Short pulp fiction is still marketable today. It still pays very little and is now limited to mainly science fiction and mystery stories.
Book length pulp fiction is more profitable than ever. It can pay as well as quality fiction. It can actually pay better since you can complete more books.
I recommend writing short pulp fiction just for fun. If you get good at it and love it, write a pulp fiction novel. Maybe it will lead to an action hero book series and a career.
If you’d like to write some pulp fiction for a change from your regular writing, what’s the process? Like any kind of writing, there are many ways to get the job done. Here is one of them.
Pulp Fiction Overview
For a normal story, you write a terrible rough draft and then revise until it turns into a good final draft.
In pulp fiction writing, the first draft is the only draft. Tricks are used to avoid leaving anything unwritten. The main characters are strong in every way so they can force their way past all problems. The action is big too. Keep moving right along. Details aren’t important. Whatever needs to be done, there’s some employee character taking care of it. We don’t need to know the details.
Pulp writers become good at writing a book in one draft by writing many of them. The world’s most prolific writer, Ryoki Inoue, has written over 1000 pulp fiction novels.
Steps to Write Pulp Fiction Short Stories
1. Dream up a good versus evil story. Action is more important than believability.
2. Start the story with either the hero or villain in conflict with a minor character. Use this to start the story with action and to show their superior abilities.
3. Transition to a scene that shows the other main character’s superior abilities. Flashbacks and side stories are perfect for this.
4. Bring the hero and villain together using action. Either the villain or hero can work their way through their nemesis’ minor flunkies.
5. Conclude with a major battle that results in the villain being either killed or captured.
Abandon the above formula any time it interferes with writing a quick story.
Steps to Write Pulp Fiction Books
1. Pick a story. More than one genre is preferred.
2. Create larger than life main characters. They will be the best fighters, the most intelligent, experts at what they do. Villains will be master killers and planners, wiping out both friends and enemies. These kinds of characters will be able to destroy all opposition. This prevents slowing down to work out plot points.
3. Plot out an epic story. You need to have some great quest or a mission to save the world. The story needs to be nonstop cliffhanger action or an engaging mystery.
4. Master the cliffhanger ending for your chapters. Try to end every chapter with a cliffhanger.
5. Write the whole thing in one draft. Make only minor revisions as you go.
That’s the concept. I sometimes write short pulp fiction and find it’s a lot of fun. Just like regular fiction, it’s a good idea to write lots of short stories before writing a book.
Well, I’ve gotta go. A robot army is attacking the mall and, wouldn’t you know, my tank is in the shop. As luck would have it, I just installed a missile system in my helicopter, so I think everything is going to be okay.
Article by Ivan Izo.
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