**SPOILERS BELOW. If you have not read the story and want to be (hopefully) surprised, come back to this when you’re done.**
Branded was seeded by setting. The working title was Dead Man’s Point which is a little spot in the Mojave desert filled with history and lore. I grew up in this area and drove by her many times. How did it get its name? Might as well just pick whichever story tickles your fancy. I decided it got its name because that’s where a cattle rancher was found shot in the back by local rustlers (based on a real gang).
My subconscious decided it was time for a straight-up western with a traditional revenge trope. I forced myself to avoid my usual speculative bent and it seems to have gone over well. It’s a story that is short and to the (Dead Man’s) point!
Here’s the general scratch file:
- Branded scratch file
And the daily journal entries: