How to Write Pulp Fiction

Pulp style of writing fiction is the crazy, quirky and most bizarre style of writing a story. It can start from anywhere and the plot can go anywhere. Most character names and demeanour is a bit twisted. It is a way of making fun of the traditionalist and more puritanical way of writing. The words used are loaded, descriptive, there is use of slang and street dialects with room for a lot of abusive and politically incorrect language but it is not hate speech. It has its own sense of poetry, timing and pace. It is fast in pace as we see plots within plots. There is dark and divert humour in most pulp stories and characters are strongly etched with a lot of colour and back stories added to each one. Guys like Quentin Tarantino, Anurag Kashyap, Oliver Stone and Takashi Miike write and direct pulp films and they are hugely successful. They cross over the edge. Some will say they are unnecessarily violent and a lot of graphic content which not everyone can digest.

Movies like the SAW series fall into this category. The kind of insane and deep sense of twisted horror is seen in the film which is mostly shot in one room with people getting hacked and sawed into half. Pulp is a descriptive form of fast-paced writing. It’s like the Indra Jal or Mandrakes comics of yesteryears. Everything is warped including the sexuality and background of the character and all characters behave exactly opposite of what the social norms of the day are. The stories are woven with a great sense of zany humour laced with a narrative that keeps you glued. Assumptions and far-off comparisons are made that sound crazy but at times also make a lot of sense. Pulp fiction is that sort of writing style. A lot of indie writers love to write pulp and are very good at it. Pulp is cult because it stands apart and is distinctive in its tone, flow and visual perception. Matrix is pulp and an exceedingly engrossing film. That is the power of pulp writing – it stands out.

You need to think completely laterally, upside down, turn every concept and routine on its head. That is pulp writing for me. It is darker in tone and can scare the modest mom and pop but the younger lot would love pulp for its distinctive and weird humour.

Think and write in pictures and symbol oils that is paramount for pulp writing. You must visualise everything as a scene. Having seen its depth, you must write it. Don’t hold back while writing fiction. The more far out you are, the better. Just go with the mood and the rhythm of your mind. Make obtuse connections between characters and the back story.

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