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Rafael De Soto, "The Spider", June 1942

Here is an excellent example of the pulp writing style from The Black Mask at a climactic scene


"I closed my finger on the trigger and shot the gunman smack through the side of the head. Hard? Cold-blooded? Little respect for life? Maybe. But after all, it didn't seem to me to be the time to argue the point with the would-be killer"

  • Short?
    • Check. There are two full sentences in that excerpt that cover the climax and falling action of the story.
  • Violent?
    • Check. A man was shot through the side of the head!
  • Manly?
    • Double check! The hero shots a man in the head and casually justifies it saying "it didn't seem to me to be the time to argue the point with the would-be killer"

This is what reader's wanted and what writer's delivered.