RARA-AVIS: Ed McBain On Pulp Writing

Fri, 3 Dec 1999 16:43:34 -0400

The New York Times has an infrequent series of pieces by writers on the life and craft of writing. So far, the likes of Saul Bellow, Annie Proulx, and Richard Ford have weighed in.
     Going through the archive of these articles, I was taken with Ed McBain's witty missive on writing pulp fiction, and of different subgenres to the pulp story.

The article is entitled, "She Was Blond. She Was in Trouble. And She Paid 3 Cents a Word." and it was published in the NYT last March. The entire article can be found at:


Here's a quote:

> For me, Private Eye stories were the easiest of the
> lot. All you had to do was talk out of the side of
> your mouth and get in trouble with the cops. In the
> P.I. stories back then, the cops were always
> heavies. If it weren't for the cops, the P.I. could
> solve a murder -- any murder -- in 10 seconds flat.
> The cops were always dragging the P.I. into the cop
> shop to accuse him of having murdered somebody just
> because he happened to be at the scene of the crime
> before anybody else got there, sheesh!
> I always started a P.I. story with a blonde wearing
> a tight shiny dress. When she crossed her legs, you
> saw rib-topped silk stockings and garters taut
> against milky white flesh, boy. Usually, she wanted
> to find her missing husband or somebody. Usually,
> the P.I. fell in love with her by the end of the
> story, but he had to be careful because you couldn't
> trust girls who crossed their legs to show their
> garters.

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to majordomo@icomm.ca.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Fri 03 Dec 1999 - 16:44:49 EST