About four years ago, I attended a mini writing conference. And one of the speakers was a used-to-be- lawyer-turned-bodice-ripper-writer-to-suspense-bodice- ripper-thriller-writer who is a NYC best seller. She gave some really bad advice. And no, I’m not mentioning her name. Like I said she used to be a lawyer.
Anyway, one of her tidbits of advice was ‘just bullshit your way through a scene or a description. You don’t need to research for details. Most readers don’t know any better’. Smack me in the forehead, yes, we do need to research. And yes, the reader knows better.
My critter’s found scenes I had wrong. They were gun related. I learned that a gun is not just a gun but that there are different ones. They even shoot and hold differently. And they don’t all require the same kind of ammo.
When I sent my MS to beta readers, one found (Lorelie Bell, author of Vampire Ascending and Vampire’s Trill), that I had lots of things wrong with driving a semi. So she enlightened me. To this day, I’m so grateful for her suggestions and knowledge on the subject.
And since I’m a hairdresser by trade, I always have opportunities to discuss how my clients feel about reading books.
One of my questions I posed was this, ‘How would you feel if an author bullshitted their way through a scene?”
Their answer was always the same. “We’d put the book down and never finish it because it would make us mad. People aren’t stupid.”
So, yeah, researching topics on how to do something or historical facts is vitally important.
Before I leave, I leave you with a diddy. Maybe two:
“It’s not stopping!” The dash looked daunting. There were at least twelve gages and ten switches. “What’s all this stuff for?!”
“I don’t know but you need to find the clutch. It’s somewhere near the brake,” Cynthia said. “I sure hope you remember not to do anything your mother suggests ever again.”
I shifted my foot left and slammed it onto the clutch, grabbing the gear shift. My little hand could barely hang onto the softball-sized shift. “How many gears is on this thing?” I wiggled it front, then to the right, and then left. The engine made a grinding noise.
“Ten forward ones and two reverse.”
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