Thursday, September 30, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 51

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

Armed and Dangerous: A Writer's Guide to Weapons
by Mike Newton

Armed and Dangerous: A Writer's Guide to Weapons (Howdunit Series)I've read my fair share of books on writing over the years, probably at least a couple of dozen, maybe more. Most of them are repetitive, and a good number of them offer silly advice.

This isn't one of those books. But it is a book about writing.

Specifically, this book covers the basics about weapons, mainly dealing with firearms.

A lot of beginning writers might think this information isn't needed by them. They've seen enough action movies. They know what a pistol looks like. Right?

Wrong. Unless you've spent some quality time studying and using a variety of weaponry, if you're a writer writing about weapons, you need to know this stuff. Weapons are quite common in horror, fantasy, Westerns and even science fiction, and they're not uncommon in thrillers, drama and even romance tales.

Why is it important to know about weapons if you write about them? Because a certain percentage of your readers will know about weapons, and you don't want to look like a fool in front of them. If you write some mind-blowingly stupid, those readers are likely to get a chuckle out of it, but some of them might get more than a little ticked and might start passing around word about how much of a fool you are. You don't want that. You want your readers to trust you so that they'll come back to you and read your next book or story.

Some of this information might seem a little nit-picky to those not familiar with weapons, but still, it's stuff you need to know. For example, do you know the difference between a revolver and a pistol? If not, you might need to find out.

Also, I want to add that this was one of the more fun books about writing. It's a quick read, not boring at all, so give it a chance if you stumble upon it.

Up next: Fight Club

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