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:


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

Late Updates

I think that I’ll have to change my update schedule for this blog. A daily update isn’t easy to maintain… not if I want every post to be a quality one. I’ll announce my new posting schedule very soon.

I have some updates to share, both about here and  my author Fan page on Facebook:

  •  I’ve added a tab for a newsletter. I haven’t yet made it work though. I may have to create one in my autoresponder instead. Also: I created a Page for it here, so I may use that instead.
  • I don’t yet know if it works, but I attempted to add a NaNoWriMo widget to the blog sidebar. I can use it as extra pressure to complete my novel.


Update-notification-icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Writing Suspense

I’m reading a Kindle book about writing page-turner/suspense tales at the moment (I’m  not reading about genres at random… there’s a reason for it All will be explained soon, and it’ll make sense). I’ll definitely use what I’m learning!

Alfred Hitchcock


Suspense can be in the mystery genre, though there are differences. This book describes those differences, including my favorite quote from the legendary Alfred Hitchcock  (a bomb is in a bag below a table with two people. We know, but they don’t).

My current novel plans have elements of the paranormal, romance, comedy and suspense (I don’t believe in being pigeon-holed into a single category). This is advice that I’ll use for future novels too.



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Blog Look Change

I changed this blog’s WordPress theme . Much as I liked the look of the old one, Pages that I added wouldn’t show.  They do now, and my newsletter signup is now visible. I have to get the first newsletter done now!

Speaking of changes, above is the logo for my Kindle publishing company, what do you think?

Fiction or Non?

Publishing on Kindle non-fiction is the better seller. People want their problems answered.

The difficulty for me is that I’m a fiction author. Fiction also sells, but not as much.

I’ll strive for a happy medium: I’ll publish many non-fiction books in order to make more money… however I’ll still write and publish fiction to satisfy myself and to make some money too.

Words From Shelly Hitz

Shelly is one of my self-publishing mentors.

Growing up, I always wanted to be an accomplished musician…especially a soloist.  Most of my family have amazing musical talent.  Some sing, some play musical instruments, some write music and some do all of the above.

I always tried to be that person.  The talented musician.  
But, that’s not who God created me to be.  Yes, I can hold a pitch.  And, yes, I can sing in a choir.  But, I’m not a soloist.
I always feel bad for those trying out for American Idol who have been told their whole life that they are an amazing singer…only to get publically humiliated on national television.
You know, it’s easy to compare ourselves with others.  
I’m also a runner, or should I say a jogger.  🙂  However, my husband is a very fast runner and exceptional athlete.  When we participate in 5k races or running clubs, he is the one getting the medals and prizes.  I am the one at the back of the pack, just trying to catch my breath.
And I find myself comparing who I am with others.  
I’m not an elite athlete and never will be.  Even when I try my hardest and am the most disciplined, I am still only “average.”
One day, I realized that I tend to compare my weakness with others’ strengths.  It’s like comparing apples to oranges.
And when it comes to writing, publishing and marketing your book…it’s important to be yourself.  To be who God created you to be and not try to fit someone else’s mold or compare yourself to every other writer.
Be yourself.
Stop comparing yourself to others…it only leads to what my mom calls, “Stinkin’ Thinkin'” and failure.
Instead, Jeffrey, see the strengths you have, be yourself and take action publishing and marketing your book.  Get started here: http://www.self-publishing-coach.com/book-marketing.html
– Shelley Hitz
This isn’t an affiliate link.
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A Blast From my Fiction Past

I’m intending to publish fiction under the Kindle Singles program. It’s ideal for projects smaller than a full book.

My first one will be a novella that I began in 1999. Between my distaste at writing racist dialogue for a villain (he’s a Southerner during the Civil War) and equal distaste about the 2000 US election results, I stopped writing it.

(Note: this isn’t a politics blog, and I’m not even American. Regardless of the political stripe, I just dislike Bush. That may lose me some readers, but it’s truth.)

At the time I had most of the first draft done. I’ll finish it now, then subsequent drafts, and finally get it done.