Here are some of my favorite passages written by the awesome Raymond Chandler! I am (and will always be) a great, big fan of the hardboiled mystery genre. On that note, here we go! 🙂

“From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.”

“I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won’t let himself get snotty about it.”

“The more you reason the less you create.”


“When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.”

“When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split.”

“The challenge of screenwriting is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement.”

“She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.”


“She jerked away from me like a startled fawn might, if I had a startled fawn and it jerked away from me.”

“Everything a writer learns about the art or 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.”

“A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”

“A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.”

“It is not a fragrant world.”

“At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.”

And finally …!


And let’s finish with one from Sam McRae …


So … having said that, I’ll just finish by saying that I’ll be at the Books Alive Conference tomorrow on a panel about adapting books into screenplays. Click the link to see the schedule! 🙂

I’ll be signing IDENTITY CRISIS and my young adult novel INVISIBLE ME.




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