--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Mark R. Harris"
> Oh, dear. I should know better than to respond to this, and I'll say
> now that I don't intend to get into a lengthy dialogue with Mr. King
> it (having seen how some of those go), but come on. In the art of
> anything can be combined by a writer sufficiently talented,
> and non-genre elements. From any more nuanced point of view than
that of a
> hard-core genre purist who wants predictable experiences over and
> statement is inane drivel. How, in the hands of a competent writer,
> forward enriched characters with "added elements" somehow detracts
> "writer's job," is beyond me, no matter what type of story we're talking
> about. I can't disparage the statement strongly enough.
You are entirely correct. However, I suspect Patrick was thinking of
padding (as in Robert Parker) that is essentially extraneous to the
story, that doesn't really advance it or support it. But we should
know better than trying to tell an author what he can and cannot write
about. A brilliant writer can find gold in the most unlikely
combinations and in a priori dry and boring topics. I don't see any
reason why a hardboiled novel should not have a protagonist with a
family and children, for example. And let's not forget that the PI
genre occupies a much less central place in crime fiction today than
it did in the past. You don't need a lone wolf in order to write a
good hardboiled novel.
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