As I mentioned in my last post, my one and only writing goal for 2017 is to finish a new "Holmes on the Range" novel. I got started January 3. Since I'm an outliner, never writing a word until I know every beat of the story from beginning to end, that means I've spent the last month just thinking, taking notes, thinking, taking notes and then thinking some more (and taking more notes).
I'm pleased to report it still works: I've almost got the whole thing mapped out. I still don't know how all the loose ends are going to come together in the last few chapters or what the climax will look like, but the who, where, what, why and how of the mysteries (there's more than one) are nailed down.
One of the very last steps in the process will be naming all the characters, so for now I'm using placeholder descriptions for them. Which means my Dramatis Personae currently looks like this:
The Hired Gun
The Scumbag Duo
The Hothead Son
The Other Son
The Young Son
The Saloon Owner
The Evil Clone
Reader challenge #1: Spot the character who's not *really* in the book!
Reader challenge #2: If you think you've got the perfect name for "The Rancher" or "The Matriarch" or one of the other characters, let me know. (I can already guess some of the names people will nominate for "The A**hole." Please, folks -- nothing political, and keep in mind that the character's supposed to be sinister. "Kanye" and "Bieber" aren't going to be great names for an Old West bad guy.) If I use one of your suggestions, you will receive a special prize: a hearty handshake (if you're within reach) and the knowledge of a job well done. Oh, and a shout-out in the acknowledgments. That's "special," right?
Writer challenge #1: Finish the damn outline, Hockensmith!