How To Write Pulp Fiction
by James Scott Bell
This must be one of the most fascinating books on writing that I’ve ever read.
It starts straight into explaining what pulp fiction is and how writers used to earn a decent living that way and then goes into how they did it and how you can too.
Pulp fiction writers existed from the early 1900’s up to around the 1950’s.
They were prolific writers and used to average writing around a million words a year. They earned money by the number of words they wrote, not from royalties, so if they didn’t write they didn’t get paid.
Pulp fiction writers existed because up until the 1950’s when paperback books were invented, the only books available were large hard back “literary” type books, which were too expensive for working class people, plus they weren’t easy to read.
Then the pulp fiction novels arrived. These were short novels with paper covers much like a comic book.
They contained fast-paced fiction, mostly in the sci-fi, crime mystery and romance genres, and were sold at newsstands, not book stores.
These made books available to the masses for only a few cents a copy, and they sold in the millions.
Many “literary” writers frowned on these cheap novels, even though they far outsold the bigger, more expensive novels and often made their authors wealthier than the best-known writers of the day.
Not only is learning about the life and work of the pulp fiction writers fascinating, but this book explains how other authors still earn money from writing many short, cheap novels. And the reason they manage to do it is not only because they average a million words a year, but, as the author put it, more people buy salted peanuts than caviar.
Pulp fiction novels, both then and now, appeal to the mass market of readers who want fast-paced stories in 20,000 to 40,000 word novels. These are avid readers who, once they find an author (or series character) they like, will buy every book by that author or in that series.
So if you want to make a living writing pulp fiction, this book is not only a great place to start, but it will tell you what you need to know, how to do it, and will inspire you to start writing straight away.
And it also comes with a huge bonus which is a plot machine that will give you a different plot for every book you want to write. It’s quite genius when you see how it works. You just use the machine, get your plot, and start writing.
You can read more about How To Write Pulp Fiction at Amazon.com
This review was written on 30th January 2022