Hey Space Cadets, how’s everyone doing today? I’m doing great, making progress towards finishing Operation Breakout this week and getting into the production cue for my editorial team. When I know when we have a release date, you can bet I’ll let you know so let’s move on to more exciting topics. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of The Dead Robots Society Podcast because it has been very helpful for me. The proprietors of that fine establishment are willing to bend over backwards to help, all you’ve gotta do is ask. Preferably in the Facebook Forum! Why do I mention this? Because it gave me the topic for today’s post.
Okay, so for today’s World Building Wednesday we are talking about pulp writing. My goal when I started writing was to write genre fiction. I have no allusions that my work is high literature, or that it will ever be taught in a classroom setting. I am an unknown unashamed pulp writer, and all I want to do is tell entertaining stories. As quickly as I can, as often as I can.
Author, and one of our generations current pulp writers, Dean Wesley Smith defines pulp writers through several criteria. You have to writes at least 1 million words a year, those words are words which are published. Obviously, if you run your own social media or blog you will write way more. But the only million words to count are ones that’re stories you sell. Another criterion of his was you have to write every day, for the entire year. I tend to like and agree with his approach.
But how does somebody do that? Write so quick, published so much? I know the first thing you have to do is adopt the Michael Anderle model. You have what he calls a minimally viable product, which you get to market as quickly as you can. What is a minimally viable product? For me, or at least as I apply it on my own work, this means that I accept that the story is King. I can’t obsess over every word, every sentence, or every paragraph. At the end of the day, the stories keying in the rest is just details. This means that when I finish a book, while I love the characters and the setting, I have to put it out of my mind and move on to the next story. Because let’s face it, there’s always another story, another adventure waiting to happen.
Is this approach for everyone? No, probably not, but writing, like life, is an individual journey. I’ll save you the sappiness, and acknowledge that we walk that journey with friends and family, but in the end, we stand alone. We are responsible for our actions, and ours alone. It’s a harsh reality that I learned in the Army, one that has followed me into my civilian life. I think it was the sort of mentality which allowed our ancestors to face the unknown and wander into the sunset. Maybe I’m wrong, only time will tell. What about you, are you a pulp writer too?
Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!
–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section.