Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to do description well

I love reading, and my current fave is Karin Slaughter who writes tremendously good thrillers. When reading 'Criminal' last night, I was struck again and again by the freshness of her descriptions, so am posting some here to show how a master takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary....

The story begins with Kitty and Lucy who are both prostitutes.

Kitty took her place back in the line. She didn't look at any of the other girls. She just stared blankly into the street, waiting for the next car to roll up, waiting for the next man who would either give her a nod, or pass her by. It'd take two days, tops, for her eyes to develop the same dead look as the rest of the girls. What was going through her mind? Probably the same as Lucy, that familiar chant that rocked her to sleep every night: When-will-this-be-over? When-will-this-be-over? When-will-this-be-over?

Juice cleared his throat. He cut his eyes to the other girls, then zeroed back in on Lucy. "Keep going." His deep tone wedged a splinter of cold into her spine.

Lucy felt the crack of a tooth breaking. Her jaw twisted like a Hula Hoop.

Lucy stumbled into Jane, who pushed her away like a diseased dog.

Henry's cramped script was so familiar that it felt like a soft hand on her cheek.