The oft-quoted line from Eddie Muller is:
"Your protagonist is fucked on page one, and things go downhill from there."
On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 7:29 AM, Jack Bludis <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I suppose this all falls into the "slapstick silly" discussion.
> I believe that in the noir that defined the genre, there was an arc of
> interest and action. Paraphrasing Eddie Muller, the protagonist starts in a
> hole and digs himself or herself deeper--he said it much better than that
> but I've had only a few hours sleep, so I don't remember the words exactly.
> Of the newer writers' books, Vicki Hendricks' MIAMI PURITY fits the old
> profile perfectly.
> Too much of the noir I have read recently has no ongoing story, is more a
> series of action and violent confrontations--episodic. This happens, then
> that happens, and then all hell breaks lose and the protagonists fails--or
> doesn't fail and life goes on. To me, there seems to be no real
> build-up--just a startling opening followed by mildly related violence, if
> related at all, leading to the story's end.
> At the opening is the slapstick that gets the story started. By slapstick I
> mean just something so weird that it's funny. Very often it continues
> through until the novel ends. Usually, it does not come to a conclusion.
> Sometimes, the protag is not even screwed, but just has come to the end of a
> bloody trail, suffering some loss. In the best, it loss of life or freedom.
> Others just end. Most: "Dark and Sinister?" Yes. "Screwed?" Occasionally.
> That's my take.
> Jack Bludis
> Read, read, read. Write, write, write.
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