The Revenge Story

There are three common heroes for this type of plot: the outlaw unjustly punished by a crooked or overzealous marshal; the good law-abiding citizen wronged by ruthless outlaws; and the last surviving member of a family murdered by Indians or bandits. In every case, the hero vows revenge and sets out to take it. Nothing will stand in his way, and he must eventually deliver the antagonist to retribution. Don't forget that you must strengthen the hero's motivations whenever possible and not propel him through a long chase simply for revenge; he must have secondary motives. A good novel of this type is Wayne D. Overholser's The Long Trail North, but without question the greatest Western revenge novel written to date is Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage.

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