Westerns with Faith Blum

And now for our last article of the day - Westerns. A historical era so distinct that it's one of the few that we think of it as a genre itself, before being historical fiction. This is, no doubt, due to the sheer number of Western films there are out there - John Wayne, the Lone Ranger, and so many more.

I have Faith Blum here to talk about the lovely era. While she has experimented with other genres, Westerns is her home-sweet-home niche, and her theme of Hymn titles across all of her books is absolutely lovely.

Faith Blum
Christian/Historical Fiction/Contemporary/Sci-Fi


Writing Westerns


Gun fights, stagecoach robberies, cowboys, saloons, wild cities. Those are all indicative of the Western genre. So what kinds of things make Westerns different from genres?


It’s a popular genre, one that many people associate with Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey. But there are so many other authors out there who write Westerns, especially Western Romances. So why should you try to put yours out there? Because even with all of those books, there’s still room for your unique spin on the genre.

How do I make my story unique?


Glad you asked! There are so many ways you can do so.

·        Pick a different location. So many Westerns are set in Arizona, Texas, and California. But there are lots of other states out West such as New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, etc.
·        Have some fun plot twists. Maybe the bad guy doesn’t turn good in the end, or even gets away. *gasp* Something different like that, anyway.
·        Don’t have a romance or love story. Yep, I said it and it is possible. I should know since I managed to do that in my first book.

Be creative and I’m sure you can find something new to do or a new twist on a storyline that’s already been done.

How do I make it realistic?


I think one of the best ways to do that is to research the times to make sure you don’t accidentally have them go into their refrigerator for some food or use an AK-47 for some reason. (Yes, I purposely did outlandish examples.)

One thing to really be careful about is if you have any guns in your story, make sure you know what you are talking about. It’s a Colt revolver, not a pistol and the thing that holds the bullets is called a magazine. If you don’t know anything about guns, either don’t be specific or do a lot of research, especially regarding the guns that were around during that time period.

Be sure to research day-to-day life if you’ll be including that in the story. They lived very differently than we do now. If you don’t live in the area you are writing about, you can still learn the terrain in the area by using Google Maps on Satellite mode.

Other tips


Some of these tips are universal, but still apply and are worth repeating.
·        Write protagonists who have flaws and antagonists who have good qualities.
·        Your cowboys may not always be super hunky and “manly,” sometimes you need that timid, shy guy who isn’t super muscular on the round up. And he isn’t always going to be a know-it-all.
·        Your heroines/female characters don’t always have to be strong women who conquer the world. They can be strong women who stay at home and keep their house and children in order. They don’t always have to be fighting for women’s rights, especially since not all women did that. Yes, it was happening, but not all the women need to try to buck the system and it’s okay to portray that.
·        Don’t be afraid to introduce Christian themes into your story. Christianity was popular back then, even among the rougher crowd.

I hope these tips help you some. Feel free to ask if you have any specific questions. I’m more than willing to help if I can.


Comments

  1. Great post! And YES many times on the bit about weapons accuracy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. YESS THIS POST! Thanks, Faith! And what I think of, also, is the movie (the new one... sorry, all who watch the oldies... I don't... xD) The Magnificent Seven! Not all of those good guys were picture-perfect hunks and I still LOVED them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That movie would have been a good illustration for my article. Oh well. But yes, that is a very good point!

      Delete
  3. Well, frizz my hair and call me a sunrise! That there's a whole bale of good advice! (I'm from Wyoming, a place buried in the "etc." above. :D .)

    ReplyDelete

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