Run, Man, Run; or, High Plains Adventures in Novel Writing

Let’s see…where was I before I dropped off the face of the earth a few weeks ago? Funny how novel writing brings out the best and worst of one’s inner self. (Cue any spaghetti western theme here, as its wailing singers and off-kilter drumming is the only kind of soundtrack appropriate for the angst-ridden wackness of writing.)

If you’ve taken my Which Silver-Screen Western  Hero Are You? quiz, you would know if you are mainly a Singing Cowboy, the Lawman, or the Gunslinger. But other facets might come out under duress. It appears I have a touch of the “go away and leave me alone” Gunslinger, no matter how much the dutiful Lawman wants to pay the bills and follow through on commitments. This time spent far from the reach of many has given me time to wax philospophical upon novel writing as an artform for fools and dunderheads and tragic heroes.

1. Writing a novel is like being Tonto. Like the sidekick, you’re asked to put your life on the line to save the novel, which gets all the glory.

2. As a novelist, you hope you can shoot straight without  mixing metaphors. And look cool doing it.

But know that sometimes you just look like an ass. Deal with it.

3. You have to concentrate on creating well-rounded characters that have more of a life than you do.

4. And you might get lost in a plot that goes nowhere.

Just hope there is light in whatever hole you’ve dug yourself into.

5. And do some fervent praying for a happy ending. The six-figure kind.

 

Somewhere there is a land where men do not kill each other.
Somewhere there is a land where men call a man a brother.
Somewhere you will find a place where men live without fear.
Somewhere, if you keep on running, someday you’ll be free.
Never, no never no they’ll never lock you in.
No never, no never, no never let them win.
Go ahead young man, face towards the sun,
Run man, run while you can,
Run man, run man, run.

Ennio Morricone, “Run, Man, Run”

 

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