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Tuesday’s Trail Notes

Mile 36: Reviews

“You can make some of the people happy some of the time, but there ain’t no way you can make all of the people happy all of the time.” – Arlo Flynn, Western Author Recently, the January 2019 issue of True West magazine showed up in my mailbox. I was thrilled, surprised and honored to

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Mile 35: Consistency

In a previous blog post, I discussed the value and importance of accuracy, making sure the facts you use in your novel are accurate, because if they are not, your readers will know — and they’ll let you know. In the same vein, you need to make sure that you are consistent throughout your book

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Mile 34: Read Great Writers

This is one the easiest, and hopefully the most obvious, ideas I’ve shared on this blog. If you want to be a great writer, heck, if you want to be any kind of writer — READ. Read Westerns for sure. Read some of the great Western authors, new authors, old pulp magazines — just read.

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Mile 33: Perfection

Perfect is the enemy of good. Many attribute this to Voltaire from the year 1770, and I’m going to go along with them, because it’s the message that matters, not so much the messenger. During WWII, in reaction to the devastating Luftwaffe attacks, a British man named Robert Watson-Watt developed an early warning system that

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Mile 32: Accuracy

I have mentioned the importance of factual accuracy in previous essays, but I believe it’s worth devoting an entire essay to. If you are going to use specifics in your writing, you need to ensure that they are accurate, right down to the caliber and word. Many Western readers are well versed in the history

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Mile 31: Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island is located off of the coast of Southern California and is the largest of the eight islands that make up the Channel Islands. It is 22 miles long, and at its widest point, it is 6 miles wide. It is one of the five islands that make up Channel Islands National Park.

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Mile 30: MasterClass

MasterClass is on online education platform, fairly new, but extremely well done, both in concept and execution. Last year my son generously bought me a full subscription to all of their tutorials and lectures. It has proven to be a joy and very beneficial. In the simplest of terms, the good people at MasterClass have

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Mile 29: Quit?

My last entry was about how many words you could/should you be writing — and I mentioned that there will be tough days, maybe many in a row, where you simply feel you’ve got nothing left to put down on paper, at least nothing that someone would want to read. You wouldn’t be human if,

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Mile 28: Pace

By now, you should have a few words down, maybe even a few thousand, and be well on your way toward finishing the first draft of your first novel. At some point, you may have asked yourself, how many words should I be writing a day, a week, a month? It’s a fair question and

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Mile 27: Writers’ Groups

My last entry covered Facebook friends, and I mentioned two specific organizations: Western Fictioneers and Western Writers of America. In the simplest of terms, as soon as you are eligible, I strongly suggest joining both groups. They have each been tremendously helpful to me, and I look forward to becoming more and more involved as

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