I was watching Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy earlier and its protagonist, Arthur Dent, reminded me of Lester Dent. Totally unrelated, I think, though Douglas Adams may have made such a nod.
Arthur isn’t really important at the moment, but THIS guy is:
Don’t you already want to know MORE about him!?!
Here you go – Lester (bio), of Doc Savage “fame,” was tremendously influential in what we call pulp fiction today, but he wasn’t well known at all. He has a very interesting story and body of work. In any case, you can read more about his life later.
For now, what I wanted to share is this: The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot!
Why share this? Besides it being awesome, many aspiring writers are intimidated by word counts, the word “book,” and the daunting task of organizing everything. Wait… that’s me I’m talking about. Maybe you, too. The point is that many epic ideas aren’t being written.
Can you churn out 1,500 words in short order? I bet you can do it pretty quickly. This blog post is about 530. Per the Dent Master fiction Plot, all stories are around 6,000 words in four installments of 1,500. Voila, pulp fiction. If you follow the formula, you already have the mechanics and flow. Insert your material and…
Test your audience: what if you wrote 60,000 words only to learn that your characters were universally loathed by all? That would be unpleasant. Instead, write some side adventures that expose your readers to those characters. You’ll know pretty quickly which ones work, I imagine.
Build your world: the same logic applies here. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to reveal important world building points that are deserving of a grander scale, but personally I think it would be very interesting to know what Han Solo does (did?) when he’s not fighting the Empire. Personally, that’s the sort of depth that sells me on a brand.
Stay Sane: Instead of smashing your head on the writing block, use it to cut some small slices. Have a snack. If you’re reading this, you almost certainly write and have a blog. Formulae are present in almost everything. That’s not a bad thing, though. Before we write our huge breakout novel, we could probably use some development and practice. In my opinion, this method fits perfectly.
Total world domination follows.
P.S., here’s that link again since you’re way down here.
The Code of Doc Savage
Let me strive, every moment of my life,
to make myself better and better, to the
best of my ability, that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right, and lend all my
assistance to those who need it, with no
regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile,
without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of
my fellow citizens and my associates in
everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.