Write Like a Pulp Writer


Not Purple Prose, But…


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

I’ve read several books about this:

These aren’t affiliate links.

How to Write Pulp Fiction


Pulp Era Writing Tips

You shouldn’t try to write the style of pulp. It’s purple prose, bad writing for readers today.

However, as these books say, parts of their methods we could learn from:


Speed


Pulp writers produced much content as fast as they could to pay their bills. Costs were lower than today, but the funds were too. If one story was rejected, others were ready to try their luck at the same time.

Another aspect of speed:


Quantity, Not Quality


We do this for NaNoWriMo. When you crank out so much material in a short time, you don’t wait for only your best work. If it’s readable, it goes out. The more you do, the better it gets.

Jump Straight to the Action

In their speed, pulp writers also don’t use prologues or character introspection. Those are, in their view, for literary works. Instead, these writers usually start with action. If it has to be explained, that comes later in the tale.

The action gets you in first.

Maybe we should all be like them.


I’m a commercial writer, not an author. Margaret Mitchell was an author. She wrote one book. 


Mickey Spillane

Originally appeared on The Writers Guild on Medium

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