work on stories in his head

November 18, 2018

Louis L’Amour didn’t just commit to writing every single day. He created specific, targeted goals.

One such goal was to publish one short story every week.

Publish, not write. Not every story was accepted, so that meant L’Amour was writing far more than just 52 short stories every year, plus the full-length novels he worked on.

L’Amour’s overall process was somewhat legendary, he never outlined a project, and he categorically refused to edit anything. He simply sat down at a typewriter and wrote.

However, he did have a very specific process, one that helped negate the need for outlining and editing.

He would work on stories in his head for months and sometimes years, taking copious supporting notes, so when he did start tapping on the keyboard, he was essentially writing a finished draft.

Finally, he had a very strict “three strikes rule,” if he couldn’t get a project right by the third time around, he would toss the pages into a pile, and go on to the next project.

Susanna Fitzgerald
Five things copywriters can learn from best selling writer Louis L’Amour

Reading

October 27, 2018

Books to read

Today you can buy the Dialogues of Plato for less than you would spend on a fifth of whisky, or Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for the price of a cheap shirt. You can buy a fair beginning of an education in any bookstore with a good stock of paperback books for less than you would spend on a week’s supply of gasoline.

Often I hear people say they do not have the time to read. That’s absolute nonsense. In one year during which I kept that kind of record, I read twenty-five books while waiting for people. In offices, applying for jobs, waiting to see a dentist, waiting in a restaurant for friends, many such places. I read on buses, trains and planes. If one really wants to learn, one has to decide what is important. Spending an evening on the town? Attending a ball game? Or learning something that can be with you your life long?

Byron’s Don Juan I read on an Arab dhow sailing north from Aden up the Red Sea to Port Tewfik on the Suez Canal. Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson I read while broke and on the beach in San Pedro. In Singapore, I came upon a copy of The Annals and Antiquities of Rajahstan by James Tod.

Louis L’Amour
The education of a wandering man

 

Getting published

October 20, 2018

Book porn

I was trying to get my own work published, first with poetry, then with articles and stories. But they got nowhere at all. There was a steady flow of rejection slips. Once in a while, a handwritten word, Sorry, appeared on the slip. I was grateful for even that bit of attention. My secret was that no sooner did I put something in the mail than I wrote something else and sent it off. Each rejection was cushioned by my expectations for the other manuscripts.

Louis L’Amour
Education of a wandering man

Haunted Mesa

The terms we use for what is considered supernatural are woefully inadequate. Beyond such terms as ghost, spectre, poltergeist, angel, devil, or spirit, might there not be something more our purposeful blindness has prevented us from understanding?

We accept the fact that there may be other worlds out in space, but might there not be other worlds here? Other worlds, in other dimensions, coexistent with this? If there are other worlds parallel to ours, are all the doors closed? Or does one, here or there, stand ajar?

Louis L’Amour
The Haunted Mesa

Writing…

February 27, 2015

writing