Born in 1904, few people know
the name Lester Dent unless they're collectors and connoisseurs of pulp magazines or working writers. He was the man behind the legendary Doc Savage, Man of Bronze, using the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson. Even though he died in 1959 his works live on in reprints.
To say Lester was prolific is to say that the ocean has some water in it. He was a writing
machine, at times cranking out a complete novel in a week. According to some
folks, he kept six typewriters on a long table. When he got to a point where he
had to think about what would come next, he rolled his ancient wooden office
chair over to the next one, read the last paragraph, and started writing the
next section of that short story or novel. Overall, 181 Man of Bronze novels were published of which Lester Dent personally wrote 159 over 16 years.
Mr. Dent also came
up with the Lester Dent Formula, where he had a method for writing 6,000-word
short stories. According to him, he never had an issue selling anything he
wrote using this method. His short story bibliography is too long to post here. Michael Moorcock was a big proponent of the Method, recommending it to new short fiction authors.
While some folks
may look down on formulaic action/adventure stories, Lester kept them
entertaining and built a large following. Doc Savage was so popular that they produced a
dedicated pulp magazine for years. He also wrote mysteries and westerns over his lifetime, many of them using his namesake method.