Some Thoughts on "Escape from the Wastelands"
Just purchased Dictionary of the American West from Amazon.com. I think it will be quite helpful for the dialects and internal monologues of the characters from Escape from the Wastelands, which I have described as a "post-apocalyptic steampunk Western."
It might also be helpful for my short story "Old Daniels' Mine," a horror tale involving a group of gunslingers facing off against the survivors of a pre-human reptilian civilization in Nevada that will be part of the collection of short fiction I'm working on with Daverana Enterprises. My friend Nick said the dialogue was very cliche, so throwing in some less-common Western lingo might help that out a bit.
Also started reading Boneshaker, a steampunk alternate-history novel. That has already helped me out in the realism department--in the novel, the protagonist loads a Spencer rifle (one of the more common Civil War weapons) by filling the ammunition tube in the butt of the weapon with cartridges. I had originally thought the tubes plugged directly into the back of the gun like a magazine, but that may not be the case.
I hope Boneshaker sells well. Although the alternate-history aspect is very shaky--the Civil War somehow lasts for 18 years due to a combination of the Southern route of the trans-continental railroad being built, the British breaking the Union blockade, and the continued survival of Stonewall Jackson, never never the ludicrous strain this would have put on everybody's manpower and industry--it's still a steampunk novel. The more successful the steampunk sub-genre is, the more likely I'll be able to sell the Wastelands novels and a steampunk air-pirate series inspired by the antics of my friends Jamie and Emily at the 2009 DragonCon that I'm worldbuilding for right now.
Also found this link the other day:
This will be helpful in naming characters, especially since I think I'm going to remove two of the weirder names, Karras Merrill and N'Mur. Karras is especially glaring because his sister's name is Catalina. I'll keep Grendel's name, but Grendel's name was self-chosen based on a salvaged partial copy of Beowulf rather than the name he was born with.
Also, one character's current name is Callie, but at least one member of my writing group got her confused with Cassie, the protagonist's lover. I was originally going to change the name to Michelle, but I'll ramp up the Western vibe and name her Eudora.