RE: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled Character Traits

From: Anthony Dauer (
Date: 01 May 2002

I'd add self-reliant without getting rid of self-confident. To go back to a previous assertion that characters have questioned what they were doing, what comes to mind is a guy out on the front line in the trenches in WWI or WWII. Scared shitless and yet when the grenade comes hurtling over the side, he jumps on it save his buddies. His buddies know he was scared shitless, but how do they refer to him after his sacrifice? Courageous and fearless. I see the same thing with the hardboiled character, for all the questions amount to is showing the character as not being arrogant. Self-confidence would never come off as such if the character didn't question their path, they'd come off as being arrogant instead. Once the path rings true as it often does in fiction versus real-life, the questions no longer matter and their stict-to-itness become confidence. That's how I filet anyway.

Anthony Dauer
Alexandria, Virginia

2nd Annual Country Noir Issue ...
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-----Original Message----- From: George Upper Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 4:26 PM
That said, however, I think self-confident is the wrong phrase. Self-reliant is better. Jim D. could make a good argument that this is part of being tough, but I'm not sure I'd agree. It's one kind of tough, maybe, but I'm not sure one can be hard-boiled without being self-reliant.

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