1. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Writing Pulp Fiction Style Short Stories

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MilesTro, Mar 21, 2013.

    There is a new anthropomorphic magazine that is looking for pulp fiction style stories to publish. They want the typical characters going through typical adventures known in the old pulp magazine stories like Doc Savage, the Shadow, and other fun stuff.

    I am working on a short story to submit to them, which will be an action future sword and sorcery tale with anthropomorphic animal characters. It's going to be like Conan the Barbarian, but with three characters going on a quest to re-calm a stolen magical item from an evil conqueror for a princess. I won't spoil it.

    I want to know how most pulp short stories are written, not their styles, but how they work. Are they more plot driven with less characterization? Are back story information is unnecessary in these shorts? Do they only focus on the characters' action with a lot of cliff hangers and twists? Are there only a little bit of back story details a long the plot? Should all back story information be less and small so the readers won't be turn off from the main plot?

    I really want my story to sound like a typical fantasy pulp fiction story so it might get a chance to be accepted. I already order some Conan short stories to get the idea of how they work.
     
  2. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    I don't know too much about pulp fiction, but your idea does sound really cool. From what I've read, pulp fiction is more reflective of the medium on which it's printed (pulp wood, hence its name) then a particular style or plot configuration. I've never read any though, so that may be wrong. Here's a link to a pulp fiction magazine website. It looks live they have archives. Hope this helps. http://www.blackmaskmagazine.com/about.html
    By the way your story idea sounds cool, I'd be interested in reading it.
     
  3. Drstrong
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    Drstrong Active Member

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    I've never understood what pulp fiction was, but sounds interesting.
     
  4. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Thanks for the link.

    Yah, basically pulp fiction are stories written on pulp wood paper, and they were popular because how cheap they were and how interesting the characters and conflicts are. Most of them are action pack with adventures no matter what genre they are. I am still reaseaching about them and reading some samples.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "Pulp fiction" was a term used for the kind of fiction published in pulp magazines - that is, magazines printed on cheap pulp paper as opposed to expensive glossy paper. The pulp magazines were cheap, and they didn't pay much, but they still had a lot of pages to fill, so they attracted hack writers who could fill those pages for very little money. This meant that the quality of fiction published in the pulps was much lower than that of the fiction published in the "slick" magazines like Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, etc.

    The pulps published cheap adventure stories, detective stories, science-fiction stories, etc. that were usually heavy on action and what passed for sex in those days.

    Pulp fiction has minimal characterization, little backstory, not much in the way of philosophical weight or theme; they are heavy on plot, action, cliffhangers, and generally anything likely to quicken the pulses of teenage boys.
     
  6. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    In one of the samples I read, The Shadow Returns, it do seem to be more action driven with last backstory and a little character info. It makes sense because they have limited amount of pages. I'll probably stick to that style and make the action fast paced. Perhaps overwritten backstory info are only better in novels.
     
  7. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Read Robert E. Howard's conan the barbarian, if you haven't already. Very pulp, and a lot of fun.
     
  8. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I just ordered it at the library, including Kull.
     

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