Saturday, September 03, 2011

Writing Noir: Bogey, the Maltese Falcon and You

Guest blog from the ever-great researcher Mindy Phillips Lawrence.  She really digs up the resources on any subject she covers!

Noir and You
By Mindy P. Lawrence


Think BOGEY in The Maltese Falcon and you’ll know the gist of Noir Writing. It’s a dark, somber, unsentimental depiction of violence and sex pioneered by writer Carroll John Daly in the 20s and perfected by Raymond Chandler in the late 30s. Characters such as Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe depict hardboiled detectives who look at their gorgeous female clients but are not blinded by them. These men are tough, have an attitude and solve crimes at the drop of a hat while facing incredible danger.

Noir is French for “dark” and fits the writing style perfectly. In John D. MacDonald’s story Darker than Amber, a sentence reads, "We were about to give up and call it a night when somebody threw the girl off the bridge." BAM! You are in the middle of the shadows of noir fiction. And you KNOW the main character won’t stop until he finds out who tossed that girl in the water.

There are women writing noir as well. Sara Parensky, Dorothy B. Hughes, Vera Caspary, and Sue Grafton at times, use this sinister method of story telling. Women can be hardcore, too.

If you enjoy reading this kind of writing, and love Bogart, maybe you should try to pen your own dark novel or screenplay. Sounds like a plan to me. Here’s writing at you, baby.

LINKS

Rules for Writing Noir Short Stories




The Crime Time Café




A Rendezvous in Noir with Neal Pollack





Film Noir




Oscars for Noir




The best noir writing on Berlin, Paris, Venice, Amsterdam, London and Dublin ever?




Donald E Westlake




Noir Writing




Women in Noir




~ Mindy Phillips Lawrence, www.freewebs.com/mplcreative, is the author of the poetry collections One Blue Star and Above and Below. She is co-author of The Complete Writer and a publicist. She is in the process of researching a novel titled Alone is Where We Begin. Blogging at: http://mplcreative.blogspot.com/.

Her specialty is helping writers with their media releases. Reach her at mplcreative1@aol.com.



-----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

Search This Blog