How to Write Pulp Fiction
Pulp fiction is a term that was originally coined to describe the early nineteenth-century magazines and novels (dime novels) that were printed on cheap, or pulpy paper. "Weird Tales"and "Ace Detective" are examples of pulp fiction magazines. The Shadow, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Doc Savage, and the Avenger are some of the lasting characters produced during the pulp fiction days. Today, pulp fiction is a term used to describe a wide genre of tales featuring characters and stories like those found in original pulp fiction. Learn how you can write pulp fiction that will have readers on the edge of their seats.
Decide the type of story you want to write. Pulp fiction encompasses many genres, including sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. These genres are often blended in pulp fiction to create cross-bred sub genres. Consider telling your story with one or more elements from other genres to give your stories an original twist.
Create characters worthy of pulp fiction. You want characters that are larger than life. Think about Tarzan and Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze. Your characters, both heroes and villains, can be physically strong or mentally superior.They may be both. Characters in pulp fiction are very heroic or extremely evil.
Write epic tales. Pulp fiction stories are expansive. Think about the sword and sorcery, fire and brimstone approach to writing. You want stories that feature quests or where the fate of the world depends upon the actions of the heroes of your pulp fiction tale.
Write with a heavy dose of action or drape your stories in mystery. These two elements are important to writing pulp fiction. The action in your pulp fiction should consistently bring your readers to the edge of their seats. If there is a mystery at the heart of the story, your readers should be engaged in its pursuit.
Consider writing your pulp fiction as a serial like writers did in early pulp fiction. Master the cliff hanger ending that will keep your readers coming back for more. Most importantly, pulp fiction is fun, so have as much fun writing it as you do reading it.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.