Re: RARA-AVIS: Kent Harrington : Dia and cinema

From: Kukana Fields (
Date: 27 Sep 2005

Dear Mr. Borgers
  God knows this is why I'm afraid to go back and re-read my work. I see all the things you mention below, un-even writing etc. To answer your question the un-evenness is probably something I wouldn't do now as I've learned to keep it more "even". (Depending on the style of the book.)
  Dia obviously was done in a very clean style where Red Jungle is quite different. I think when a book is in this kind of hyper-clean style you see every little bump.
  But there was a reason for the very pared down "screenplay style" especially in the action scenes you mention. I've found that when you have a complicated scene-- as the one in the Jeep where a girl becomes violently ill and then does something over the top-- it's better to keep it uncluttered with a lot of words. Just describe what you see. When I work I watch the scene. Just like you watch a movie. I'm there watching it unfold. This is the best, when you can just watch it come at you.
  I wish I was the boss, but the work usually is the one pushing you around. You're its slave, unfortunately.
  I'll get to your other question in a bit.

"E.Borgers" <> wrote: Mr. Harrington,

In your novel, "Dia...", I was stuck by a few changes of rhythm that happened by changing the type of writing, in the development of the story. On a few parts, your writing became (at least from my point of view) synthetic, close to a film synopsis type of presentation that describes the editing of certain scenes. One of these was during the catastrophe happening to the young Chinese women trying to cross the border. There was another during a fight of your central character, Calhoun, IIRC. There were others, but I could not check as I do not have the copy of your novel with me for the moment. Was it because you were really thinking about a possible future film script, or was it for another reason ?

I do not try to question or make suggestions for your writing: in a novel, the author is the boss. However, I was very surprised by these fractures in the style of writing when I read the novel. I liked very much Dia, but had some personal reservations about these fractures.

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

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