Monday, August 9, 2010

A tighter book

I'VE BEEN RE-READING the Louis L'Amour book Hondo, which started out as a short story called the "The Gift of Cochise" and then became the John Wayne movie Hondo. Then I imagine that L'Amour wrote the book from the movie and the screenplay.

I love L'Amour's writing, but I sometimes wish I could have edited it. It's little things: L'Amour wrote that Hondo Lane was a man who knew himself, his abilities. Hondo Lane knew himself, his ability.

Another time, he says that the woman was the squaw of one called Emiliano. We've met Emiliano before, so he can just say that she was the squaw of Emiliano.

You're saying the same thing with fewer words, which is a good thing. It wouldn't have made worlds of difference ... the average reader wouldn't even have noticed it ... but I would have.

But I love it when L'Amour says that Hondo's lineback horse walks on dainty legs under a brooding sky. I can see it all.

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