Traditionally, noir and sex are tied together, with the detective often finding himself drawn into a world that deviates what society considers to be a normal relationship – hence the existence of the femme fatale archetype.
We live in a more sex-positive era, which makes exploring the fringes a little more difficult. BDSM is one area that remains taboo for most people, but it also tends to be grossly misrepresented in media, either used as a joke or as a method of abuse. I’m not terribly familiar with the fetish myself, but I’m trying to learn a bit about it as I introduce it into the novel. Hopefully, I can do it justice without presenting it as something inherently funny or bad.
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I envision this segment as part of a chapter, not the whole thing. If the purpose wasn’t to present a draft in progress, there’s no way I would normally put this online in its current form.
I started writing this novel with a mystery that I didn’t really have an answer for. A couple of days ago, the secret behind Della and the letters here crystallized. As a result, things should be more cohesive going forward.
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Dear Livia, Continue reading
The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to focus on writing, not editing. The advantage and disadvantage of posting the draft online as I work on it is that I force myself into a non-editing mode. My last section ended on a sentence I really don’t like, but there’s nothing to do about it now that I’ve put it online. As a result, this section has some call-outs to myself to remind me that I need to edit liberally later on.
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I once wrote a 50,000-word novel as therapy because I woke up angry one morning and needed to work some stuff out about my life. This novel is less personal, but it is shaping up to be therapeutic in a way, as I’m putting down a lot of stuff about things in American society I hate. So be prepared for lots of idiot rich kids, lying media outlets, and people who blame the victim in sexual assault cases. Hopefully, they’ll all get what they deserve in the end.
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This entry wraps up my opening scene. At over 3,500 words, it’s much longer and more deliberately paced than my usual style. Part of this is a genre choice – I’m going for an old-time detective story rather than the action-focused tale I normally tell. Part of it is the fact that it’s still early in the story and I’m still finding the characters and voice of the novel. In a future draft, a lot of the superfluous dialogue and description will get whittled down.
Two of my published novels began as part of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The goal of the challenge is to write 50,000 words in a month. For most people, this means plunging into a story while forcing the inner editor to take a back seat. While the final versions of my novels often wind up heavily edited, NaNoWriMo is very useful for turning on the creativity.
For the past few years, I’ve kept my NaNoWriMo works to myself. However, I find that I write more effectively if I put my work out there in front of an audience, even if it’s in a rough format. With that in mind, I’ll be presenting my November novel here for the next 30 days, with the caveat that it is in a very rough format.
Here’s day one of what I am currently calling Untitled Noir Story.
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