> Has anyone written a really good piece/book/etc. on how to write
> noir? I have been a how-to-write-X junkie my whole life and am
> trying to think of anything specifically like that. I guess
> Chandler's famous essay would count, "down these mean streets" etc.,
> though I seem to remember that's more about the P.I. tale than noir
> per se.
> Just curious for feedback.
Four or five years ago, a British publisher approached me about doing
such a book. I figured I'd need all the help I could get, so I dashed
off a detailed history/definition/thinkpiece on noir, along with an
outline that would rely heavily on advice and comments from several
then-current "noir" writers and editors -- a sort of noir version of
Randisi's then-new HOW TO WRITE A PRIVATE EYE NOVEL.
The editor offered a few suggestions, we batted it around and I was
given a green flag. I was even sent a mock-up cover and table of
contents, based on my outline. Then the editor left for a better
paying gig and his replacement couldn't have been less interested.
But the cheque for the work I had already done cleared, so I guess I
Maybe I'll dust off the outline one of these days, try to submit it
But I still think anyone whoever tackles such a book is going to have
to nail down the definition first. Simply calling it noir doesn't make
Kevin Burton Smith
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