Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rules for Pulp Fiction

I love writing all sort of things but the stories I love the most are Pulp Action Stories like those from the 30s, 40s and 50s. They're easy to write, you can generally throw the conventional wisdom of story mechanics out the window and they're a lot of fun.

Anyone can write a pulp action story as long as you follow a few simple rules.

  1. The hero never dies. Oh, he may look dead. You may even see his ship fly into the Sun or his stage coach drop off a cliff but he's alive and will return with perfect hair.
  2. Ditto for the villain (except for the hair part).
  3. The main characters are happy at the end of the story no matter how many horrid things occurred during the story.
  4. Each story must contain a 'rescuee' who is either kidnapped, death trapped, knocked unconscious and in the way of something horrible or (most likely) all of the above.
  5. Heaving breasts or an allusion to heaving breasts must occur once during the story
  6. Dr. Know-it-all must be present to describe the pseudo science, history of the universe or dispense frontier wisdom in some semi-plausible way
  7. If a side kick or love interest runs out of ammo they must throw their gun at the nearest opponent
  8. Evil people always look evil. Oh they may put on a good act for Aunt Marabel or Princess Adultra but quickly there after you'll see the evil.
  9. Good guys always look and act good. Their hair seldom stays mussed for long
  10. Comic relief comes from short people
And there you have the top 10 rules of pulp fiction. Please note any additions or corrections in the comments below.