It's the writing that counts. Look how many times something like THE
BIG SLEEP or THE MALTESE FALCON has been re-done by someone who
thought it was all about the "idea."
Beginner writers and non-writers always talk about their great ideas.
Big deal. Anyone can have a great idea, but not everyone can make it
worth reading. "Ideas" are highly over-rated. Without the writing,
just another wandering daughter job is just another wandering daughter
job. But when someone like Hammett does it, it's art.
Oh, sure, I've come across a few relatively original plot ideas in
hard-boiled novels, but in almost all those cases, it was the
storytelling that drew me in deep enough to care about the idea. A
great idea without the writing to back it up is like owning a great
suit but no pants.
Sure you look swell, but you can't go anywhere.
Hey, I just had an idea!!!!
Nope, sorry. It was just indigestion.
Kevin Burton Smith
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