Saturday, December 01, 2012

Doing Your Homework

   I mentioned a few posts back that I was working on a Weird Western story. A couple of folks have emailed, asking how that's going. Well truthfully it stalled out at about 10,000 words because I read back through it and said to myself, "This reads like it was written by someone who read about half a dozen Westerns and decided he could write one." Well, duh.
   So I set about gathering reference books and more Westerns and I've been reading my way through those. The photo doesn't even begin to show a quarter of the stuff. There's a ton of newer Westerns on my Kindle by folks like Wayne Dundee, James Reasoner, and of course, Peter Brandvold/Frank Leslie. In fact I picked up all of the Yakima Henry books yesterday at a used bookstore.
   Also, I learned a ton of stuff while I was in Santa Fe in October which showed me how much I'd gotten wrong in terms of the landscape in that area. I asked a lot of questions, made a lot of notes, and bought a lot of books while I was there and I visited all the historical places I wanted to use in my story.
   So I'll be back to the West but right now I'm doing my homework.

2 comments:

James Reasoner said...

Pretty good collection of books. I think Livia and I have stories in THE FATAL FRONTIER. "Richard Meade", who wrote BIG BEND, was really Ben Haas. Great writer.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Yep, you're in there, James, with Hacendado, and Livia with Hollywood Guns, oddly enough, the only two stories in the collection that I had already read.

Haas is great. I had to slow down of his Fargo books before I ran out.