Sci-Fi/ Fantasy guy taking a shot at his first western

BabySealWriter

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Other than all of McCarthy's works, the only westerns I have read are the pulp westerns by Louis L'amour. I loved his books in my youth and have read all of them, some more than once. I am not sure how his pulpy, sometimes shallow, sling'em from the hip as fast as possible, style is going to affect my story. No real point just a little worried.
 

frimble3

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Well, if it's any comfort, 'space opera' as a name for kinda pulpy science fiction derives from 'horse opera', a nickname for kinda pulpy westerns. So, if you liked that style, you might find it easy to slip into.
All story is one story.
Science fiction, fantasy, western, all sisters under the skin.
"A lone mage rides into town, looking for the mage who broke his staff and stole his family. He enters the inn and all the locals try not to point and stare. Mages are bad news. Magefights are worse."

What kind of science fiction do you enjoy/write? Try and visualise it in a Western setting. Work from there. I'm supposing that you have something in mind in making the genre-leap?
 
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dpaterso

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I am not sure how his pulpy, sometimes shallow, sling'em from the hip as fast as possible, style is going to affect my story.
Maybe in the best way possible? Shooting from the hip suits me fine, hombre! :guns:

Yes I did use that smiley, I did.

-Derek
 

Matthew Hughes

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I'm an sf author, and I always bear in mind Louis Lamour's dictum: have your hero in trouble on the first page.

But if you want to read westerns at their very best, I recommend Elmore Leonard's novels and short stories from the 1950s and 60s, the kind of little gems that got turned into movies: Hombre, 3:10 to Yuma, The Tall T, and Valdez is Coming.
 

Jamesaritchie

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Other than all of McCarthy's works, the only westerns I have read are the pulp westerns by Louis L'amour. I loved his books in my youth and have read all of them, some more than once. I am not sure how his pulpy, sometimes shallow, sling'em from the hip as fast as possible, style is going to affect my story. No real point just a little worried.

I don't consider a fair number of L'Amour's works pulp at all. They may not be written like McCarrthy's, but who cares? I'm not a fan of McCarthy as a western writer. McMurty, yes, but McCarthy, no.

If you haven't read McMurtry's work, do so. Lonesome Dove won the Pulitzer, and for good reason. Having a western, and a real western, at that, win the Pulitzer is a rare and grand thing.

Western or not, write the way you love to read. Don't try to write a book a certain way because someone else writes them that way. If you love the way Louis L'Amour writes a western, then there isn't a reason in the world you shouldn't write the same way.
 

Festus

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Westerns

Louis L'Amour is the best western writer I've read, but there are a heap of others mentioned by the folks below. I really don't care who writes them as long as folks continue to do so.

A few lessons from L'Amour are: Know your subject, the area, the history of the time you're writing in. He was very knowledgeable of the guns, horses, products, manufacturers, the terrain and the people of the times he writes about.
 

BabySealWriter

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As an update, I have almost completed Lonesome Dove. Many critics consistently referred to the book as epic, though I found that hard to believe. Nearing the end, Lonesome Dove is by far one of the best stories I have been a part of in a long, long, time.

@Jamesaritchie- thank you for your recommendation

@Matthew Hughes- 3:10 to Yuma is next on my list
 

sheepfarmer

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Good luck with the book. When do you plan on getting started with it?
 

Shadow_Ferret

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Other than all of McCarthy's works, the only westerns I have read are the pulp westerns by Louis L'amour. I loved his books in my youth and have read all of them, some more than once. I am not sure how his pulpy, sometimes shallow, sling'em from the hip as fast as possible, style is going to affect my story. No real point just a little worried.
I just read my first Louis L'Amour novel last week, his first one, "Hondo." It came out in 1953. Hardly within the timeframe that is classically referred to as pulp. And I found the story well-written with some decent character development. Didn't see anything shallow about it at all.
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Okelly65

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don't worry about it. I am working on a story thats Western themed, post zombie apocalyptic, pre rebuild society phase.

Besides LAmour was the most revered western writer of his and I suspect any era so far. cant go to far wrong with him as a role model.
 

TheRob1

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I think my favorite L'Amour novels have to be Riley's Luck, The Day breakers, and Borden Chantry.

Figured I'd mention I'm writing a second world fantasy, but instead of going medieval I set at a level equivalent to about the1880s.

It's a lot of fun to mix the archetypes. As an example my mmc is a knight-former cavalry officer.
 

Jerome Price

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I think we're kinda in the same situation. Being a western history buff as well as a sci-fi fan I had to combine them. I've written one story, and am writing another in which modern characters return to the wild west via a time machine, and take modern weapons with them. These aren't "campy" stories, but deadly serious writing that explores modern sensibilities pitted against nineteenth century thinking and behavior. I also delve into nineteenth century characters confronting modern life, as well as women's roles and limited opportunities back in the "good old days."
 

PyriteFool

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Welcome to AW BabySeal!

I think we're kinda in the same situation. Being a western history buff as well as a sci-fi fan I had to combine them. I've written one story, and am writing another in which modern characters return to the wild west via a time machine, and take modern weapons with them. These aren't "campy" stories, but deadly serious writing that explores modern sensibilities pitted against nineteenth century thinking and behavior. I also delve into nineteenth century characters confronting modern life, as well as women's roles and limited opportunities back in the "good old days."

I’m also dipping my SF/F loving toes in the Western waters for the firs time! Mine’s squarely fantasy (secondary world, wizards, vampires, whole nine yards), but I can’t wait to see how all these different genres merge!
 

dpaterso

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Maybe it needed reviving! Another perennial topic.

-Derek
 

ironmikezero

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If you think about it, any post-apocalyptic tale set west of the Mississippi is almost always an evolved Western, laced with characters who persevere via self-reliance and gut-tightening determination. To me, that's almost a classic Western.