Define Your Characters with Snappy Dialogue and A Keen Sense of Place: A Guest Blog by Jim Nesbitt

Hot dang, kids — those fine folks at BookPeople, the big indie bookstore in Austin, TX, just ran my guest post on their MysteryPeople blog. Many thanks. Stop by and show them your love by snapping up some stocking stuffers. You might give some serious thought to making one of them THE BEST LOUSY CHOICE.

nesbitt-car-1 Author, Jim Nesbitt

I’m a Chandler junkie. As in Raymond Chandler. Always have been, always will be.

One of the founding fathers of the hard-boiled school of crime fiction, Chandler’s at the head of a semi-long list of writers who taught me a lot about the trade before I ever tried my hand at it.

Most of them are dead. Which means they won’t be calling me out for hanging their names on what I’m about to say about character and dialogue. Not even Chandler, although his cantankerous spirit might just give it a go.

What I learned from Chandler was the importance of character and dialogue over plot. Chandler was, more or less, a ‘pantster,’ the term the modern wags use for writers who tend to make it up as they go along rather than outline elaborate plots and character sketches before they start telling a story.

One of…

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