RARA-AVIS: how to write noir

From: Jack Bludis (buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 Mar 2009

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    John Lau (Bax Deal) quoted me:

    > In the noir story or novel, there is no salvation, no light at the end of
    > the tunnel, no success possible, If there is, it isn't noir.
    > That's not how you do it, but that's how the best noir writers have done
    > it. There ain't no noir template.

    And then added:

    "Terrill Lankford proves at the end of Blonde Lightning that the story's protagonist does not have to be dead, maimed or in prison for a story to be noir living with the bitter taste of ashes is sufficient"

    I agree fully, with John/Bax. One need only read Megan Abbott's QUEENPIN or Vicki Hendricks' MIAMI PURITY to see that.

    Others have played with the ending of noir as well, another good example, I believe, is Charles Ardai's SONGS OF INNOCENCE is one that shows where noir and the private-eye novel can meet.

    In all of the books mentioned salvation seems improbable.

    Jack Bludis

    Read, read, read. Write, write,write.


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