Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
It's shaping up to be a great yarn!
Check out the whole story here.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I was in the local Oxfam shop in Lanark, browsing the shelves looking for Western related material, of which there is always invariably none!
Anyway, as I was standing there, a couple came in with bags obviously for donations. I didn't pay them much attention until I saw one of the store assistants starting to sort through the contents.
In one of the bags was a pile of Western Time Life books! I went straight across and sure enough, thirteen books of the series in pristine condition. The assistant was pricing them at £2 each. I said I would take the lot if she did me a deal, which she did. We shook hands on £20!
I was going through them at the weekend and there is enough material for a dozen BHW's
And of course, now I'm hooked. I've got to get the whole 27!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
To join or not to join? That is the question!
Recently there was a passionate debate on the Black Horse Western writer’s forum concerning ‘How To Write’ books. Both sides of the fiery debate, for and against, were well represented.
I think that Writers Groups (or Circles as they are sometimes known) have a similar polarising effect.
Personnally, I knew that there was a local group called The Lanark Writers but I resisted joining for many years. I really didn’t understand what they did and therefore couldn’t consider what they had to offer – or indeed, what I had to offer them!
I’ve been a member now for over three years and for me, it’s been a great experience and one that I would heartily recommend – but I realise it’s not for everyone.
Of course, I have only ever been involved in one writing group and I would suspect that we are one of the more proactive and innovative but I don’t know. It would be good to hear about other peoples experiences.
I think if you were considering joining a writers group, you might wish to weigh up the following:
You’ve got to write something every week! No sitting around waiting for the muse to visit. I’ve been amazed how many times I’ve been asked to write about a subject that I have absolutely no knowledge or interest in and would never have written about it under my own steam and yet something half decent comes out of it.
It exposes you to other styles of writing, ideas, genres etc that you just would not discover on your own. I would never have written my first Black Horse Western if I had not been listening to a guest speaker relating his experiences with Robert Hale and I thought, “I’ll have a go at that!”
It helps you network. Authors, competitions, Arts Council, publishers, guest speakers and loads of other invaluable contacts.
As long as the criticism is constructive, it can really boost your confidence. Good ideas are reinforced and bad ideas are nipped in the bud before you go and churn out 50,000 words.
It’s a pleasant (and cheap) evening out sharing your enthusiasm with other equally enthusiastic writers.
You may end up writing to please the group. One of the great challenges of writing is to find your unique ‘voice’ which may not go down well with members of your particular group.
Harsh criticism can destroy the confidence of a budding writer. The key word is ‘constructive’ criticism.
You can find yourself distracted from your own writing goal. For example, if you are working on a novel and most of the group are into poetry you may feel frustrated.
Although I have never had this experience, a more experienced writer may dominate the group.
I wonder how many other Black Horse Writers are or were members of writing groups and what their experience was in terms of a help or a hindrance to their writing careers? Would be good to know!
Monday, October 5, 2009
I know that for Western fans he is a giant but I focused all my reading on Black Horse Western authors so only now have I got around to catching up on other writers.
I found Tucker in a second hand bookshop and immediately snapped it up. The blurb reads:
"Saddlebags filled with gold! They were the prize in a desperate manhunt that led across Comanche-infested prairies into rough frontier towns. When he began to pursue the three gunslingers who had stolen the gold and left his father to die, Shell Tucker was a boy. At the end of the bloody trail Shell Tucker was a legend-and a man."
It was great and I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to 'discover' him. Very quickly, within a chapter or two you get to realise why he is held in such great esteem. For me, it ticked all the boxes both as a reader and as a student of the Western genre. Believable characters, a plot that at times leaves you breathless, accurate dialogue, well-researched and in short, a riveting read.
I'll be looking out for more of Louis L'Amour. Highly recommended.
"Not Tex," the second cowboy replied. "He'll always be just a good ol' boy. When he walks in, I'm sure all he'll say is hello."
"I know Tex better than either of you," said the third. "He's so smart, he'll figure out a way to do both. Here he comes now."
- What Makes A BHW So Good?
- Help Is Out There...
- Part 11 of 'The Story With No Name' (Short Story C...
- Write or Die!
- The Story So Far!
- New BHW from Jack Martin
- I Hit Pay Dirt!
- National Novel Writing Month
- Time Life Westerns
- The Louis L'Amour Official Website
- Part Ten of the Short Story Challenge
- Writers Groups
- 'Tucker' by Louis L'Amour
- Part Eight of the Short Story Challenge
- Cowboy Joke
- Part Seven of the Short Story Challenge
- Thinking of Writing a BHW Western?
- ▼ October (17)