A Milestone of Sorts

In today’s Journal

* Welcome
* Yes. The Answer is Yes.
* A Milestone of Sorts
* Of Interest

Welcome to Sarah S, George K and any other new subscribers or readers of the Journal. I hope you will find something here that will help you.

Be sure to check out the free downloads at https://hestanbrough.com/the-daily-journal-archives-gifts-dvds/ and at https://harveystanbrough.com/downloads/.

Yes. The Answer is Yes.

I get questions. Am I still looking for or considering guest posts? Yes, absolutely. A few have responded since I put out the first call. Trust me, I’m not being overwhelmed with offers.

Am I still looking for regular contributors to the Journal (a regular column or post once a week or thereabouts)? Again, yes, absolutely.

Can either one become the other at will? Yes, absolutely. Completely up to you.

As I was telling a friend yesterday, at the moment I have only two committed contributors. One wants to contribute a post every Thursday. Another one, an excellent fiction writer who used to contribute to Pro Writers Writing before it blew apart thanks to ruinous abdications, wants to contribute a post every two weeks.

And I have one tentative contributor who is starting a new story-a-week challenge on June 1 and wants to document his progress once a week on the Journal through (at least) December 31 of this year. He hasn’t said yet on which day he would like to post.

All of those are valid contributions, by which I mean contributions from which others can learn.

And of course I’ll keep my hand in as long as it’s practical to do so. It’s looking more and more like if the Journal survives me, it will survive me as a PWW-like roundtable. Which is fine.

For the time being, I’ll edit (lightly and only as necessary) and publish “guest posts” on behalf of contributors. As the new form of the Journal begins to solidify (if it does), I’ll get pics and bios from all regular contributors and create pages for them. I’ll also create accounts for them so they can post their articles themselves on their assigned day or days.

Oh, and just so you know, I’m not stepping back from the Journal because I’m ill or anything like that. I’ve just been at it for a long time. I’d like to include some new voices and eventually hand it off.

Any other questions, feel free to email me at harveystanbrough@gmail.com.

A Milestone of Sorts

As I was telling my friend Robert J. Sadler yesterday, the current novel wrapped. (Well, I was telling him I thought it might, but then it did.) It was a light day of writing, and I took the rest of the day to write all this and then do nothing.

The Road to Amarillo, which was the 9th novel in the Wes Crowley Gap series and the 4th in the Santa Fe subseries, will also be the last, I believe, in the overall Wes Crowley saga, topping out the series at 21 novels. It even retitled itself The Road to Amarillo, which will tie-in nicely with the original Book 3 (Wes Crowley, Texas Ranger) and Book 4 (Leaving Amarillo).

It’s kind of fitting, somehow, that this one wrapped in 20 writing days with 20 chapters.

As an aside, if I may use this as a lesson for those who think I wrote the novel “fast”—

The novel wrapped at just just 40,000 words in 20 writing days. That’s 2000 words per day. Because I write about 1000 words per hour (a blazing fast snail’s pace of 17 words per minute) that’s only two hours of “work” per day. Not a bad gig. This is what you can do when you trust your characters and just write off into the dark. Just sayin’.

Of course, I also believed Wes’ overall story was done after the third novel (South to Mexico), but it wasn’t, and I thought it was over once and for all after the 12th novel, appropriately titled Wes Crowley: The Final Chapter. Again, um, no. It wasn’t.

Because Wes wasn’t finished. He (not I) realized there was what amounted to a 16-year gap in the tale between Book 2 (Comanche Fire) and Book 3 (Wes Crowley, Texas Ranger). In the former, he’s still a rookie Ranger. In the latter, we first meet Wes as a corporal.

When I say “Wes wasn’t finished,” that’s exactly what I mean. It wasn’t that I, the writer, wasn’t finished telling Wes Crowley stories; it was that Wes wasn’t finished getting his stories out. The Gap series, stories to fill parts of the 16-year gap, were all Wes’ idea, just as each of the 12 novels in the original saga was Wes’ idea.

If these stories were my idea instead of Wes’ idea, I could probably go on writing “Wes Crowley, Deputy US Marshal” stories for a long time to come. After all, he could travel practically anywhere, work with other law enforcement officers on various assignments and so on.

But according to Wes, he’s done, and as I said, they are his stories, not mine. Maybe he’ll change his mind and share more in the future, but frankly, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Only those who know the freedom and exhilaration of writing into the dark understand what I mean. Others might pretend, but they have no real idea.

Of course, practically any of the other characters in the overall saga might toss me an easy curve ball and lead me off in a kind-of spinoff (fingers crossed).

I’ve often thought specifically one or more members of the mostly-outlaw Talbot family might have more stories to tell from their POV. Or maybe the ramrod of the Wiljohn Ranch, John McLean, might want to tell stories of his mysterious younger days. Or the outlaw-turned-Ranger Mason Philby might have more stories to tell. Just for a few examples.

And there were several other characters whom I thought might leap to the fore to tell their own stories, BUT—none of them did, at least so far, and I really don’t think that is going to happen. And as I’ve already said, I’m pretty sure Wes has told all the stories he wanted to tell.

I’m just SO grateful Wes chose me to be his fingers on the keyboard and allowed me to saddle up and ride along. After all those hours on horseback I’ll never walk quite the same way again, but it was well worth it.

If you’re interested, here’s the chronological reading sequence for the novels in the Wes Crowley saga. The number and date in parentheses to the right indicates the number of that particular novel and the completion (c) and-or publication (p) date (yymmdd):

  • Rise of a Warrior (5, p150417)
  • Comanche Fire (6, p150525)
  • Assignment Brownsville (63, c210619, p 2120830)
  • The Comancheros (64, c210706, p210915)
  • In the New Mexico Territory (65, c210715, p210930)
  • Return to the New Mexico Territory (66, c210802, p211015)
  • Carmen Morales (68, c220103, p221127)
  • Santa Fe: A New Era (70, c221207, p221216)
  • The Road to Santa Fe (71, c221228, p221229)
  • Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal (72, c230118, p230125)
  • The Road to Amarillo (73, c230513, p230601)
  • Wes Crowley: Texas Ranger(7, p150715)
  • Leaving Amarillo (1, p141111)
  • Longing for Mexico (2, p141207)
  • South to Mexico (3, p141227)
  • The Marshal of Agua Perlado (8, p150801)
  • The Battle of Tres Caballos (9, p150901)
  • The Scent of Acacias (11, p151209)
  • The Right Cut (16, p160720)
  • In the Cantina at Noon (43, c190613, p190701)
  • Wes Crowley: The Final Chapter (62, c210522, p210730)

You can also see this reading order anytime at https://harveystanbroughwrites.com/reading-order-for-novels/.

If you wondered, the 21-volume story that began with an innocuous 6155-word short story titled “Adobe Walls” now comprises 1,119,806 words of published fiction, not including any of the other short stories. See why I encourage you to write short fiction and if it runs to go with it? (grin)

And of course, those numbers also don’t include the other 52 novels, 9 novellas, and 221 short stories. (grin)

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Non-Artificial Intelligence” at http://dyingwords.net/non-artificial-intelligence/.

See “Manifesto fiction” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/manifesto-fiction/. Not a big fan of Nathan Bransford, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. That said, this is a post that shouldn’t have needed to be written.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1350

Writing of The Road to Amarillo (WCG9SF4)

Day 1…… 3231 words. Total words to date…… 3231
Day 2…… 2990 words. Total words to date…… 6221
Day 3…… 1805 words. Total words to date…… 8026
Day 4…… 2025 words. Total words to date…… 10051
Day 5…… 1451 words. Total words to date…… 11502
Day 6…… 1886 words. Total words to date…… 13388
Day 7…… 2002 words. Total words to date…… 15390
Day 8…… 1060 words. Total words to date…… 16450
Day 9…… 1903 words. Total words to date…… 18353
Day 10… 1143 words. Total words to date…… 19496
Day 11… 0323 words. Total words to date…… 19819
Day 12… 2445 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 13… 3184 words. Total words to date…… 25448
Day 14… 3509 words. Total words to date…… 28957
Day 15… 1595 words. Total words to date…… 30552
Day 16… 1875 words. Total words to date…… 32427
Day 17… 2016 words. Total words to date…… 34443
Day 18… 1454 words. Total words to date…… 35897
Day 19… 2692 words. Total words to date…… 38589
Day 20… 1263 words. Total words to date…… 39852 (done)

Total fiction words for May……… 14404
Total fiction words for 2023………… 97868
Total nonfiction words for May… 134100
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 95100
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 192968

Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

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