Monday, January 26, 2015

I've had an Epiphany

An idea popped into my head to write a new short story.

Not just any story but one about a gunslinger coming to the aid of a bereaved widow facing an attempt to oust her and her children from her rance.

In 1867 Southern California!

Why not?

We've read about the Carpetbaggers in the south. The evil rich guy trying to ruin small dirt farmers in the mid-west. Cattlemen going after sheep herders. And so on.

But. Southern California?

California went through turbulent times between 1822 and 1850 when it changed hands from Spain to Mexico and then the USA. The Zorro stories supposedly showed us a Spanish Don going to the aid of the poor and needy being downtrodden. But, by who? It sure wasn't the Spanish as there weren't enough soldiers under Spanish rule to do what the story depicts. Maybe against Mexico because the majority of soldiers it sent there were convicts. The USA? Not even!

But, right after the American Civil War, a breed pf Carpetbaggers came to California to try to take up new wealth. Not in the gold fields but the vast ranches with oh so much land.

But, that's not my moment of awakening.

I cranked out 28,500 words plus – including in creating the characters and conducting research, in just 9 days! I knew it was the first, rough draft but was extremely proud of the end product.

And then, I posted the first few paragraphs on a writer's discussion forum.

Bam! Right between the eyes.

Dull. Boring. Too mach passivity.

Hunh?

So, always eager to seek constructive criticism, I sat back and thought it over. I then took those paragraphs and wrote them in a completely different style. Out with Past Tense for the main story. An active Third Person Present. Showing what is happening NOW.

Almost done with the first line-editing and can say I really like what I'm seeing.

So. Perhaps I can “save” my writing career. Self-published some stories that haven't been selling. Time to withdraw and rewrite them? Why not?

Anyhow, my deepest thanks to those two writers/authors who took the time to give me some constructing criticism. Perhaps if things improve, I'll give them the credit they may so richly deserve.

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