Raymond Chandlers advice on fiction writing.

Raymond Chandler did not invent the detective story, but he was at the forefront of detective noir, along with Dashiell Hammett. “The Big Sleep,” “Farewell My Lovely” and “The Long Goodbye” are three of Chandlers best known novels.

He wrote that “Everything a writer learns about the art and craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all.  In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say.”

What this means, as I interpret it, is that in the beginning writers we are driven to say something, to tell a story and in learning the craft writers become technicians, that knowing the tricks may take away something from your creative instincts, from having your own voice. In other words, if you have a story to tell, tell it in your words with your voice.

Along the same lines Chandler wrote “A writer who is afraid to overachieve himself is as useless as a general who is afraid to be wrong.”

At one time during the Civil War the Union army was led by General George McClellan, who was a great administrator, but as a general in the field, was slow to react, if he reacted at all. President Lincoln grew impatient with McClellan’s trepidation and replaced him.  As a writer one can not be afraid of trusting one’s instincts, ignoring technique, and using his own voice. General U.S. Grant was unconventional, but daring. He came out the winner. Lesson learned.

Chandler also wrote “The average critic never recognizes an achievement when it happens. He explains it after it has become respectable.”

There is something to that, originality is often ignored or  denounced. It does not fit  the norm. So don’t worry about what is said of your writings. If you want to write then just write and the hell with what people say.

Thanks Raymond.http:

My original voice is found here:  http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38



1 Comment

Filed under dalies, e-book publishing, Uncategorized, writing

One response to “Raymond Chandlers advice on fiction writing.

  1. One thing I find interesting about Chandler is he didn’t write his first book until he was 50 years old – he spent much of his life working in marketing until he was sacked for drunkeness. Much as he might have grumbled about his craft he did find his true purpose in life in the end.


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