Men's Fiction

I couldn't find a Phoenix Force novel in my library but these three are examples of Men's Adventure Fiction.

Also called Men's Adventure Fiction or Action-Adventure Fiction. It's not as dirty as it sounds as "Men's Fiction." It's a sub-genre of action novels that includes military fiction and other high action stories. I ate it up when I was a kid, my favorite being Phoenix Force, part of the Mack Bolan universe (not to be confused with the Marvel Comics character of the same name). It was pulp designed to appeal to an almost entirely male segment of readers who craved stories of war and violence. Although in point of fact my sister read many of the same books that I did, apparently due to my dad being into the genre. We both read whatever was available in the era before the internet.

The problem is that it has an influence on my own writing. It's difficult to write a story without the use of force at least every other chapter. On the one hand I think conflict is inherently interesting and conflict leads to the the use of force, so it isn't necessarily bad. On the other hand I would like to achieve something that also has literary value. There is room for overlap but I'm struggling to not just write a novel that is only a series of ambushes and gun battles.

I would like to think the models for my work are authors like Ernest Hemingway, Jim Harrison, and Cormac McCarthy. But in reality my current novel is more in the direction of pulp. I'm particularly disappointed with my "protagonist," who has little personality other than being a thief and a skilled killer. He is not exactly what I had in mind.

People make money selling pulp though.


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