I guess you could say there are two kinds of books in the world: introverted and extroverted. I’m personally a fan of the introverted genre, and I think that shows in my writing.
The novels I like are ruminative, exploratory. They examine a character or a situation for the why and how more than just tell you the what. To wit: Lolita, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment. Or, more recently, a book like Little Bee or The Kite Runner. Certainly, these books include jaw-dropping scenes and great plots, but the narrative circles the main situation of the novel rather than drives a stake through the middle of it the way, say, The Da Vinci Code does.
Not that there’s anything wrong with a good thriller. I like them. I just don’t write them. Occassionally, I’ll spot a reader review of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County griping that the “nothing happens” in the novel, or that I go “on and on and say nothing.”
Really? I mean, there ARE words on the page, and they are there for a reason. I hope they’re telling Truly’s story. But I take the point. Truly isn’t Robert Langdon. She’s not going to find a body in Le Louvre, and start solving codes every other page while albino killers run after her in a religious frenzy.
I guess I’m just more naturally inclined to take a more introverted approach to the world’s bizarre and puzzling events. For me, writing is the translation of “what if” into “what does it mean?” And if that isn’t quite your cup of tea, well, there’s a new Dan Brown coming out in September!