Chandler on plot vs. the scene

From the introduction to his Trouble is My Business collection, from 1950. Raymond Chandler discusses the strengths of the hard-boiled mysteries he helped popularize (and elevate). I think this bit applies to most genre storytelling…including comics:

“The technical basis of the Black Mask type of story…was that the scene outranked the plot, in the sense that a good plot was one which made good scenes. The ideal mystery was one you would read if the end was missing. We who tried to write it had the same point of view as the film makers. When I first went to work in Hollywood a very intelligent producer told me that you couldn’t make a successful motion picture from a mystery story, because the whole point was a disclosure that took a few seconds of screen time while the audience was reaching for its hat. He was wrong, but only because he was thinking of the wrong kind of mystery.”

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