There are all sorts of writing courses, seminars, presentations and lessons out there. Most appear to be offered by those who haven’t sold many (if any) books, and don’t rank among popular authors, yet present themselves as authorities in the field. Others are post-graduate university programs that speak in grandiloquent terms about the art of writing, but seldom appear to lead to career success. I’ve never understood why some of them appear to have so much credibility among students, but there it is.
However, I was recently reminded of one of the modern giants of pulp fiction, the late Warren Murphy, co-author of the “Destroyer” series of books and others. They were ubiquitous on military bases when I wore uniform, along with others of their kind, as I noted recently on my own blog. The “Destroyer” series gave rise to a pulp movie, if I could call it that, in the 1980’s. It was a hoot.
On Mr. Murphy’s Web site, which is fortunately maintained to this day, he offered a writing class consisting of a dozen online lessons. Considering that more than 50 million of his books have been sold, I’d say he has very solid credentials indeed for the pulp fiction market! He wasn’t a literary giant, by any stretch of the imagination, but he never claimed to be. He just sold a metric anatomically-incorrect-load of books. Since I daresay most of us aspire to do likewise, I suggest we could do worse than try his lessons for ourselves. I’m working my way through them, and learning a lot, even though I’ve never aspired to write pulp fiction. Recommended as a new perspective on our craft.