HARDBOILED FICTION - Both hardboiled and noir crime
fiction are rooted in dime novels, muckraking newspapers and pulp novels
beginning in the depression and eventually going out of fashion by the sixties.
A hardboiled protagonist is a cynical detective caught up in aftermath of violent
crime or a corrupt legal system very often portrayed as an antihero. A noir protagonist
is a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator with a self-destructive streak often
put in a position to victimize self or others, trapped in a losing situation. The
following are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
The Maltese Falcon (1930)
When a detective’s partner is shot, he finds trouble,
desperate to track down a valuable treasure.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)
A drifter gets himself caught up in a bizarre love
The Big Sleep (1939)
A PI agrees to help a family with a case of gambling debt
but once the murders begin, he finds himself in over his head.
The Black Curtain (1941)
An amnesiac can’t remember anything yet finds himself
identified as a murder suspect.
I, The Jury (1947)
A tough detective investigates the brutal murder of his
The Nine Wrong Answers 1952
John Dickson Carr
A whodunit featuring a series of nine incorrect answers,
leading up to the final correct answer.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
A father gets more trickery than he bargained for when he
asks a supposed friend for help to convince his playboy son to come home.
THE WRITE MARKET - There can be no mention of the craft of writing without considering fiction genres. Why? You must know the rules in order to break them. So let’s talk about genre. Many industry types say there are solidly established fiction genres. I’m not so sure about that. Look at all the subgenres and how many stories pick up elements of one genre versus another. I’m not going to include all fiction genres since that’s not what inspires me. Here are my favorites. Crime – It features a detective or criminal as the main character, with elements of crime and punishment critical to the story. Horror - A scary tale of the paranormal, monster, supernatural and or slasher variety. If you can create a feeling of fear or a gross out, then horror is working for you. Thriller - An action packed story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This can definitely incorporate elements of crime and mystery. Mystery – Similar to crime but several possible culprits must be presented, with the true villian’s identity revealed in the end. Historical – Usually a costume drama set in a time long ago with historical events that are critically important to the story. Romance – If you can remove the romance from the story and still have something to tell, it’s not a true romance. The central theme is development of the relationship such as falling in or out of love. Science Fiction – This is a story set in the future or in an alternate reality of an imagined future. Extrapolated scientific inventions are used to advance the plot and character development. Fantasy – This genre can involve wizards and dragons, but can also be broader in context. Such as a fantastical world populated by strange non-human characters. It can also include magical realism and urban fantasy. LGBT – Stories that feature lesbians, gays, bisexuals or trans persons as major characters. These are often but not always erotic, coming of age and or romance stories. Literary – Just another genre despite what elitists say. For short stories, you should have read widely in The New Yorker. Literary can be anything from small moments to quirky to experimental. Haven’t read widely in The New Yorker? Haven’t read widely in a variety of genres? You really shouldn’t be calling yourself a writer. So get busy with the genre reading. What are you waiting for?
HALLOWEEN MOVIES - Here are some horror movies coming out in October just time in for Halloween. Theatrical releases October 6 2017 Dementia 13 - A retelling of 1963 horror-thriller film of the same name. Better Watch Out - A babysitter defends a boy from intruders, only to discover it’s not a normal home invasion. The Crucifixion - Did a priest murder a mentally ill person? Or did he battle a demon? October 13 Happy Death Day - When a college student relives her murder over and over again, with its unexceptional details and terrifying end, she discovers her killer’s identity. October 20 The Snowman - A woman’s pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman. Nightworld - Investigate a sinister building to uncover a malevolent force desperate to be released into our world. October 24 Creep 2 - A visual artist can’t resist the chance to take footage of a man claiming to be a serial killer. October 27 Jigsaw - Evidence of gruesome murders is found, and it seems to be the work of Jigsaw, but how can this be? He’s been dead for over a decade. DVD releases DVD October 10 Wish Upon - A girl finds a magic box that grants wishes … but each one comes with dark and gruesome consequences. The Poughkeepsie Tapes - Would you be willing to watch hundreds of tapes depicting decades of a serial killer’s work? DVD October 17 Escape Room - One by one a new victim’s life is claimed, chosen from young couples trapped in a locked room, they’re playing for their lives. DVD October 24 Cult of Chucky - Chucky is back to settle some scores with old enemies with the help of his former wife. DVD October 23 A Ghost Story - Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost returns home to reconnect with his bereft wife.