Hi everybody,
Below are 3 versions of an extract of a hard-boiled, noir crime story. I won't tell you more (classical vs. punchy style, flow, readibility, creativity...).


All I want to know is: which version would inspire you a "WHAOOO, I WANT TO READ MORE" feeling? A, B or F ? What's your guts feeling?

Rome, one pm, one scorcher Tuesday. On Coliseum Square the traffic crawls and jerks bumper to bumper, four inches at a time. The windshields spit back the iron darts of an angry sun. The air is thick, the drivers sweat buckets. They suffocate. The weather girl had forewarned them, but old habits die hard. So on the day, the pollution chart records an all-time high, and moods boil. «Sonofabitches» and «fuck you’s» detonate in the damp air. The hotter heads step out of their cars onto the boiling tarmac and weak pushes turn to limp shoves before they return to their cars in the exhaust gas stew. At the wheel of his decrepit red Fiat Uno, Emilio has given up trying to peel off the wet shirt clogging his pores. His soaked car seat reminds him of the big fat filthy dish sponge of the kitchen. Pulling an all- nighter doing dishes while the fat cats party. If only he was loaded. Electric windows and air-con, for a start. Emilio turns the handle to roll down his bent window that sticks to try to get some air. It’s all for nothing. His lungs chug-in gasoline. The car horns howl him blind. Suddenly, BAM ! Rear ended by the car behind.

Rome, 1.00 PM, 13h10, scorching Tuesday. On the Coliseum Plaza, cars packed-in bumper to bumper, tight. Windshields glint off the metallic sparkle of an angry sun. In the blast-oven heat, drivers mop their brow in vain, stifling. The weather report said it all, but old habits die hard. Then, another nice hit on pollution peaks curve, and tempers flare. « Son of a Bitch » and other « Shut the fuck up, asshole! » billow out in the moisture. The most feverish get out on the burning asphalt, lazily nudging, then sheepishly get back into their vehicle through the exhaust gas breadline. At his decrepit, red Fiat Uno’s wheel, Emilio doesn’t even try anymore to unglue his shirt from his oozing pores. His seat soaked in sweat reminds him the big, filthy kitchen’s sponge. One more night on the tiles bussing tables and stuff whereas tycoons had fun. If only he could afford. Electric windows and air con, to begin with. Once again, Emilio manually cranks down his skewed window and gasps air. Forget it. His lungs snort diesel. Horns blindfold him. Without warning, it’s a BAM ! The car behind rammed into him.

Rome. 1:10 PM, on a Tuesday in the midst of a blazing heat wave. Around the square of the Coliseum, traffic is inching along at a snail’s pace. The windshields of the vehicles reflect the blinding metallic luster of the sun in anger. In the heat-laden air, drivers suffocate. The weather forecast had warned citizens if the inevitable temperatures they were in store for, but old habits are hard to break. Suddenly, tempers erupt, and shouts of “Son of a bitch” and “Shut up, asshole” ring through the sticky air. As the words settle down to the baking asphalt, the drivers hang their heads and sheepishly return through the exhaust-filled air to their vehicles, ashamed at what the sweltering heat has turned them into. Emilio does not even attempt to remove his sweat soaked shirt before getting back into his dilapidated old red Fiat. His soaked seat reminds him of one of those big, disgusting sponges you find in kitchens. Another sleepless night, then it’s back to work to wash more dished while the wealthy are out dancing the night away, dirtying up even more dished for him to wash. If only Emilio had money. For starters, he would have electric windows and air conditioning. Sighing, he turns the crank on his window once again in hopes of getting even the littlest of air. It is a waste of time and energy as his lungs immediately fill with the choking smell of diesel and numerous other odors that vehicles emit. All of a sudden, BAM! Emilio’s poor little red Fiat is hit from behind by another car.

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Yes, iabanon.  Nicely phrased and vivid.  But it doesn't save the example as a beginning of a crime novel.  It needs something else.


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