‘Thick As Thieves’ Steals The scene

Just finished Peter Spiegelman’s THICK AS THIEVES, a 2011 caper novel. Really well done.

Spiegelman (author of BLACK MAPS and DEATHS LITTLE HELPERS, among others) uses an interesting schtick that I wouldn’t recommend to first-time novelists: He shifts from present-tense writing for most of the narrative, to past-tense for flashback sequences. And he often switches in the midst of chapters.

I sometimes get that question in the classes I teach. I often tell people they’re better off sticking to the common past-tense style throughout. It can be jarring for readers, which can jolt them out of the narrative. In short, it’s a good way for the readers to stop paying attention to your story, and start paying attention to your writing style.

It’s a high-wire act. But for the most part, Spiegelman makes it work in THICK AS THIEVES.

About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on May 23, 2012, in Blog and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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