In the afterword to this short pamphlet on writing, John Grow talks about how he found it. In a dusty used bookstore on a back shelf, it was a 48 page book by the pulp author. That was in the late nineties. No information about the original publication date, but from stuff in the work, one would guess the late forties. He scanned it into digital format because the booklet was fragile and sat on it, unsure what to do. With the burgeoning ebook markets these days, he decided to offer it up for sale at the modest price of $.99. I usually put a link to Amazon, but suddenly it kicks out of the post when I try. Not sure whether that’s my problem or WordPress’s. It’s easily found as an ebook and copies of the pamphlet are for sale as well.
What it is is a short primer on writing for the pulps. Not so much a how-to, but a what-not-do for the novice writer looking to break into the pulp field, or do better, at the time of original publication. He cites , not by title, numbers of how-to books he read that were useless. For him at any rate.
Author Turner sprinkles it with examples from some of his own writings and stuff made up on the spot. One quote I liked was “Too much importance has been attached to the bare mechanics of story structure and not enough to injecting LIFE AND BLOOD into a yarn and making it pure and simple ENTERTAINMENT.”
An interesting essay.
It appears I can’t put any sort of link to another blog either all of a sudden. B V Lawson over at In Reference To Murder is doing the collecting this week. Please go look her up.