Close

Tuesday’s Trail Notes

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

Read More
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

Read More
Mile 26: Facebook Friends

Maybe I’m slow, but it takes months, sometimes years, for me to make a friend. That’s one of the fascinating things about Facebook — you can make, by their definition, a new friend in a matter of seconds. Simply click a button, and if they accept, rather than delete, your request, you have a new

Read More
Mile 25: Friends

Writing a novel is almost always a solo act, though of course, many do partner up and co-author books (something I haven’t tried yet, but plan to). But for the most part, it’s you and the keyboard or, if you’re old school, you and a pad. It is sometimes easy to get caught up in

Read More
Mile 24: Delete Key

It is my experience that for many writers the “delete” key is either the most over- or under-utilized key on the keyboard. Allow me to offer these words of advice. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you overuse the delete key, thinking nothing (or very little) that you write deserves to ever be read.

Read More
Mile 23: Aspects of the Novel

Back on Mile 2, I wrote about the author’s guide; Ernest Hemingway on Writing. The book was useful on a variety level, is one I’ve already read twice and plan on reading a third time. Mile 23 is about E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel. It is considered by many critics to be a, if

Read More
Mile 22: Research

Western novels can be broken down into two categories (seems like everything in life can be broken down into two categories), those that are well-researched and those that are not. For those who love research, the following statement might be considered sacrilegious, but read on before hanging me in effigy. A great book does not

Read More
Mile 21: Used Book Stores

Let me clear this up, right up front. I bare no ill will toward Kindle, online stores or even new book stores. That being said, there is something different, something unique, something magical, about used book stores. It is the rare writer who doesn’t love reading (I have met one, however) and the rare writer

Read More
Mile 20: Visit Locations

My last entry was about locations, especially the importance of accuracy if you’re writing about a real place that is readily researched. With this entry, I’m going to suggest you visit as many of those locations as possible. Most Westerns take place in the western half of the United States, which means if you live

Read More
Mile 19: Locations

As you’re writing your novel, you’ve already come to realize something: it’s got to take place somewhere. The question is — where? There are really two options available to you as you pick the location(s) for your novel. First, and this is the most challenging, write about a real place. For those of us who

Read More