Random Documents

Whilst packing “stuff” for my move, I took time to go through everything in my desk. Purge, purge, purge. I eliminated over half the paperwork in folders. Some things I left behind because there’s more storage there than here.

I found some miscellaneous documents I printed from websites. They pertain to writing, so I thought I would share them with you.

The first is How to Write a Pulp Western. Yep. At one time that was an interest of mine. I love pulp fiction, and a good western can make my day. I wonder if my love of westerns is from my teenage years while watching them on television on Sunday mornings/afternoons with my dad. Do you remember Sundays as being the day for westerns?

This document, How to Write a Pulp Western was written by Ben Haas (aka John Benteen). Ben typed this document for his son. I found the information interesting and informative. The article starts off telling you what you need for a successful western: the hero, the villain, and the weenie. The villain is the most important of the three, and the weenie is whatever is the conflict. The typed pages are here:

Rough Edges: How to Write a Pulp Western – Ben Haas

The comments on the blog post are worth reading as well.

Continuing with the theme of pulp fiction, I’m also a fan of noir fiction – especially detective fiction.

A character in my Murder books is a long-time private investigator who is definitely not PC by today’s standards. Some of his language is right out of the 30s. I had a ball trying to find things for him to say that weren’t too over the top. This list of words of Gumshoe Slang is a hoot!

Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang

There are more words on this list of slang from Dirty 30s.

Dirty 30s! – Slang of the 30s

One more for the detective theme. S.S. Van Dine’s 20 Rules for Writing Detective Fiction:

Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Fiction – S.S. Van Dine

I like #7 – There simply must be a corpse in a detective novel, and the deader the corpse the better.

Next up: Fearmongering Words

I read an article about how danger words and words that evoke fear are effective in keeping a reader hooked in your story. Using the word murdered is better than using the word killed. It evokes a stronger emotion. Supposedly, fear isn’t just an emotion, it’s an effective tool that can send your writing to the next level.

I think this was one of the reasons I decided to use the word Murder in the titles of all my Two Sisters and a Journalist books.

Fearmongering Words Cheat Sheet

And finally, a list of words that denote Flabby Writing.

The funny thing is that because I write “simple,” meaning I use simple words, I kind of like some flabby writing. Most of my characters have humorous elements about them, and they talk flabby. I do like eliminating unnecessary prepositions and prepositional phrases. Adverbs many times get the chop, too. When I had Murder Under Construction edited, the editor nixed the word nefarious. She thought it was too old-fashioned for today’s reader. Hmph. I finally use an interesting word, and she wants to chop it. Stubborn me. Nefarious is still in the book today. 😊


Do you have printouts or links to articles you refer to now and then to give you inspiration or help with your writing? Share!