Saturday, January 31, 2015

Research, the Devil is indeed in the details

I'm reading reviews-as I often do-and a reviewer is ticked at the 'completely absurd' detail listed in the preview of the book. I've read other reviews where the devil in the details lost stars or irritated the reader. Just like when you drop a word, overuse or don't use your commas anything that takes the reader out of the story which is usually is caused by annoyance is bad because when you take the reader out of the story you are going to pay for it. That whole, writers write what they know is a given-there's a reason why so many protagonists are writers (BTW-stop it, it's really freaking boring when everyone does the same thing.) I'm fairly lucky(?) I've had several different jobs and done many very different things in my lifetime-I'm also really annoying in that I will pump my friends on the minutia of their day. Again the devil is in the details, I want to write a story about a very real scenario I read about, from my years in the financial industry I've got that part down but I need a football player and to know stuff about football-I don't want to anything about football *whine* this is Texas there are eight year olds that know and can teach me everything I need to know about football but there are so many stories waiting their turn and I'll get there, later. Will that stop me from writing what I'm going to write? No, it will just take some time and I have the time. So for now I'm writing what I know. 

One of the things writers really need to be aware of is that often readers will pick up a book not just because it looks good, it's because it's set in their city (how cool is that?) or the h does what they do, a nurse, teacher finally a 'real' person. Let's be conservative and put those reasons at 25% of why they bought the book so if you can't get their city right-I35 doesn't meet with I10 what the hell are they talking about? If you don't know that giving 75 CC of lidocaine will kill someone, if you don't know what Bfib is, don't use it. Don't trust your knowledge to come from television or movies. 

If you live in the sticks and are tired of setting your stories there, okay create a small town but for the love of god be careful-start at the beginning, how many people, grocery stores are there, how far to a a major city, how many schools and write that shit down don't shift your town, people hate that shit. Even better ROAD TRIP! Sadly I don't believe you can really get the vibe of a city in a weekend, we're talking a week maybe two.(Take Austin, you can look us up on the internet and it even mentions Eeyore's Birthday what it doesn't mention is it's 75% hippies and half naked people will be smoking blunts as the cops roam around-I love Austin. Nope people mention Austin and it's barbeque not the awesome food trucks and the plethora of coffee houses and that's it's slowly being turned into LA.)   Road trip not doable than for the love of god hook up with someone on the internet. It's how I've met awesome people-and don't forget to thank people for their help in your books. 

Yes, writers write what they know but here is the most wonderful thing, you learn something new every day. You can learn it all on your own or you can learn by meeting new people and seeing things through their eyes. There isn't a damn thing wrong with not knowing something and asking but there is something wrong when you don't know, don't ask and just guess. 

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