I am not Raymond Chandler. I am not Raymond Chandler. I am not Raymond Chandler.
For those of you who can’t place the name Raymond Chandler is the man who wrote the Classic Philippe Marlowe novels. Classics like The Big Sleep and Farewell My lovely. The problem with these books is actually two-fold. First, they’re good. I mean they are damned good. They inspired the entire genre of campy detective novels. Every overly metaphored detective in a London fog coat owes their life to Raymond Chandler. The second problem is that I love them. I grew up with Philippe Marlowe and half the time I talk like the damned books anyway.
This comes to be a problem when I’m writing anything in the first person because I would truly love to duplicate Chandler’s style. But I can’t. Not for any length of time anyway. It’s not for any lack of skill in the metaphor department, it’s more that if I try to duplicate anyone else, I lose sense of the book I’m trying to write. It becomes someone else’s writing and I’m just reading it. And when that happens everything usually goes to shit anyway.
So I want to write like Raymond Chandler, but I also want to write like me. It’s better if I write like me. I guess the trick is to let Chandler inspire me and learn from his writing, take the things I love and put them in my style. If it works though, it means I have a lot of work to do. I’ll have to do the same with some of my other favorites like, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Louis L’amour, Phillip K. Dick, and God knows who else. In the end it’ll be worth it if I can even come up to half of the writer those guys are.