Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not So Famous Gunfights

In my current wip, Showdown in Timberton, I have a gunfight between two prostitutes that result in the hero being shot. How did I come up with such a scene? Well. I love researching odd but true stories of the American West and found this little tidbit about the first woman killed in Abilene Texas. Luella Hines, aka Louisville Lou, and Jenny Lyons were both sparking the faro dealer from the Applejack Saloon, Quade Hill. Needless to say Hines and Lyons were prostitutes.

After numerous threats of bodily harm, Lyons killed Hines, which infuriated Quade Hill so badly that he beat Lyons and severed all ties with her. A few nights later Hines got drunk and busted into the Applejack saloon amid a spray of gunfire, gunning for Hill. The only casualites were two expensive mirrors and an ormolu lamp. Hill escaped unharmed from the attempt. But it got a city wide ordinance installed about women in saloons, they were no longer allowed entrance.

But it kicked my imagination into overdrive. What if the two prostitutes had a gunfight over the hero? What if they missed each other but accidentally shot the hero? Which one would care for the injured man? What if they decided to have the most respectable, and therefore unlikely to steal their man, woman in town nurse him back to health? Enter my heroine, the town's upstanding schoolteacher, who's shared a mutal attraction with the hero for a while unbeknowst to the prostitutes.

So how about you other writers out there, what sparked the germ that grew to an idea that grew to a story?


Gillian Layne said...

Once again, I am in awe of your research; not that you find it, but that you find the things that are SO interesting!

You know, pictures can spark ideas for me, especially pictures of foreign lands.

And there are so many wonderful tidbits on the History channel :)

Terry Stone said...

Gillian, I LOVE the history channel, if I had my way it would be the most watched channel in this house. I learn alot of my interesting tidbits there and then look them up for further clarification.

I agree with pictures sparking ideas. I have sat and stared at pictures and gotten ideas. There's a really old one, where a lady is knighting a man kneeling in front of her-I love that picture and have made up a thousand stories in my head about it.

Anonymous said...

I love your blogspot! Let me know when you get Timberton finished :)

Terry Stone said...

Erin, so good to see you! Thank you for the compliments on my little spot, I try.

I am so ready to be done with Timberton-I don't know if that is a good thing or not-but I am keeping at it. Faithfully revising and rewriting and revising-well you get the picture.

Kelly Krysten said...

It's typically one line that pops into my head randomly. For instance recently the opening that popped into my head was: "It is my most frequent critique that my story sounds too much like a fairytale. But what, I ask you, if it is? What then?"
Now I just have to figure out what to do with it...

Terry Stone said...

Kelly, I am guessing that must be a contempary or paranormal from the opening? It is a great opening, I hope you figure out what to go with it.

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, I've had computer issues lately. Hopefully, I've gotten them worked out.

Kelly Krysten said...

Great, as always, to have you back Terry. And yeah it's a paranormal. And it's definitely set in A timeperiod. I just don't know which.