Re: RARA-AVIS: writing noir fast

From: Patrick King (
Date: 08 Oct 2007

Well, the classic method is: Rent a room in a seedy motel or hotel for 72 hours. Bring three bottles of rhye whiskey, a can of instant coffee, and a PLOT. Don't start with characters. Come up with a good plot and let the characters fill themselves in. If you're writing a whodunit, figure out what happened and how it will be resolved, then tell it, starting in the middle, from the point of view of someone coming into the story with no previous information about the circumstances. Write for 72 hours with only bathroom breaks until the book is complete, then go to sleep. Don't re-read until it's finished. Now go through it for inconsistencies and places where the whole thing falls apart or where the action breaks down. Cut out 10% of everything you've written. Knock off anything that isn't exciting or titilating. If you're uncertain of any chapter. Rewrite it without reference to the original and see which one works best. Then let a trusted third party read it and see if they think it works and what changes they'd like to see. Consider what they say and make the changes that seem logical and send it off. The publisher or agent will have their own ideas. Don't turn in a MS less than 300 pages for todays market, so shoot for a first draft of at least 330 pages, so you'll have that 10% to cut. If you're going to write fast you have to keep your will strong on the project. Block distractions. No cell phone, no pets, no musical instruments including ipods or radios or tvs. Don't tell your friends and relatives where you are. Just tell them you'll be unreachable for 72 hours. Unless you're a certified alcoholic, alter your consciousness while you work. It's what all the best of them did. Why argue with success? Good luck!

Patrick King
--- Don Lee <> wrote:

> I am about to do the November novel writing contest,
> and I am going to write a noir novel, so I have been
> reading the Hard Case Crime books and otherwise just
> immersing myself in the whole mindset. Does anyone
> reading this have any pointers for writing noir
> fast,
> or know any good links, or just have any feedback at
> all? Am shooting for 50K words, and have Nov. 1st to
> the end of the month to finish it.
> Don
> Got a little couch potato?
> Check out fun summer activities for kids.

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