Writing Technique

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,400 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 57 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Western Comics, to the Revisionist

Posted by: Ritchie White @shotgunborivers

DC Comics

For nearly two decades Western Pulp fiction brought us some of the greatest tales of the American frontier, but by the 1960’s it was beginning to die out with the rise of trade paperback. However the Pulp fiction era brought light to new medium, the comic book. A hybrid medium that allowed illustrations and strongly blended written words to convey the story of the illustrations. Even though the comic book era began in 1933, the western comics didn’t become popular until the 1940’s and 50’s, alongside the pulp magazines.  Due to competition of comic books, and other mediums, the aforementioned Pulp Magazine era had died out.

However the western comics would come to life for more than four decades, even after its decline in the 1960’s, western comics would move into the revisionist western. Favoring realism over the famous romanticism as western always portrayed, the western comics spun quickly into a Weird West style. A literary sub-genre that combined elements of the western genre and other literary genres such as science fiction, horror, occult, and fantasy. By the 1970’s characters such as Jonah Hex and Bat Lash were born, and  lived well into the 1990’s.
Western Comics have since stayed alive within the weird western sub-genre in the new century, and have made something of a comeback. They don’t dominate the market by a long shot.  Jonah Hex comes back to life in the All-star Western in The New 52 as late as 2011, and Bat Lash appearing as late as 2006 in comics, and converted to trade paperback in 2008.

To conclude, I have brought you the rich history of the western genre, and where it was born in the past month, to not only share the romanticism of western literature, but to also announce a huge turn in my writing career. As I have been promising the Laramie’s Series, they have taken a bit of a stall. However to my readers, and fellow western genre authors, in the last few months the gears have not stopped turning, nor have any of my ideas. I am glad to finally announce that my career will be taking me on an unexpected detour. I am planning to come forth with a ePulp mini-series magazine titled “Six-Guns and Tomahawks Magazine”  starring Lash Larue once named Akecheta (Souix for “He is Fighter”) a Native American turned outlaw. Coming in March with 6 short stories, and the wonderful art from my new illustration artist Brooke Presley-Caban.

We are also creating another ePulp series as well, which will blow you all away as I bring in a weird western under a developmental name of  “The Dark Rider” an action packed short story series starring Rex Quade, a gunslinger Cowboy brought back from the dead by Native American Indians to avenge a massacre, with a price to pay.

As a reader and writer what are your thoughts on the history of our genre, and the announcement of my changing gears? Comments are welcome.

Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

POOR PEOPLE ?

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, ‘How was the trip?’

‘It was great, Dad.’

‘Did you see how poor people live?’ the father asked.

‘Oh yeah,’ said the son.

‘So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?’ asked the father.

The son answered:

‘I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.’

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, ‘Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.’

Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don’t have.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Pass this on to friends and acquaintances and help them refresh their perspective and appreciation.

‘Life is too short and friends are too few.’

Categories: Writing Technique | 1 Comment

Western ePulp’s the modern pulp magazine, What……..?

Posted by: Ritchie White @shotgunborivers

Pulp magazines were originally published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. Magazines printed on higher quality paper were called “glossies” or “slicks”. In their first decades, pulps were most often priced at ten cents per magazine, while competing slicks were 25 cents apiece. Pulps were the successor to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are best remembered for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art.

Western Story Magazine was a pulp magazine published by Street & Smith, which ran from 1919 to 1949.It was the first of numerous pulp magazines devoted to Western fiction. In its heyday Western Story Magazine was one of the most successful pulp magazines; in 1921 the magazine was selling over half a million copies each issue.

Western Story Magazine began when Street & Smith executive Henry Ralston decided to convert one of the company’s nickel weeklies, New Buffalo Bill Weekly, into a pulp.  Ralston installed Frank Blackwell as editor of the new magazine. The magazine attracted a number of famous Western authors, including Charles Alden Seltzer, H. Bedford-Jones, Stewart Edward White, W. Ryerson Johnson and William MacLeod Raine. The November 25th, 1920 issue was the first issue to carry the work of Max Brand (writing under the pseudonym George Owen Baxter). Brand’s work would dominate the magazine in the next decade; he would write dozens of stories for Western Story Magazine both under his own name and several pseudonyms. Western Story Magazine was also prominent in publishing material by women writers, including B. M. Bower and Cherry Wilson.

In the 1930s, the publication’s roster of authors expanded to include Walt Coburn, William Colt MacDonald and W. C. Tuttle, while noted pulp illustrator Walter M. Baumhofer contributed several covers.

In the late 1930s, Blackwell was succeeded as editor by John Burr, who edited the magazine until it ceased publication in 1949.  to read more about the original western pulps visit The western Story on pulpmags.org.

https://i0.wp.com/api.ning.com/files/D1*nxuy077RsofWSz5UE-rGqy6yNy--oewMzw6URuDGoHvkP8AgcCHmg0*ALTYoWzU7AnTQas4NaUV*fwYe78zkIupwyzqdh/Vol3cover.jpg

A new chapter in the western pulps has arrived in ePulps, Well what in tarnation is an ePulp?

Well,I’ll tell ya, as explained on Rope and Wire  an ePulp is a western magazine in the style of the old western pulps like, Ace-High, Cowboy Stories or Zane Grey Western Magazine, however in electronic format. Since 2011 Rope and Wire has published four wonderful ePulps. They have the same great covers as the old pulps once did, and new stories come alive once again in each one to tell the traditional style stories of the old west, the danger, suspense, intrigue and deception as they do in Christopher Scott’s Rope and Wire’s Western Short Stories

What does the future hold for ePulp’s, will they continue to make a comeback? I know I plan on reading them, and after doing some research, I may attempt to even write one.

What are thoughts and comments on the ePulp?  Will you read them?

Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Writers Block at Ten Paces

Posted by: Ritchie White @shotgunborivers

 

Frozen in time, and locked in with nothing but a blank screen. I have the words, they won’t come out. It’s painful and agonizing all at the same time. Where do I begin? confusion, crazed thoughts racing around the ideas. Pages of research sitting, waiting,  collecting remnants of dust day by day, just waiting to be woven into the story. Still wanting to piece it together. Wait. I have an idea. No, that won’t work. I can’t write it in passive voice. Delete it, start over. OK where do I begin?

I begin to see a picture. The battle begins in my mind, like pastel soldiers moving on an elaborate painting. Once I open the document, and my notebook, the dripping not yet dry paint won’t fall upon the page as words. They always had before. I don’t understand.

More distractions, other noises in the house. I need to turn them off, find to way to be tone-deaf. I need to block it out and concentrate, paint my picture again; Write  before the paint dries and I forget what I am creating.

What will be my strategy? How can I get rid of it? I need some Writol. I wonder if it will work, 1000mg every four hours or as needed. Prescribed to all authors, with writers block. If caught in time, syndrome may dissolve in 3 to 7 weeks.

Something needs to work, it has to. If the Writol doesn’t work, a square-off at high noon in the middle of a distant ghost town, with the whispers of the outlaws who were killed in past showdowns,may be the answer. What will break it? What will help break down the walls to the flowing of words, and the left hemisphere of my brain?

Will I have to take my writer’s block on with a duel to the death? Standing in the street, stepping forward  at ten paces, my spurs clinking with every step? At the tenth step, we turn, hands hovering over our holsters with twitching fingers and still cold eyes, and hand slapping leather, and the shoot-out begins, coming to an end of a saga all on its own.

Who will win? My book, or my block?

I would love to hear anyone’s ideas on this subject, what are your comments on writer’s block?  Most importantly what are your strategies, strengths and weakness’s? Please comment.

Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Build Your Author Platform (We Grow Media, With Dan Blank)

In the early Spring I was Very fortunate to attend Dan Blank’s Build Your Author Platform 6 week course, Via a scholarship program, and weather you are a writer that is just starting, in the middle, or even an established author, I highly recommend this course. If you are any of these you may want to visit Dan Blank’s We Grow Media, and take the diving plunge into building your author platform.  What did I get out of this course? I learned how to use google analytics to make my website/blog more noticeable. I learned how to approach other authors and writers in my genre in which I have made some very good friends. I learned how to target my audience, and how to engage them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. And to complete it all I have made some great friends, confidants, and contacts along the way. The list goes on and on, and the conference calls are filled with great memories, and knowledge.

Even if you are an established author, I still recommend this course, too many authors feel their publicist needs to publisize them, go beyond that, be personal and comunicate with your audience members, they will read your books faithfully, and you gain a good pal along the way.

Dan”s course has this to offer and so much more:

Dan Blank’s online course runs from from October 31 – December 18, and provides the structure and skills you need to build the foundation for your writing career. The The full course includes the following elements:

 

  • 6 career-shifting lessons that take you step by step through the process of how to develop your author platform.
  • Personalized feedback via weekly homework assignments, where I directly address your challenges and opportunities with advice to ensure you are on the right track.
  • The ability to ask questions 24/7 via our private online forum. Here, you can discuss key topics in developing your platform with myself and other students in the course.
  • 6 Exclusive Insider Calls, where I get on the phone with the entire class and you can ask anything. Here you have a chance to brainstorm ideas; dig into specific challenges you are trying to move past; and build close relationships with myself and the other writers in the course. All Exclusive Insider Calls are recorded, so if you miss a call, you always have access to the recording.
  • 6 Guest Expert Calls from leading publishing professionals, including: Jane Friedman, Richard Nash, Joanna Penn, Colleen Lindsay, Jeff Goins and Kathleen Schmidt (more info below). These experts get on the phone with the class, and allow you to ask them any question you want. They provide personalized insight that helps you build your author platform. All Guest Expert Calls are recorded, so if you miss a call, you always have access to the recording.

You are provided access to a private online classroom where you will find all course material, and engage with the other students. The only thing you need to participate in the course is a web connection and telephone.

A close friend and classmate Kathy Pooler A memoir writer, had this to say about taking Dan’s 6 week course “You will network with other writers, have fun, and learn more that you ever imagined you could about building your author platform.”

If are available I suggest you join Dan Wednesday for a  FREE!!! Webinar: Why You Need An Author Platform (Wed Oct 24, 2pm ET)

 
 

 

Categories: Current Events, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heroes and Antiheroes in Westerns (Guest Post By Mathew Pizzolato)

We all have our heroes, some mystical, others superheroes, but me it was the outlaws and lawmen of the Old West. As an adult I still have those heroes, and in having them it fuels me to write at my best. Today as Matthew Pizzolato launches his book release  for Outlaw, he stops by to tell us who his heroes are, and compares heroes to anti-heroes in westerns. Welcome Matthew, thanks for dropping by.

“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.”
Ernest Hemingway

Western Author Matthew Pizzolato

I think that every child needs to have direction in life, something to emulate and admire and to strive to be.  Quite frankly, everyone needs heroes.  As a young man, I found my heroes by reading Westerns.

Mostly, I read Louis L’Amour but I partook of many others, from Max Brand and Zane Gray to Loren Estleman and Elmore Leonard and everything in between.  If it was a Western, I read it or watched it on the screen.  My heroes were Louis L’Amour, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and the characters they portrayed.

The earlier Westerns told stories of right and wrong and the heroes of the genre lived by a black and white code of good and evil.  There was no middle ground, and there is nothing wrong with that kind of story.  In fact, I prefer them because it’s what I grew up reading.

However, beginning mostly with the films of Clint Eastwood, a new type of character was introduced into the Western, the antihero.

While there are still similarities to the Western hero of old, there are some vast differences.  Antiheroes are flawed characters.  They are not perfect and don’t pretend to be, but they still possess heroic qualities.

Like the hero, the antihero possesses honor and loyalty, but may on occasion step outside moral boundaries that a hero cannot.  Sometimes their integrity may be called into question, but there is always a line that the antihero will not cross.

It is that aspect that opens areas of new storytelling for writers because instead of the moral unequivocalness of telling stories in black and white, the gray areas of morality can be explored.  I think that if writers want to create fresh and exciting material for readers, it’s going to be in that gray area and not rehashing the same stories that have already been told.

That is what I have tried to do with Wesley Quaid, the antihero protagonist of Outlaw.  He is a bank robber who has killed plenty of men and done some things he’s not proud of, but he is still a man of honor and loyalty.

Heroes provide examples of the kind of people we should strive to be even though we might not be able to.  As humans, we are inherently flawed and so perhaps we can identify more with the antihero.

Perhaps in the future, we should mix a fair amount of antiheroes into our Westerns.  We still need heroes to emulate because as humans we have to be able to strive toward something, but part of the joy of reading is the escapism it provides, so we need characters that we can identify with also.

Outlaw Book Link on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GDDGU8

BIO:

Matthew Pizzolato is a member of Western Fictioneers. His fiction has been published in various online and print magazines. He writes a weekly NASCAR column for Insider Racing News and can be contacted via his personal website:

http://www.matthew-pizzolato.com.

Contact Links:

http://www.facebook.com/authormatthewpizzolato

https://twitter.com/mattpizzolato

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5837035.Matthew_Pizzolato

OUTLAW Book Description:

The outlaw Wesley Quaid wants to put the past behind him and start his life anew in another place where no one has ever heard of him.  When a mysterious woman he once knew resurfaces, Wesley discovers that a man can’t run from his past anymore than he can run from the kind of man he has become.

To view or purchase Outlaw today visit Amazon.com.

Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing the Code of the West

I am sharing the Code of the west that I live by o Matt Pizzolato’s Blog today. Stop by and see why I live by the Code of the West.

Although no written rules ever existed, the pioneers and settlers who went west found one common ground, how they lived their lives from day to day. With little or no laws in the west for a man to follow, they were forced to make their own set of guidelines, a code of the west, as it was first called in Zane Grey’s 1934 novel The Code of the West……..Read More at The Western Wordslinger.

 

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, Rodeo, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Join me as I Romance the west with J.J. Devine

Today on J.J. Devine’s Blog, I show the romantic side of my western writing, and the romanticism that I have for the west.

The sun rises over the Rockies, and touches your face. You long for it, closing your eyes, you suck a deep breath of dusty, sandy air deep into your lungs, and for a moment it feels like heaven. You sit waiting patiently over crackling fire for the taste of hot and steaming coffee. When the fire extinguishes, you roll up your bedroll, and tuck it neatly into the rear of your saddle. You climb up and give your only friend a soft jab to his sides, forcing him to trot off over the rolling hills looking for a freedom not yet found………Read more at Defining J.J. Devine.weebly

Categories: Cowboy Code, Romance, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing the Heart of a Cowboy

Today begins my blog book tour, visit krpooler.com as I share the heart of a Cowboy.

My Last Bronc Ride at Double M Rodeo in 2007

I was recently asked what makes me who I am, what is instilled inside my heart? And why did I choose the life I have, and I must tell you from the beginning that it isn’t what I chose to do, or what led me to it at all. It simply chose me; I was born with it inside of me, a fire of burning ember that continues to burn, more and more every day.

As a teenager, I discovered rodeo and found that if I took just one chance, just one ride, I would know for sure, but at the time I had no idea what was in store for me. To look back, I would have not changed a thing;……………..Read More  at krpooler.com

For more information on my book blog tour please visit https://shotgunborivers.com/book-tour/

Categories: Cowboy Code, Rodeo, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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