Pulp Fiction Writing Styles: 5 Tips to Master

Last Updated on September 24, 2022 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

If you want to write in a pulp fiction style, you’ll need to follow some tips. This genre is about evoking a sense of excitement and suspense; to do that; you need to employ some basic storytelling techniques. This post will describe 10 tips that will help you write pulp fiction like a pro. These tips will help you write stories that grip your reader from the beginning, from developing your world-building skills to learning how to build tension and suspense.

The pulp fiction genre has been used to describe a popular subgenre of detective stories. Critics often see the term as derogatory, but it is increasingly employed in its original sense; the main reason for this shift was that pulp novels were inexpensive and accessible to people who couldn’t afford more expensive books. Pulp fiction continues today mainly alongside the science fiction or fantasy genres in mass-market publishing (for example, various Sherlock Holmes anthologies).

What is pulp fiction in literature?

Pulp fiction, which lasted from approximately 1900 to the 1950s and was primarily published in the United States, is a subgenre of racy, action-based tales. The paper on which pulp fiction was printed gave it its name. Pulp magazines were cheap and disposable, and their content was typically sensationalized news stories, detective fiction, horror tales, or romance novels repackaged with extreme violence. In the early days of pulp publication, these cheaply made magazines were split into “serials” that could be read in one sitting.

5 Tips on How to Master Pulp Fiction Writing

Sticking to literary fiction is a better way to win an award for writing. Sticking to genre fiction is an excellent way to boost sales. However, do you want to write something that is as fun to read as it is to create? Next, try your hand at writing pulp novels!

1 – Read pulp fiction a lot!

Smaller publishers, such as Beat to a PULP, specialize in modern pulp fiction. On the other hand, the Pulp Magazines Project aims to investigate and preserve pulp publications, such as Amazing Tales, Frontier Tales, and Out of this World Adventures. It’s a digital research initiative and an open-access archive. On their website, some of them can be read. For more information on pulp, visit ThePulp.Net. Another excellent website is PulpSerenade.com. In summary, before you can write something, you must read it. Reading it, on the other hand, is such a joy.

2 – Try splitting your story into smaller chunks

We know you have to use three acts in a traditional plot, but we are writing pulp fiction, so that isn’t an issue. It’s a lot of quarters, but that’s OK. Before you criticize me for suggesting anything formulaic, try learning to write within boundaries. That is when you genuinely hone what it is that you do.

The hero tries to solve the issue in Part 1, but it is too soon. It requires suspense, a mystery, and the hero. He failed miserably. Drop him into boiling water, and we mean it’s boiling. At around the 1500-word mark, there should be a surprise twist.

There is more mystery but also a growing threat in Part 2. Pile on the issues and complications, offer him a lot of challenges, and preferably another physical battle. Whack comes up with a plot twist at the end of this section. You can experiment with adding surprises to this section to create mystery. Remember to put more emphasis on showing rather than telling. The characters must be relatable to the reader.

The hero’s grief is much greater in Part 3. You still need suspense, but the protagonist must be making progress now. Maybe he gets the guy or a lackey in his clutches. There will be another physical fight in the not-too-distant future! And, for good measure, throw in another plot twist. The reader should be able to ‘see’ the action if you build atmosphere and use description.

Ultimately, in Part 4, you pile everything onto the protagonist. It seems like we’re in trouble! As the countdown to Armageddon counts down beside him, James Bond is fixed to a table with a laser moving towards his privates. The hero manages to escape the situation using their abilities or training. There should be some punchline at the end, whether it’s in the “reveal” of who did it.

3 – Use guidelines and structure your story accordingly

Nonetheless, the most critical component of writing pulp fiction is keeping the reader engaged by incorporating enough suspense and detail! Readers may witness the narrative progress as they read through pulp magazines. The minute they walk away is when you take out the action and start telling them what’s going on.

The pulp magazines have been in print for more than a century. They were created as cheap entertainment to satisfy the appetites of eager readers and their desire for stories that would give them thrills, chills, or even induce nightmares at night. Though pulp magazines are now gone from our lives forever like those wild westerns from the motion pictures genre, we can still remember some great names associated with this genre: Doc Savage; The Shadow; Zorro; The Spider-Man and many more!

4 – Decide your main elements beforehand

Dent advises inventing a murder plan for the antagonist, a goal for the antagonist, a site, and some threat that will “hang like a cloud over the hero. We believe that the formula works with alternative solutions; instead of focusing on what the villain wants to avoid, we’ve adjusted it to focus on things he does want.

Whether you choose to set the narrative in one place or another, knowing who your murderer will be (and maybe where they will decide to set it) helps you develop a murder technique.

Shot down in World War I, pulp magazines became a staple of the American reading audience during and after World War II. Pulp magazines were cheap entertainment that could be bought at newsstands or drugstores for less than 50 cents. Each pulp magazine was filled with adventure, mystery, science fiction, and sex stories written by publishing houses like Street & Smith Publications (the world’s largest publisher of pulp magazines). Wonder Stories Magazine started as an anthology that paid writers to submit their work; it became the best-selling magazine of all time, with a circulation of over 2 million copies per issue.

5 – Know that pulp is accessible

Pulp magazines from the 1930s and 1940s may include numerous tales, yet they only cost around 10c (around $1.60 in current money) because they were printed on highly cheap paper and penned by underpaid writers. A pulp title might be within your reach if you couldn’t afford the more costly periodicals.

According to history, the tales focused on high adventure and escapism, which you definitely needed in the years after the Depression and WWII. Mass entertainment was the goal of the magazines and their stories. Wanting to entertain people is not harmful!

Final Words

With these tips, you can be sure that your pulp fiction writing will come out great. Experiment with the different techniques and get a unique style of writing that is unlike any other.

Keep practicing and stay focused to churn out fabulous stories in no time. Pulp Fiction is a publishing style of fiction that emphasizes action and graphic detail. It is often seen as a reaction against the more intellectual and deliberately paced types of recent times, such as postmodernism, literary journalism, or metafiction. The term “punk” first appeared in the early 1970s to describe rock music that was rawer than other forms offered by most mainstream artists. Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film Reservoir Dogs introduced Pulp Fiction into American popular culture.

FAQs on Pulp Fiction Writing Styles

What are the characteristics of pulp fiction?

Answer: Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, pulp fiction was a popular genre of literature. It revolves around action, adventure, and crime and often features flawed but compelling characters. These protagonists are frequently fighting against evil forces or sociopolitical issues.
Pulp fiction is typically fast-paced with an exciting plotline, making it ideal for readers who want to escape into another world for a little while. Additionally, pulp fiction often has graphic violence and explicit sex Scenes, which can be entertaining and informative.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, then pulp fiction might be perfect!

What makes a pulp hero?

Answer: Protagonists defying the odds and bringing justice to their communities are pulp heroes. They’re brave, innovative, and always looking out for others. They’re not afraid to take risks or face danger head-on to protect those they love.
These characters often exhibit strength of character, resourcefulness, conscience, and a sense of moral obligation. While there is no definitive definition of a pulp hero, these traits are common among those who have positively impacted society.
Pulp heroes serve as both examples and inspirations for readers – giving them hope during tough times and providing them with solutions to life’s challenges. As the world becomes more complex and uncertain, we must continue to read literature that inspires us undeterred by current events. Pulp heroes exemplify this spirit perfectly!

What qualities separate a literary work from pulp fiction?

Answer: Literary work is often more complex and sophisticated than pulp fiction, which is typically simpler in structure and style. Literary works may include a greater depth of characterization, while pulp fiction deals with the events that take place in a shorter timeframe. Additionally, literary works are often based on real-world events or settings, while pulp fiction tends to be original stories that simulate reality.
Ultimately, these distinctions come down to author intentionality. Some authors write literary work simply because they want their audience to experience high-quality writing; others write for commercial purposes only. It’s up to you, the reader, to choose what you want from a literary investment!

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