Can classic crime movies help a writer finish his first novel?

Join a novelist as he cracks the code of unforgettable neo-noir movies and applies principles that work to his own novel.

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Ideas From Legendary Noir Novelists

“I make no conscious effort to be tough, or hard-boiled, or grim, or any of the things I am usually called. I merely try to write as the character would write, and I never forget that the average man, from the fields, the streets, the bars, the offices and even the gutters of his country, has acquired a vividness of speech that goes beyond anything I could invent, and that if I stick to this heritage, this logos of the American countryside, I shall attain a maximum of effectiveness with very little effort.”

James M. Cain, Three Of A Kind

What I try to do is to write a story about a detective rather than a detective story. Keeping the reader fooled until the last possible moment is a good trick and I usually try to play it, but I can’t attach more than secondary importance to it. The puzzle isn’t so interesting to me as the behavior of the detective attacking it.

Dashiell Hammett, Brooklyn Eagle Magazine

But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor — by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it… if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things.

Raymond Chandler, The Simple Art of Murder