gbsteve (gbsteve) wrote,

Dirty Thirties and how to write pulp.

Apart from being a reasonable resource on America in the 30's, the Dirty Thirties website also has an excellent paper by Lester Dent on how to write pulp fiction.

6,000 words is what it takes to deliver pulpy goodness and each 1,500 has a particular purpose.

Initial quarter
SO FAR: Does it have SUSPENSE?
Is there a MENACE to the hero?
Does everything happen logically?

Subsequent quarter
NOW: Does second part have SUSPENSE?
Does the MENACE grow like a black cloud?
Is the hero getting it in the neck?
Is the second part logical?

Penultimate quarter
DOES: It still have SUSPENSE?
The MENACE getting blacker?
The hero finds himself in a hell of a fix?
It all happens logically?

Final quarter
HAS: The SUSPENSE held out to the last line?
The MENACE held out to the last?
Everything been explained?
It all happen logically?
Is the Punch Line enough to leave the reader with that WARM FEELING?
Did God kill the villain? Or the hero?

I feel almost tempted to give it a go. Anyone with me?

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