Being a Better Writer: Westerns

Just in case you missed it, there was a quick news post that went up just before this post. Be sure to check it out! It’s got all the news you need to know!

Welcome back readers! Again, apologies for the lateness of this post. I had an all-day shift yesterday (my job is back in the trend of loving all-day Monday shifts) and have been struggling to fight off a throat and chest cold that’s been disrupting my sleep schedule something awful. Anyway, that’s why this post is a little late.

Moving past that however, let’s talk about Westerns. This is almost a bit of a topic shift, if I’m honest, as BaBW hasn’t usually talked about specific genres before. I’ve talked about bits and pieces of genres, sure, but a full genre itself? The only time I’ve actually sat down and talked about a genre, it was mystery. Not a mystery, but the genre of mysteries.

Granted, I didn’t talk about everything to do with a mystery. Nor, likewise, will I talk about everything to do with Westerns. For a start, that would fill books. Also, you could just as easily type “Westerns” into wikipedia and skim over a good summary of just about everything the genre has … which, since I’ve looked at the page myself, is a pretty long list.

So I’m not going to talk about everything. For example, you won’t see me discussing staple tropes like lariats and cowboy boots. And in fact, I’m going to expand on things a little. See, the wikipedia page for “Western” defines a Western as films (or in this case, stories) that are “set in the American West that [embody] the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier.”

Right away, there’s one bit of that I don’t see quite perfectly eye-to-eye with. In fact, I’ll state outright that I don’t agree with it. That bit is the “set in the American West” bit.

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Quick News Post

Sorry for the lateness. Had work yesterday and I’ve been battling a gnarly chest-and-throat cold that refuses to die. Now, really quick, some news!

Unusual Events

First up, Unusual Events: A “Short” Story Collection, is currently 50% off. It actually has been for almost a week, but being blasted by being sick, I completely neglected to mention it. In any case, you can grab this collection of ten “short” stories (there are two novellas in there, and only three or four of them are actually short enough to warrant the short story tag) for just $2.99!

Second, the Alpha 2 Reading of Shadow of an Empire is moving along, but at this point I’d like to get some more eyes on it. If you’re interested in being an Alpha Reader (and if you’re confused as to what an Alpha Reader does, check this handy post here on the topic), drop me a line! The more eyes, the better.

Third, LTUE, or Life, The Universe, and Everything, the writing con, is coming up! Next week, in fact, from February 15th-17th. Unfortunately, this year I will only be able to make it to one day due to costs, and that will be the first day, the 15th. Still, if you can at all make it to one of the best writing cons for chatting with authors and learning about the craft, this is it. And if you’re going to be there that first day and want to put a face to the words, let me know! I’m always happy to talk with fans!

Okay, last one, I promise. This one has been on the back-burner for a while, but with everything sort of reaching an equilibrium, there’s no sense in me not destabilizing my carefully balanced load with some new business. I pose to you readers a question: How would you feel about doing a live Q&A session over Discord? I get a mic, you readers get questions, I drop a link here on the site at a pre-planned time, and I spend an hour or so answering questions on a variety of topics? Anyone interested in that?

Right, that’s it for the news! Onward to today’s Being a Better Writer post!

January Patreon Reward Up!

Those of you who supporting me on Patreon have something awesome to go look at! That’s right, the January Supporter Reward is here, and it’s following the vein of December’s! Except in tardiness, naturally. It’s here today.

But what is that, you might ask? December’s reward kind of snuck out amid a lot of other news, so its understandable that some of you might have missed it, but December’s reward was the first three chapters of Shadow of an EmpireThat Fantasy-Western set in the same universe as Ripper from Unusual Events? The one coming out later this year?

Yeah, that one.

Well, January’s reward is up, and it’s a good one. December saw the first three chapters of Shadow, so this month (well, it’s February now, so last month?) sees the release of two more! That’s right, chapters 4 and 5 are also now available to Patreon supporters!

Enjoy, and thanks for supporting Being a Better Writer!