New Story-Still Working

I am still working on my modern day western mystery. I have a tough time writing this one. Not sure if I do not like the story or the time period. I still want to finish it, as I have already written about 40,000 words and it is a good story. I think the problem is the story flashes back over a hundred years every twenty or thirty pages. It is becoming more of a task than I thought to tie these flashbacks to modern times. And, if that’s not enough the story revolves around two mysteries, one, a murder in present day and the second, a lost treasure from the 1800’s. I am hoping to finish by the first of July but other things keep holding me back. Lately I have been doing some research on the role of the Buffalo soldiers during Wyoming’s, Johnson County War and hope to write a sequel to a western that I have yet to shop—but one I really like. Excerpts from the above work—presently titled “Mystery at Hell’s Half Acre”

Present Day– Casper, Wyoming

Jimmy took a hand from the wheel and rubbed his eyes, either a truck was upside down in the road just ahead or he had a vision of one. He twisted the knuckle of his right hand in one eye then the other, blinked and looked up through watering eyes. It was gone, good, and then he saw it again. “Robert, is there something ahead, a wreck, in the road?” “Just pavement man, Indian sidewalk, you know, so Indians can walk back to the rez after the car breaks down.” Robert chuckled at his own joke then continued to eat his chicken nuggets. Jimmy pulled over to the side and then off the pavement, got out of the car and looked ahead. He stood looking for at least a full minute and Robert helped himself to Jimmy’s fries. Jimmy opened the door to get in and heard a tremendous crash. They both looked up the road as a semi exploded into flame as it skidded on its side past the Ghost Town truck stop. It was easy to see, from their quarter mile away vantage point what had happened. The burning semi had pulled out onto the highway in the path of another truck that had not seen him or was going too fast to stop. Jimmy got back into the thunderbird and looked at his friend. Robert too dumbfounded to even speak finally blurted out, “you saw it, before it happened; you saw it, some kind of vision, didn’t you?”

Flash Back Time–

August 1775, the canyons of Hell’s Half Acre Wyoming

Runs-With-Ghosts and Snow Bear sat in the shade of the natural earthen shelter eating choke cherries, talking and resting. Theirs had been a long journey. Throughout their young lives both had many visions of the visit to the medicine wheel in the north, the visit, now complete. But they did not know when they left the village on the flat river that it would be nearly two snows before they returned home. For many sleeps they had traveled and then wandered trying to find the great wheel, the wheel of the stories passed to them from their grandfathers who learned the stories from their grandfathers. When they found the great Medicine Wheel, it was more than they could have ever imagined much greater than the stories and dreams. The two young warriors spent many days there praying and dreaming. After leaving they traveled to the west and then south until they found the perfect hillside. The perfect hillside to build the perfect sign, the sign that was their destiny to build. They called it the site of the arrow; later the Shoshone would call this place, the meeting place. Snow Bear and Runs-With-Ghosts spent many days in this place because it was a place where they felt the medicine, the same medicine they felt praying at the Medicine Wheel in the north. Runs-With-Ghost especially felt like they were in a place of great mystery the first day they stood on this windswept hillside. The young warriors, now both eighteen summers, stayed through two new moons, finding and moving rocks into place. When they completed building the great arrow of rocks on the hillside they rested and prayed, and the prayers were prayers of thanksgiving, giving thanks for the many days of successful labor. The great arrow they, had completed, would last as long as the wheel itself, pointed to the north and to the east—to the Medicine Wheel.

Published in: on April 3, 2009 at 3:30 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Looks interesting. There’s several ways of dealing with flashes to back story:
    1)Start a new section to tell the section of back story;
    2) Bring some of the back story details in via current day dialogue.
    3) Have a present day character search for a link in the past.

    There’s probably other ways, but the most important thing with flashes to back story is not to draw attention to the fact we’re going back in time.
    Best wishes with your story. I’ve recently began a new novel and am blogging on creative writing subjects regularly at Check them out if you have time.

  2. Thanks for the comments–I am working with your # 3–I do think that it is too much of a, drawing attention to going back, that is difficult for me to write. Thanks again for the tips!

  3. Yes, I think the third point is probably right for your story, as there is no way of linking the main character’s point of view to an event that took place over two hundred years before. Hope it goes well.

  4. Hang in there, if you’ve passed 40,000 words you’ll make it. Now I’m stuck in perpetual rewrite mode.

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