The definition of noir can be pretty fleeting. There is no universal standard, other than it is dark. I still like Dennis Lehane's definition that noir is working class tragedy, and as I continue to write I find what I'm interested in is that tragedy. It's funny that you need to spend a couple of years writing before you realize what it is you want to write.
So, does that mean the hard boiled stuff of tough guys and dames and guns is over for me? Hell no! That stuff is still fun to write, but more and more the stories that appear before me on the computer screen are tales of muted desperation and remorse instead of escapism. Basically I'm veering dangerously close to that literary divide the snobbish jackass literarti made up so they can sneer at genre fiction. I hope like hell I never cross it; fuck those idiots. Where I want to be is in the twilight where intelligent, open-minded readers appreciate character and plot equally. Yes, there are stories that are tilted more toward character and ones that lean heavily toward plot, but I don't thing the two are mutually exclusive. Some will tell you that you can only lean one way or the other - bullshit, that's two-dimensional thinking. Where would you place The Great Gatsby on that scale, or They Shoot Horses Don't They? or The Last Good Kiss?
So, we as a group will continue to fail in our efforts to grasp a concrete universal definition of that phantom we call our genre, but for me, it's a little more solidified. At least I can live with it.