Lester Dent on writing pulp

Friday, February 17, 2012

This is something I read a couple of years back but forgot to bookmark, and I’ve been looking for it again for some time because I couldn’t remember who wrote it: The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot.

Lester Dent was the writer of the ‘Doc Savage’ novels, and while pulp fiction tends to get dull after you’ve read enough of it, I think his ‘master plot’ here is worth a look by any aspiring writer; the most important elements such as rising menace, showing not telling, ‘shovelling grief’ onto the hero, making every word count etc are important in any genre other than experimental fiction that only three people will ever read (and two of those are your relatives).

I think I’m going to take his advice and write a short story following his formula just to see how it comes out.

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