Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shark attack!

Excuse me, I know you're being attacked by a shark, but could you please tell us how it feels? This novel covers it all, struck by lightning, drug addicted, suicidal, choking to death on a cheeseburger...

My first thought when picking up this book: Is this a book by those who have submitted to Query Shark?

Why I'm reading this: I was out NaNoWriMo shopping yesterday, buying raffle prizes with those little bits of credit left on random gift cards in my purse. One of them happened to be for Barnes and Noble. After my last post of hitting the bargain table, I had to go. A deal was calling my name, I could feel it!

This little gem of a book leapt into my hands. My original thought was that it would make a great guide to adding sensory details to writing for situations that the writer had not personally been in. My second thought was to read it myself first. Then I remembered to breathe, all that thinking was making me lightheaded.

Is it good? It's amusing. Each situation is told by the person who survived it. The entries are short, a few pages at most, so it makes for quick reading, or the perfect book to bring to the dog park--where I also do a good deal of my reading--because I can frequently break away from the story to keep an eye on my dog.

Almost better than the description of how it feels in each situation, is the voice of each individual person. In some cases it's driving me nuts, such as the entry where everyone, including the kids, is referred to as a 'guy'. There are these guys and this little guy and I'm a big guy. I can't help but assign a Brooklyn accent to this... guy. So its not only giving me some sensory input, but its an interesting study in voice. With the entries as short as they are, it makes the different phrasings and word choices easy to spot and compare.

And now you'll have to excuse me, I'm dying to know what it feels like to choke to death on a cheeseburger. But wait, that would mean the guy died. How does he tell us how it feels? Guess I'll have to read to find out, huh?


  1. It really depends on the size of the shark. I had a small horn shark bite me when I was diving off Catalina island in the Pacific. It looked and felt like a bad paper cut. No drama, just a fun little story and an interesting phone call home. I think my mother nearly had a heart attack.

    Compared to that, the moray eel bite was much more interesting. Better scars, too.

  2. This happened to be a great white. :)

    Moray eel, huh? Well now, that does sound interesting. You'll have to share that sometime.


Join the conversation. It gets lonely in here without you.