Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Did I just write a Western?

Steve Dancy Tale
Working Cover

I'm about to send The Return, A Steve Dancy Tale to my editor. One step closer to publishing, but still a ways to go.

In this episode, Dancy and his friends visit Thomas Edison in New York City and Menlo Park, New Jersey. Although the story starts in Leadville, Colorado, the plot mostly takes place on the East Coast. Louis L'Amour once said, "If you write about a bygone period east of the Mississippi River, it's a historical novel. If it's west of the Mississippi it's a Western." So ... did geography change this from a Western to a historical novel? The Return includes the same characters, they act the same, and they get into more fights. (I’m talking about the protagonists, of course. The antagonists seem to keep getting killed.)

In the end, I believe it is still a Western because the characters are Westerners through and through. Even Steve Dancy has been transformed. Everyone is a fish out of water. Kinda like Crocodile Dundee meets the 19th century.

Why did I bring my characters east? As I've mentioned previously, The Virginian was the inspiration for the Steve Dancy books. I liked the end of Wister's book where the newly married Virginian and his wife visit her family in New Hampshire. It provided a great contrast between the supposed civilized East Coast versus the values and perspectives of the frontier. I wanted to do something similar with The Return.

No comments:

Post a Comment