Writing

The Fight Scene is the Last Scene

Action scenes are the most memorable aspects of any fiction. Fast-paced and intense, they sear themselves into the audience’s memories. Battles between the hero and the lesser mooks punctuate the plot, while the final showdown between the hero and the villain serves as the climax of the story. And that is what action in storytelling […]

Chasing Tropes

People enjoy the exotic, but not too exotic. People enjoy the familiar, but not too familiar. Reconciling these twin desires is the overriding concern of the modern-day fiction writer. A story where everything is formulaic, from characters to plots to setting, is predictable and boring. A story where everything is exotic and unfamiliar is disorienting, […]

A Pulp Perspective on Urban Fantasy

What is urban fantasy? A fantasy story set in a city. A simple definition. With that, you could have a story of jinni and magi in late 19th century Istanbul, an occult detective solving supernatural crimes in 1920s New York, a half-elf mercenary working a corporate contract against a clan of dragons in the Hong […]

Pulp on Pulp is Available for Preorder!

Last year, Misha Burnett and I put together a call for submissions for an anthology of essays on pulp fiction. Titled Pulp on Pulp, it collects tips, tricks and advice on the art of writing pulp fiction from some of the up and coming names in the growing PulpRev movement. Pulp on Pulp was meant […]

Speak with the Weight of Three Thousand Years

While watching the Chinese animated film Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification, a thought struck me: The Chinese language is uniquely suited for epic fantasy. An epic is set in a time before living memory, celebrating the accomplishments of heroes, whose dealings with gods and demons and spirits profoundly shape the mortal world for succeeding generations. […]

Sheriff of the Swamps Chapter 1

James Wood heard the car long before he saw it. In the quiet of the woods, sound carried a long way. Loose gravel crackled under heavy tires. The engine purred, low and smooth and steady. A twig snapped. One vehicle, moving slowly, navigating the final turn into the farmhouse. Not an assault. Or so the […]

The Secret to Writing Powerful Action Scenes

Action scenes are the bread and butter of pulp stories. When the story threatens to get too boring, throw in a fight scene and you revitalize it with fresh energy, stakes and momentum. When the hero finally confronts the main villain, readers expect a climactic battle to wrap up the book. The art of the […]

Updated Call for Submissions: Pulp on Pulp

Misha Burnett and I are working on a free collection of essays for writers. Titled Pulp on Pulp, this collection offers practical advice on creating fun, fast-paced fiction. This collection is aimed specifically at writers who want to create pulp-style fiction, though writers from other genres may learn something new from this collection. This project […]

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