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Some crime novels with interesting story structures

          The thing that surprised me most about the crime novels I read was how structurally interesting they were. That wasn’t true for all of them, of course. A lot of them had the structure where the first third is given over to the slow lead-up to some crime, the second third […]

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The joy of short novels

Noir novels are often quite short. Absurdly short. They’re short in the way that books aren’t allowed to be anymore. James M. Cain’s novels The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity are between 30,000 and 40,000 words long. Jim Thompson’s novels are between 40,000 and 50,000 words long and most of the rest are […]

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Wherein I learn something about noir literature

If you follow my twitter feed you’ll know that I recently took Nick Mamatas’ 9-week fiction writing class at the Writer’s Salon in Berkeley. It was really good. The next session is starting on October 9th. If you live in the East Bay (or San Francisco) and you are a writer who is as good […]

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