11 Elements of Writing Noir

Writers Anon - Taunton's Writing Group

Noir has its roots in hardboiled fiction, such as Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain. This detective fiction then influenced cinema and became film noir, developing the tropes we’re familiar with from Humphrey Bogart and co. Cinema then influenced fiction again to create noir fiction, which differs from hardboiled, as it doesn’t put the detective at the centre of the story.

There is more to noir than trilbys, trench coats and femme fatales, so let’s break it down:

  1. The outsider: the noir protagonist is an outcast – perhaps a soldier coming home

    elements of noir fiction Still from The Postman Always Rings Twice

    after the war, a released prisoner or just a stranger in town. Traditionally the lead is male, but a noir such as Mullholland Drive puts women firmly in the centre, so feel free to deviate from the usual.He or she is a dropout, a loser and nobody cares about them and…

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