Friday, August 10, 2012

Going West

A while back I started a novel called BOOMTOWN. I got a good ways into it and was moving along at a solid pace. Okay, I wrote 74,000 words worth of novel. I was cooking hard and fast on this bad boy. And then I stopped.

The biggest problem I had with the process was me. The publisher was happy with the progress and the story and the work you see above is the cover for the novel. Seriously, the book was almost done when I stopped. I didn't lose interest exactly, but I lost faith in the work. The problem came down to this: I simply was not happy with the way the story was going: Lots of action, some nice character development, subplots, etc. But the damned story wasn't working for me.  And when I don't have faith in the work, I can't continue. To do so would make me a liar. I can't abide liars. It's one thing to tell a tale and another to lie in the process. If that doesn't make sense to you, I'll simply have to ask you to trust me on that one.

And now it's time to get back to it. I have people who have been waiting for the final book for a while now and the biggest challenge for me is whether or not I'll be starting from scratch or working through what I'd already written and deciding whether or not I should try to salvage any of it.
I'm not sure yet. I have to actually read the entire bloody thing first and decide.

This much I know: it's a western and there are cowboys, indians, gunslingers, undertakers, miners, dynamite, horses, monsters, skinwalkers...Yeah, I know. But it's still mostly a western.
Either way, it's going to be the same basic story. I know what I want to say. I just am not sure exactly how I want to say it.

As an added bonus, I'm having fun watching a lot of westerns to get me in the proper mood. Tonight's fare was True Grit by the Coen Brothers. As directors and writers they have never done me wrong. I'm also reading a lot of westerns right now. Why? Inspiration and to avoid duplication. Same as I read almost anything. I want to write a western, but I want to write MY western. And I want to make sure that what I'm writing isn't a bad pastiche. So to that end, I'm doing a lot of reading. And I'm loving every bloody second of it.

Back in the saddle again, indeed.

I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, if you suddenly find you want to read a few westerns of your own, there are places where you can look. Here are a couple of links to add to the numerous ones you'll find to the right of this blog entry: and are good starting points with a few more links to help you along the way.

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