Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Continuing Education 101: Outrage Is The Engine

April 26, 2016
   Kind of depressing how much I didn't know about telling good stories. All the knowledge is out there for anyone to gather if they would just take the time to find the answers. For me, it took 45 years to decide to look, but as they say, better late than never. For one thing, I didn't know how mean you need to be in order to make good, believable characters.

Daily Whip Out: "He Crossed The Threshold Into a Dark World"

   Another thing I learned is you need constant conflict, and it helps if someone is very angry:

Daily Whip Out: "Listen to me, you flat-faced son-of-a-bitch!"

Outrage Is The Engine
   Mickey wants to win, at least once, but sometimes when you lose, you win.

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey With The Head of Pedro"

Mickey: "Now do I belong?"

   Ah, no, actually, you don't belong. Sorry. Another proven winner is withholding key information:

  Daily Whip Out: "What He Saw From The Ridge Stunned Him"

Mickey Is Maligned
   You can't diss your main character enough. If we want to read about someone they have to be complex. Give them good flaws:

Horn: "Even his name is a joke. His real name is Felix Ward. His mom is Meskin' and his old man is Irish."

   But your main character needs some skills to overcome all the obstacles thrown at him:

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Just Laughed at The False Trails The Kid Had Created"

   People want to be manipulated, but they want it to be good. Make a twist on the usual Western cliche:

Free: "I like horse."

Young: "What's your favorite?"

Free: "Mustangs are a little tough."

Young: "I agree."

Free: "Quarter-horses taste best."

Young [stunned]: "Excuse me?"

Horn: "Yep, he's Irish, all right."

"There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out."
—Old Vaquero Saying

1 comment:

  1. Just saw the hard copy of the Apache Wars issue of True West - Great Job!


Post your comments