Rats Literary Qualities

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It takes talent and skill to write truly frightening scenes. The writer has only ink on paper to work with, without sound effects, scary voices, or other advantages a live performance offers. Zindel is one of only a few writers for any age group who can compose prose that actually frightens.

For instance, Mrs. Carson and her son Kyle confront a rat in their bathroom. The scene begins with a common human response to a surprise: hesitation. "By the time it was clear that it was a living thing it was too late," Zindel notes. "In a flash, Mrs. Carson's instincts interpreted the movement as beyond the parameters of anything inanimate. Concern, apprehension, and even fright raced electrically through her as the thing swam upward in the bowl." In this brief passage, Zindel accomplishes three things: He foreshadows the thrills to come by mentioning "it was too late"; he...

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This section contains 715 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Rats Short Guide
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