Write a Western in 30 Days: With Plenty of Bullet-Points! by Nik Morton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Want to write a western? This book will tell you how, more or less.
Much of the advice long-time western author Nik Morton gives is good, standard fare for any beginning writer. More experienced writers will find many pages not giving them anything they haven't seen in plenty of other how-to books and will end up skimming some sections.
Really only the research and theme chapters are specific to westerns, and they go over a huge topic too quickly. There are even occasional lapses, such as the list of Confederate states that doesn't include North Carolina, Alabama, and Florida! The border states that fought on both sides are also not mentioned, even though these provide the most grist for the writer's mill. There's also a handy appendix of western publishers which is still up to date, although of course it soon will be.
So what about the "30 days" part? Morton does, indeed, give a good overview of how to write a western novel (or indeed any novel) in a month. He relies a bit too heavily on planning and outlining for this author's taste, but all writers work differently and "plotters" will like his technique.
Books on specifically writing westerns are rare, so anyone interested in dipping into the genre should check this book out. Just don't expect to get a thorough treatment.
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