Noir fiction

Does anyone have any advice on writing noir (or neo-noir) fiction? Some tips and tricks, or dos and don’ts?

You would probably get more advice by signing up over at NaNoWriMo. Very active writer community there covering a large variety of genres (including non-fiction).

Chiming in a few months late: I love noir.

I have no advice, but here’s an article I really like. It’s Otto Penzler, defining what he thinks noir is. If you’re into noir, you probably know Penzler is one of the top-notch editor/publishers in the crime/mystery field.

[i]Look, noir is about losers. The characters in these existential, nihilistic tales are doomed. They may not die, but they probably should, as the life that awaits them is certain to be so ugly, so lost and lonely, that they’d be better off just curling up and getting it over with. And, let’s face it, they deserve it.


Happy endings are not required in a private eye story, but the reader will generally have a sense of justice being done as the lone hero overcomes all the forces that have been arrayed against him. This is a uniquely American sensibility, deriving from the lone, stalwart sheriff cleaning up a town.

The noir story with a happy ending has never been written, nor can it be. The lost and corrupt souls who populate these tales were doomed before we met them because of their hollow hearts and depraved sensibilities.

I love noir fiction. It makes doom fun. And who doesn’t like fun? [/i]