The wilderness of writer’s block is vast, dangerous, and difficult–if not impossible–to cross.
Or is it just the packaging that makes everything look so vast?*
(*Image used with permission from the delightful Toy Soldiers Collecting blog, where adventure awaits after a click on the link…)
A writer never expects to get seriously lost in this wilderness; like . . . → Read More: Rescue Me, Flint!; or, Of Wagon Train and Writer’s Block
Writing a novel is hard work. Writing a good western can be even more daunting: westerns, which tend to have plotlines so well traveled you can drive a wagon train through them, nonetheless require historical specificity and a protagonist who typifies rugged individuality—laconic and gimlet-eyed from the start or in a dude-to-hero arc.
So whenever I read . . . → Read More: Writing the High Country; or, Author Larry Bjornson on His Western, Wide Open
They’re the snarling thugs behind the mustache-twirling villain. The what’s-his-name-again guys holding prisoner the beautiful cowgirl in distress. The cannon fodder who aim their guns at the well-armed Silver Screen Western Hero. On cue they say “Okay boss,” “Let’s get him!” or just grunt.
Let's get 'em, boys!
Henchmen come in all sizes, most ethnicities, one gender, and . . . → Read More: Zombie Cowboys; or, Why Western Henchmen Never Die
Steer the rattling wagons into a tight circle! Protect the women and children! Draw your six-shooters as whooping Indians on painted war ponies streak over the rise of a hill!
Look sharp, Tonto! This isn’t just a tired western stereotype, it’s a Silver-Screen Western Hero Equation!
c. 2011 es cowboylands
In reel life: Earnest pioneers moving to promised . . . → Read More: Circle the Wagons!; or, More Advice from a Besieged Writer
Some Silver-Screen Western Heroes have big pecs and holsters hanging alongside their brass balls.
The Silver-Screen Western Antihero
Some have breasts that don’t sag and thighs without cellulite, even if they try to wreak vengeance in a poncho.
Gratiuitous Raquel Welch photo
All ride into town and act all aloof and lo! They get the girl and kick the . . . → Read More: A Silver-Screen Western Hero’s Journey; or, The Rough and Ready Life of an Unpublished Author
The Dude totally got them. Roy Rogers harmonized for them in their self-titled theme song by Bob Nolan. The glamorous Supremes sang about them. Jack Palance recited their theme song. The Library of Congress, in 2010, honored them with their song’s inclusion into the National Registry.
Seeeeeeeeeeeee them tumbling down
Pledging their love to . . . → Read More: Drifting Along; or, Tumbling Tumbleweeds ‘R’ Me
In a reckless land…In a lawless place…Sometimes one man can make all the difference. –voice-over of trailer, The Miracle Rider
The story is an old one. Clichéd even. But satisfying.
Writer’s hopes for perfect manuscript leading to speedy publication, six-figure salary, film, and several homes around the world are killed in some suitably dramatic, bloody way. The writer, . . . → Read More: The Miracle Rider; or, How Tom Mix Saved My Novel
When things get gritty–gnarly deadlines, eye-batting heroines to save, elderly cats to inject with life-saving H2O, classic whiskeys to be drunk, blog posts to write after, like, weeks–it’s time for a gritty soundtrack. I hereby invoke you…
Sometimes Roy Rogers’s warbling will not do. Sometimes Morricone’s coyote-ish howls are too . . . → Read More: Mojo Rising; or, The Red Dead Redemption Songs
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 . . . → Read More: Run, Man, Run; or, High Plains Adventures in Novel Writing
Writing a novel is not for the common mortal. And I have been all too mortal these days. Too whiney. Too morose. Too passive. Just like the hero of my novel (or so I’ve heard from my ever-patient agent). The End. Ho hum.
Or have I been pressed to set the novel-in-progress . . . → Read More: The Way of the Novel; or, Cowboy Up and Write Already