A Neo-Pulp Writer’s Manifesto

Too often I find myself chasing a trend or a style or another writer and lose track of who I am and what I want to be. So to keep myself and my writing honest, here is what I want in my own writing:

I want writers as characters.

I want characters who swear, not because it’s realistic, but because I like how it sounds.

I want to write scenes that have no bearing on the plot but are interesting in their own right.

I want to comment on the narrative. I know it’s a novel, you know it’s a novel, why shouldn’t the characters?

I want to fiddle with style and structure. I bore easily and like to amuse myself.

I want to write violence but not action scenes.

I don’t care about proper grammar. Especially commas. I hate commas.

I want to write about Detroit. It’s a seedy, depressed, post-apocalyptic city full of corruption at every level and people with little opportunity and a lot of consequences.

I also want to write characters who are strippers, and preachers, and mechanics, and shop rats, and bounty hunters, and students, and drug dealers, and bar tenders, and crooked cops, and honest cops, and retail clerks, and motel clerks, and food service workers, and janitors.

I want to write about baseball. I like football more, but baseball seems more literary.

I want to write short. Under 75,000 words.

I want to write dialogue that always gets cut off.

I want to write 1000 words every day because I write awful early drafts and the quicker I get them out of the way the better.

It’s all going to be drawn from my real life. A hyper-stylized, greatly exaggerated version of my real life. But yeah, we’re talking full-on autobiographical. Don’t take it personally.

I want a lot of readers and critical respect. I can’t have it all but I want it anyway.

I want to be read by old ladies, and old men, people my age and people your parents’ age. I want to be read by people wearing wire framed glasses, black plastic framed glasses, out of date glasses, and sunglasses. Indoors.

I want some people to really hate what I write. For really stupid reasons.

I think that’s it. For now. Until the next meltdown.