You don't have to be a gun expert to write about guns. In most cases, you're actually better off being as non-specific as possible. Getting into a lot of details about actions and calibers and so on is a sure-fire way to put most of your readers to sleep. When details matter, though, it's important to get them right. Failing to do so can turn readers off to your writing.
Back in April, I posted about my rejection of the the old “don’t-talk-about-your-book” bromide. Recently, Nik Riptrazone took up the subject again over at The Millions, which rekindled my interest in the core ideas of that post. I also wanted to push a few of those ideas along. Riptrazone’s post represents one of the most … Continue reading Talking it Out: With Experts
My daughter's class is doing a fantasy writing unit in school. As part of this unit, she was assigned to create two characters as homework. The assignment wasn't coming together the way she wanted it to and she was getting more and more frustrated. I tried to help her, but that, uh, didn't work well. … Continue reading Role Playing Games: An Unexpected Resource for Writers
Raise your hand if you’ve ever stared too long at someone because you were trying to memorize their features for a character description. Ten points if there was awkward eye contact. Twenty-five if it was a work colleague, and you were casting a villain. There’s a whole lot of great advice out there for developing … Continue reading Writing Real People in Unreal Settings
One of the most common questions I get from readers is how I did research for my historical fiction novel. My answer surprises them, and as I have never heard another writer mention it, I wanted to share. Google Maps. Did you raise your eyebrows? Good. You’re not the first. My debut novel is set … Continue reading A Surprising Resource for Writers
I can’t say I exactly planned to be a nonfiction writer, but here I am. It started out as a smaller endeavor, short essays or articles on a website where I’d occasionally cite a source or two. Fast forward a few years to when I found myself writing an inspirational/self-help book, a different kind of … Continue reading Research Done. Now What?
A monkey’s grip gets him into trouble. Monkey trappers will use nuts, bananas, or melon seeds to lure a monkey into their trap. The workings of the trap is brilliant. And because they know monkey nature (yeah, you know, verses human nature) they know just how to get them.A small hole is drilled into a … Continue reading Don’t Get Caught in a Monkey Trap