Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So what's this new year all about?

I'm not an officer of Western Fictioneers. Not even a very prolific soldier. But in my bones, I feel fiction set in the American frontier west of the Mississippi river (and sometimes a bit east) will see a surge in 2013 somewhat larger than that of 2012.

Personally, I'm trying to find a method for upping my own productivity. If any of you have nuggets of wisdom in this regard, please leave them in the comment area so we all can do more.

I do a lot of writing, but most of it happens to be non-fiction, and much of it is magazine work. If I were based in the States, I would probably be writing for True West and some of the western regional magazines. As it is, I write for inflights and I get assignments from Switzerland, of all places, to do articles for a publishing company there. And guess what? I make more money for a 1,500-word magazine article than I do for a Black Horse Western novel, considerably more.

Running off at the computer is not one of my strong points, either. I write fiction in longhand, in notebooks, usually an hour at a time, sometimes more, sometimes less. Works out to about 500 words in that time. OK. That means a novel of BHW length in about three months. But novels for Western Trail Blazer or Solstice are longer, or a good deal shorter. Then I do a little pulp work.

Back in the day, I would concentrate on one novel, start to finish. Then I kept reading where people would switch from one story to another, refreshing themselves. I tried that in 2012. Didn't improve my productivity. Made me frustrated because my books weren't getting done as fast. Maybe for me, one at a time is the better way. Start, middle, end--isn't that how a story is supposed to go? Hmmm. Maybe.

The exception is fantasy. The fantasy series I'm working on (four novellas out now) doesn't seem to interfere with my Western novels. The gumshoe I'm working on does. Go figure.

So. What's up for 2013? Two novels in progress. I think I will now finish up Diablo first. Then turn back to Yaqui Blood. Then on to a historical for Western Fictioneers. I'll do my refreshing with some fantasy and some pulp short stories. Also going to start doing .99 series of memoirs about the yacht I built in New Zealand a few years ago--the one I wrecked on the rocks of Great Barrier Island. Watch this. A yacht picture in a Western Fictioneers blog. Let's see what the comments about that are!!

Her name was Resolution.

Now. Come on. Tell us what you're going to do in 2013?

Charlie Whipple aka Chuck Tyrell


  1. You're a man of many talents, Charlie. A heckuva fine writer and...a yacht builder too? Wonderful. But I am sorry that RESOLUTION suffered. The boat, that is, most definitely not your resolve to write in so many genres. Keep writing; we'll keep on reading.

  2. Charlie, losing that boat that you built had to be devastating. I don't know if I'd ever get over that. It is just beautiful, and I know you put a lot of love and heart into it.

    Like you, I have different paces for things it seems. Some stories seem to just "write themselves" practically and others take a long while. I had a contemporary romantic suspense that was one of those I had started and put away when my life got hectic, then pulled back out to work on, but even then it was slow going. I finally finished it and submitted it. It was released in October 2012. I thought I'd never get done with that book! LOL I do work on several projects at one time, and I do write everything in longhand like you do. Great post, and I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one out there still writing it down in a notebook before I enter it into the computer. Thanks for the insight into your writing life!

  3. I know next to nothing about sailing, but that's a nice-looking boat. I'm sorry it came to a bad end.

  4. Beautiful boat. Yep, it's a shame to have lost her.

    My writing productivity has been abysmal now that there are four little kids in the house running, stomping, hollering, and all wanting something right now. I've thought long and hard about this--will have to leave for a few hours a day and write. Just can't get anything done here. Someone's awake 24/7. Gotta get out of here because no writing will get done otherwise.

    I'm working on Much Ado About Miners (Hearts of Owyhee #4), two novellas, and two short stories. I also need to expand another short story that was previously print published and self-pub it. Would like to get everything done by mid-year and then finish up another two novels I started a couple years ago.

    The library will be seeing a lot of me. It's relatively quiet there.

  5. Thanks, guys (and gals). Bernard Cornwell, one of my writer heroes, has several "sailing suspense" books. I read one. I prefer Sharpe and Starbuck, Alfred the Great and Arthur, by Cornwell. I can dream, can't I?

    It looks like 2013 will be a busy year. Let's see if we can't make a big splash, all of us in this together.

  6. Oh. One more thing. Look forward to Wicked Wednesday. Mine is the second Wednesday of the month. Wicked Wednesday is the day we talk about our antagonists. What makes a good one? Who is your own favorite? I've got mine, and their stories will come on the second Wicked Wednesday of the month.

  7. Hey Charlie,
    Sorry to her about that beautiful boat. Like you I write a lot of non-fiction, thanks to my wonderful agent who keeps producing book deals. That always means deadlines, which mean that there is no time to be lost goofing off to play golf, or such like. Yet because I have to produce the non-fiction it makes me burn to produce fiction. So I write quickly to buy time to write the fiction. Writing always seems to be a form of plate-spinning.

  8. What a gorgeous boat! and what a shame she wrecked. I hear ya about making more $ on non-fic than the more fun fic stuff. I'm seeing the upsurge in westerns for 2013 as well, which started slow in 2011 with Coen Brothers' True Grit remake.

    I'm working on Double or Nothing, the sequel to my Spur Award winner for Best 1st Book, Double Crossing. Hope to get that out by March!

    Have a wonderful New Year, Charlie!