Can You Succeed in Fiction With a Bare-Bones Writing Style?

The career of the legendary Robert B. Parker suggests you can

A manual typewriter with a sheet of blank paper in it.
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

A hero will rise … and be terse

Which is why the great crime novelist Robert B. Parker, best known for the “Spenser” novels, is such a heartening figure. I work in the same genre, crime and mystery, and if Parker’s stripped-down style pleased millions of readers, there’s hope for mine.

Robert B. Parker, a large, blocky man in a good suit, sitting in the audience at a library event.
Robert B. Parker, a large, blocky man in a good suit, sitting in the audience at a library event.
Photo from wikimedia commons

A lover of fine literature

Parker clearly didn’t write in a simple style because he had only a basic grasp of the English language. In fact, he had a Ph.D in literature, and taught at Northeastern University before leaving education to write full time. His characters quoted Hemingway, Frost, Browning, Shakespeare, as did his book titles.

Jodi Compton is the author of four crime novels. Learn more about her books at amazon.com/author/jodicompton.

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