The Outlaw Story

Here, your hero is an outlaw, and he must be treated with as much sympathy as you would accord the lawman. His crimes rarely include murder, and never include unprovoked murder. He is most often either a highwayman or a bank robber, forced into a life of crime by the social conditions of his day (which we have discussed above) or by the Civil War and the changes it brought to his life. (The Civil War is the factor which influenced the hero of Lee Hoffman's Wild Riders to become an outlaw.) You should either logically reform your hero by the end of the book, or you should see that he escapes whatever forces of law pursue him and lives to rob again. As with the suspense novel using a criminal hero, don't construct a sympathetic outlaw only to hand him defeat in the end because "crime does not pay."

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