I had this idea for a science fiction setting. I didn't have a plot, just a sort of situation based on something we all have to deal with these days--the price of gas. But I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. I just knew I wanted it to be a short story.
Then, the idea came to me. It's a western. To be precise, it's a western revenge story. And like most science fiction, it takes place in the future.
So I started writing it . . . in dialect. I know--dialect is a hard sell. I tried to stop myself. I wrote out the first paragraph in a nice, sane third person. Then, I wrote out the paragraph again in dialect reminiscent of Huckleberry Finn, albeit with more readable spelling. And I kept writing . . . and writing . . . and writing. 2000 words went by. I still ain't done.
Oops! The dialect keeps leaking out.
I figured that if Lisa Shearin can get away with having a modern sounding Medieval elf, and if Naomi Novik can get away with having a Napoleonic Air Force composed of dragons, maybe I can get away with down-home cowboys 200 years in the future.
My protagonist is a hot-tempered 18 year old boy, hence the above picture of Billy the Kid. I've never written from such a point of view in my life. I hope I can pull it off.
And in honor of an old fix-er-upper muscle car that my husband used to have, a 1967 Chevelle is part of it.
I might even make it candy-apple red, just because it looks so danged good in this picture. (And no, my husband's Chevelle never looked this good.)
Huh? you might ask? A 1960s muscle car in a western revenge story? That takes place in the future?
As you can probably tell, it's been a lot of fun. If nothing else, it should stand out from the stack of submissions that day due to its sheer strangeness.
* * *
I'm going to try to get another "MS Word For the Novelist" article out before the end of the weekend.