This week’s ROCKETEER is a special one. I’ve been studying the language and structure of pulp stories for quite some time. Although I am a professional writer, I am also a professional artist and I think like an artist, in the main. I construct stories as if they were paintings. When I construct a painting I design it, figure out a palette, get the relationships right in terms of overall balance and value. Then work it through, constantly seeking balance between the parts until the work is completed. Generally, I’m a seat-of-the-pants fiction writer but not always. I can outline with the best of them. When I’m trying to re-create the mood of a vintage piece of writing, such as I’m doing now with my new Moon Man story, I’m extremely exacting. It has to “look” right to my artist’s eye. And sound right, of course.
I have learned a lot from Robert Leslie Bellem’s stories. His works are masterful in their use of sound. They’re colorful, punchy and smart. There’s no cheap humor in the characters’ wise cracks. They’re well written and interesting.
In this week’s ROCKETEER I take a look at Bellem’s use of language. You also get to see some of my writing process and a rare vignette, a writing sample which helped me better understand Bellem’s writing rhythms.
Join me over on Substack for “Pulp Palaver: Co-Starring Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective.”