Posts Tagged With: genre

Dime Novels-The history of the Western

As a western writer, I have been looking back at our history, even before Zane Grey, and Louis L’Amour. What was the first western? and where did we begin?

Personally I would have to say we got our start as many genres did from the Dime Novel era, from 1860 to 1895 the dime novel served as Americas first paperback, and From gun-slinging heroes to mysteries, the dime novel is notably the beginning of genre fiction. This ideology of the dime novel was particularly apparent in Westerns, in which the heroes always won and the villains were always brutally punished.

Some scholars a that dime novel westerns appealed most to young, and working-class men – The mythic West of the cowboy as a place where class boundaries were marked in the industrializing East and the Midwest did not prevail.

Dime novelists helped to popularize the cowboy myth, but as Richard Slotkin notes, he had earlier precedents in American literature – tales about Davy Crockett and Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales.

The cowboy figure arose out of long literary tradition of frontiersmen that informed his character. Richard Slotkin, in Regeneration through Violence, demonstrates the beginnings of the American myth by carefully tracing the early figure, focusing on the influences of John Filson’s creation of Daniel Boone in 1784 and, building on Filson, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Leatherstocking Tales (1823) (importance also noted in Milton 7-9, 84-87).

Interpretation of the dime novel western actually embodies a world in which the values and practices of the pre-industrial order are given renewed life: a place in which machines still stand in gardens and where everyone is a worker.

As Americans began to mourn the “closing of the frontier,” they simultaneously began to celebrate the cowboy, who quickly became the hero of the mythic West.

It may have been the emergence of modern America, with its urbanization and industrialization, that sparked an additional interest among its people for a past that was more direct, more simple, more easily understood


The nation had, some held, grown too fast, had lost something in that process; and now there was a yearning to return to that fast-disappearing life, as we know the Cowboy was not always regarded as an American hero. In fact, as late as the 1880s, the were regarded as violent and uncontrollable.

However the Dime Novel was a way to revisit the frontier, and by reading you could simply slip yourself bac

k into a simpler way of life. Today as western authors we spend our time praising the outlaws, and making them hero’s, as well as creating new one’s. We write what the west was about, and bring forth the tales of Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Jesse James, and others, but without the Dime Novel, I think we wouldn’t have the western’s we write today, without the creation of the Dime Novel.


Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thank you for helping me write.

I have not blogged in a while, heck I haven’t even been writing, and it has driven me crazy. Life caught me up in a drag for a while, and everything that has gone on with family stuff has just been overwhelming. Good news, I went on vacation to clear my mind and it worked, I have a few days of house work to do, and some stuff coming in to take care of for my wife’s new business venture, but I think in a few days when things are in order I may just get to sit down with my novel, read and rewrite, and some more writing, there is a lot to do, however, I have to read what I have, because I sort of forgot where I left off. I know as a writer, you should write something everyday, so today is my starting point of the next step of my writing career, I plan to write something everyday, even if it is just thoughts, or scenarios, anything that might stimulate my novel, and anything else that I am working on. I have a how to book that I have ached to finish which explains the road I have taken to self-publishing my first two books, with no money at hand at all. They are not a complete success,  but a great experience all the same, it has surely gotten my feet wet in how the writers world works. I want to say With gods amazing grace self-publishing introduced me to some wonderful people, and they deserve to be mentioned.

  Honorable mentions are Dan Blank, a great teacher in learning how to build an author platform, I have learned a lot from him, and have not yet taken his course, mostly because I am financially embarrassed, at the moment and don’t have the cash to take it, but still have learned a lot just the same, if interested in his course you can join by visiting, I hope you can learn something from one of the leaders in the industry. Another honorable mention, and my very first tutor in writing in K.M. Weiland, an awesome teacher, and her blog, and videos, just happen to be in my price range, Free, although free, Ms. Weiland is great with teaching, and sharing how to build your characters in your story, and I definitely have learned a lot from her, my favorite blog among them all that I follow. The Creative Penn is another great place to learn, and refresh writing, skill, and vocabulary, etc, Joanna covers it all from writing, publishing, even selling your books, to subscribe to these wonderful blogs, visit K.M Weilands blog, and her wordplay wordplay-,, which helps the writer become an author. Visit Joanna Penn’s blog for some awesome interaction, with writing,blogging, publishing, etc.

Now I must not forget a dear friend that I have met via the writers digest community, that lives in the same town as me, memoir writer Kathleen Pooler, with some of her advice, and points in the right direction, I may not have found the above people. she has helped me in my journey of becoming an author, and deserves some great credit, so please if you enjoy a good blog, visit, through faith, hope, love, and adversity Kathleen is in the middle of telling her story, and directly from her blog  How does a woman from a stable Christian home go off on so many self-defeating detours and how does she come back home again? 

From some of the stories that are in her book, I feel that you will ask these questions while reading the whole book, and those questions will hook you to the very end, I can assure you from a western genre reader, and writer, Kathleen’s memoir, is a must read even for me.

Well to the wonderful people I mentioned above, I want to personally thank you for all the lessons, and learning that I have picked up from you, and I want to also personally thank all the people who I have not mentioned, you know exactly who you are, from writers digest, twitter, blogging, and facebook. you are wonderful, and I thought it was about time that I thanked you all. Jackie Gordon, Steven Law, James Wright, Larry Payne, J.R. Sanders, and everyone in my group Western genre Fiction/nonfiction. Thanks to all of you for the support, comments, blogs, and webinars, I appreciate it.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Looking for the Deus ex machina in my story

Beginning a realistic writing process, that is above my knowledge base has become a challenging task.  With that said my writing has gone to the back burner, because I am stuck. It is not a block  I have hundreds of ideas, just not the structure I want.

My narration, plot, and character description, has gotten a bit better, however, not  set in stone, and it makes me wonder what other writers experience as they begin their own writing process, of their first major piece of work? And, or is this a conflict of interest in every piece of work all the time? I ask myself these questions determined to go onward with such a wonderful story, but how?

Another road block is my genre who will publish me? and who will represent me as an agent? knowing that I am part of the western fiction genre, a genre said to be “dieing out” so to speak…

So where to turn from here, and also my cross with past tense and present tense, due to the fact part of the novel speaks about the characters present, but also very descriptive in times about their past. where they came from, the history in my bandits, etc.

So it draws me to crossroads, and which path do I take?  Do I take the one less traveled by, and make all the difference, this time I am not sure, I need to brush up on story structure, which is a huge part of this, well structure just is the issue that  I am having.  I have put together 15000 words of a story, and the structure is leaning towards the watering hole, that the horses are drinking out of.  I want it to be so much more, and possibly with any dream, have a shiny gold sticker on each copy that sells, wink wink.

Where can I possibly go from here to find my deus ex machina, or my inextricable problem in which is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.

Can I turn this thing around, and make it to the spur award? the breakout author? an agent to love it from the first five words? and a publisher that is sure that it will be the next NY bestseller? I know deep down that I think I can, just at this point, I am not sure how.

I get great feedback, although it is very spaced out, and wish I could catch the eye, of more readers that are also writers  here in my blog, just for more feedback to combine it all. what I get is awesome, however, I feel that I could use some extra insight this time around, and assist me into a journey of constructing a structure.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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