AfterBuzz salutes Novelist and Screenwriter GILLIAN FLYNN


Written by: Evan Wessman – March 31st 2020, 3:23pm pst

Today, I want to shine a light on one of the best writers of our day.

Gillian Flynn has proven herself in multiple mediums and has dealt with some extremely difficult subject matter in more complex ways than the vast majority of writers do. She has written three novels, Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Gone Girl, as well as a short story The Grownup.

All three of her novels have been adapted for the screen. Flynn played a large part in adapting Sharp Objects into an HBO mini series, and adapted Gone Girl into a feature screenplay that earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Additionally, she wrote the 2018 film Widows, and is the creator of the upcoming HBO series Utopia.

credit: Gillian Flynn Instagram

Flynn is a master of the mechanics of writing: from pacing, to character crafting, to voice, to mystery, to subverting expectations, to theme, and especially social commentary.

Her ability to translate the extensive internal character work in her novel Gone Girl into a visual language in the film adaptation is nothing short of stunning. What I love most about Flynn’s writing is her willingness to show the dark sides of all her characters, no matter how perfect they seem. She asks hard complicated questions and forces her audience to consider all aspects of these questions. She takes concepts like public opinion and social pressures and deeply examines how they are formed and how they impact individuals.

credit: Gillian Flynn Instagram

In an age when people are increasingly concerned with public perception, the rights of women in a culture defined by patriarchy is becoming an increasingly crucial issue, and as the news media can be trusted less and less to deliver more than a superficial examination of the factors involved, I think we need stories that reflect the complexities of those issues the way that Flynn’s do.

Regardless of how you react to her stories, I think Flynn has had a positive impact on the landscape of storytelling by raising the bar in terms of exploring volatile themes and the deep psychology of complicated characters.

If you have a taste for thrillers and elegant writing that explores those dark places, order Gillian Flynn’s novels and watch for the premiere of HBO’s Utopia.

About The Author:

Evan Wessman is a screenwriting and playwriting major at Drexel University and the creator of the screenplay analysis podcast “Interior Analysis.”

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