Writing A Hardbolied Detective Book – Advice From 1923

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


For the next three months I will be posting excerpts from a book I picked up at a library sale fro a quarter, written in 1923.  It is called ” The Golden Book On Writing ” by David Lambuth a professor at Dartmouth College. 

It is a great little book ( 79) pages that gives you an option on how to THINK about writing since no one can honestly teach you how to write, or as Professor Lambuth would say, ” Writing must be instinctual and un-selfconscious before it is of the slightest value.”

After each excerpt I will include a small section of prose from Dashiell Hammett.


‘” The thing spoke, though I could not say that I actually heard the words: It was as if I simply became, through my entire body, conscious of the words:

“Down enemy of the Lord God: down on your knees.”

I stirred then, to lick my lips with a tongue drier than they were.


FROM “The Dain Curse ” One of Five Novels by Dashiell Hammett


Bye, ” She closed the refrigerator with a slam.  His eyes watched her as she put her coat on and walked out with his gun in hand.”


Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett
Born Samuel Dashiell Hammett
May 27, 1894(1894-05-27)
Saint Mary’s County, Maryland,
United States
Died January 10, 1961 (aged 66)
New York City, New York,
United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Writing period 1929–1951
Genres Hardboiled crime fiction,
detective fiction

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