010

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Blogs by Jerome Parisse

Of the importance of detail
5/28/2010 3:48:07 PM
So this is it! My first blog. Ever! I spent a good part of yesterday building the tool and its structure, but was too tired by the end of it to start blogging straight away. This morning I woke up with anticipation and here I am, at the keyboard, in a mixture of fear and excitement.

I have just finished reading the third book of the famous Stieg Larsson Trilogy (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest). Yes it took me a while. I enjoyed the books, don’t get me wrong – I couldn’t put them down, even if I found the third one not quite at the same level as the other two (Trilogies… maybe this will be the subject of another blog) - but as I turned the last page I started reflecting on what I liked and what I didn’t, something I always do with books. This is the writer in me and I have long stopped trying to justify it. When one starts to write and indeed learn how to write, one thing you keep hearing all the time is detail, detail, detail. Blocks of detail. There is no denying that filling your writing with meaningful detail is indispensable, and in fact, gives your writing an edge, an element of truthfulness that wouldn’t otherwise exist. But the important word here is meaningful. Far too often in Larsson’s books I found myself glazing over, reading through an excruciating amount of detail that I simply did not need to know! For example, the background behind the “Section”, or “The Wennerstrom Affair”. When this happens at the beginning of the book, this is deadly. And this is exactly what’s happening here. Books one and three especially take forever to take off. Once they have, they’re there for the long run, but you have to leave the tarmac first. Another example of too much detail is when Lisbeth Salander goes to Ikea to buy furniture. Why do we have to go through the Ikea catalogue, with detailed references for each item, before Lisbeth can finally furnish her twelve room apartment? Do we need to know the brand and memory size and other features of the computer she’s about to buy? Probably not. By the end of the first book, if someone mentioned to me coffee or open-sandwich, I would have jumped at their throat. Do Swedes really drink that much coffee, at any time of day or night, at least thirty cups of day, and do they only feed on open sandwiches? I doubt it (and in fact I know they don’t.) By the end of the first book, I think all the protagonists are totally coffee’d out because they don’t drink as much of it in the second installment. But they surely start missing it because here they are again getting their coffee fix in the third book (and more open sandwiches). They are also extremely lucky – especially when you consider the vast quantities of coffee they drink – to always hit the pillow and fall asleep straight away!

All this to say one thing, beware of the detail you write about: it’s got to be meaningful, and right – and not repetitive. I can’t help wondering if some more editing wouldn’t have been necessary. Maybe Larsson’s untimely death is the reason why it wasn’t done? I loved the books. Probably wouldn’t read a fourth installment right away, but loved them nonetheless and did learn something from them. I now wish I had read them in Swedish (I can read Swedish). It’s a shame we have lost such a great author so early.



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More Blogs by Jerome Parisse
• Body Swap Interview and Yunnan Trip... - Thursday, March 10, 2011
• The Corrections - Wednesday, March 09, 2011
• Buried - Wednesday, March 09, 2011
• Black Swan - Monday, March 07, 2011
• Educating Rita - Sunday, February 27, 2011
• Bidrman, by Mo hayder - Sunday, February 27, 2011
• The Insomnia of Stars - Wednesday, February 23, 2011
• If I Stay, by Gayle Forman - Wednesday, February 23, 2011
• Blacklands by Belinda bauer - Wednesday, February 16, 2011
• Where is Marc Levy's respect for his readers? - Saturday, February 12, 2011
• The Wings of Leo Spencer at $10 only! - Wednesday, February 09, 2011
• Boracay, twenty years later - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
• Hereafter - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
• Gone (Mo Hayder) - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
• Free e-books until 6 February! - Monday, January 31, 2011
• Two Brothers - Sunday, January 30, 2011
• Miserere - Saturday, January 29, 2011
• Shanghai - Saturday, January 22, 2011
• 3 e-books for free until 6 January! - Thursday, January 20, 2011
• A Spot of Bother - Thursday, January 20, 2011
• Sarah's Key - Wednesday, January 19, 2011
• The Tree - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
• Norwegian Wood - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
• The American - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
• Eat Pray Love - Saturday, January 08, 2011
• 50 literature ideas you really need to know, by John Sutherland - Saturday, January 08, 2011
• Aftershock - Thursday, January 06, 2011
• Room by Emma Donoghue - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
• Harry Potter and the Deahtly Hallows - Friday, December 17, 2010
• The art of happiness - Thursday, December 16, 2010
• The Scold's Bridle by Minette Walters - Wednesday, December 15, 2010
• Worst film ever? - Sunday, December 12, 2010
• Trailer for BODY SWAP - Friday, December 10, 2010
• Hong Kong Murders - Monday, December 06, 2010
• The kids are all right - Monday, December 06, 2010
• The Killing Fields - My Father's Guests - Tuesday, November 30, 2010
• Interview on Body Swap and publishing on Kindle by David Wisehart - Friday, November 26, 2010
• The Animated Version of the Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival - Monday, November 22, 2010
• What is it about Japan? - Saturday, November 13, 2010
• The Ice House - Sunday, November 07, 2010
• Body Swap - Wednesday, November 03, 2010
• Taipei: the city that reads... - Tuesday, November 02, 2010
• Free royalty-free music - Monday, October 25, 2010
• Trailer for THE WINGS OF LEO SPENCER - Saturday, October 23, 2010
• Reference Material for Learning Chinese - Saturday, October 23, 2010
• The world’s first text message adventure romance with the other side! - Wednesday, October 20, 2010
• Grease.... or a failed English test - Monday, October 18, 2010
• The jungle temples of Angkor, Cambodia - Wednesday, October 13, 2010
• A little lower than the angels - Wednesday, October 13, 2010
• 61 Hours by Lee Child - Friday, October 01, 2010
• The obsessions of Amelie Nothomb - Monday, September 27, 2010
• Kaohsiung, the friendly city - Sunday, September 26, 2010
• A concise history of Hong Kong - Tuesday, September 21, 2010
• Nicaragua, twenty years on... - Monday, September 20, 2010
• We all make mistakes, don't we? - Saturday, September 18, 2010
• Serena - Thursday, September 16, 2010
• Early works: Coben takes us for a ride - Tuesday, September 14, 2010
• Tokyo / The Devil of Nanking - Sunday, September 12, 2010
• Young and bold - Saturday, September 11, 2010
• Gay marriage anyone? - Thursday, September 09, 2010
• iPad anyone? - Wednesday, September 08, 2010
• Online book promotion: The French strike again! - Tuesday, September 07, 2010
• Blood Canticle - Monday, September 06, 2010
• More Vampires! Breaking Dawn and The Passage - Sunday, September 05, 2010
• Blackwood Farm - Wednesday, August 04, 2010
• Animal Kingdom - Wednesday, August 04, 2010
• Breath - Sunday, August 01, 2010
• The Ghost Writer - Date Night - Dragons et al - Thursday, July 29, 2010
• According to Kit - Friday, July 23, 2010
• Playtime - Wednesday, July 21, 2010
• It's all about words... - Monday, July 19, 2010
• Deed to Death - Friday, July 16, 2010
• The Art of Flying - Thursday, July 15, 2010
• A Gate a the Stairs - Wednesday, July 14, 2010
• Twitter: the art of (non) conversation? - Sunday, July 11, 2010
• City of Thieves - Saturday, July 10, 2010
• Gravity and Drift - Thursday, July 08, 2010
• Who says nobody is reading any more? - Wednesday, July 07, 2010
• Watercolours: the travelling artist - Wednesday, July 07, 2010
• Release of "My Sister's Choice" - Monday, July 05, 2010
• Eclipse: the movie vs the book - Saturday, July 03, 2010
• Three chocolate croissants, please! - Wednesday, June 30, 2010
• Paranormal romance: The list goes on - Sunday, June 27, 2010
• Sex and the City - Friday, June 25, 2010
• A great launch - Thursday, June 24, 2010
• Jackhammering, sniffles and gum chewing - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
• New Moon, Stephenie Meyer again - Monday, June 21, 2010
• Reilly: The case for literary fiction - Wednesday, June 16, 2010
• TWILIGHT - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
• Bedroom Farce - Wednesday, June 09, 2010
• Writing for the deaf and the hearing - Monday, June 07, 2010
• A kiss or three - Sunday, June 06, 2010
• Is - Wednesday, June 02, 2010
• A prolific writer - Tuesday, June 01, 2010
• Angels are the new vampires! - Tuesday, June 01, 2010
• The ebook epiphany! - Sunday, May 30, 2010
• Theatre Value Meal: Small, Medium, or Large? - Saturday, May 29, 2010
•  Of the importance of detail - Friday, May 28, 2010  
• Literary fiction or gothic horror? - Friday, May 28, 2010


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