Not my usual cup of tea…
This weekend I took the opportunity to do something different, something that I’ve never thought I would do in a million years. I went to a gun show, and I have to admit it was interesting. There’s a completely different group of people that attend a function like this. Those attending are enthusiastic; they’re honest, open, and forthright. They are honestly are more than willing to help answer your questions. But I went as a writer, NOT with the intent to purchase a gun, but with the intent to learn and to get the feeling for what it would be like to hold one. As a mystery writer, (and most mysteries include murder) I took the opportunity to get the feel for “the tool of the trade”. I have to admit it was a completely different feeling then what I imagined. And what an education! There are so many guns; handguns, pistols, rifles, automatic weapons-it was over whelming, and I walked away probably more confused that when I walked in. But, on the other hand I did get a clear understanding of what it is to hold a gun and what it is to own a gun. An added bonus was there were people there that had kits for making panic rooms and secret compartments for holding weapons within your furniture. It was very interesting, and set the wheels in motion for twist and turns within my plots.
I think as a writer, part of your job is to learn as much as you can about what you’re writing about. I took the opportunity to learn a little bit about guns. Somebody who’s writing a medical thriller should actually go and get soak up the feeling of the medical field; walk in and sit in an emergency room just pay attention to what goes on. If you’re writing about animals you should spend time with an animal and be around it to see what it does and how it interacts with the people and animals around it.
What I’m trying to say is it takes more than the right words to write a good book. You need to communicate an experience and the reactions with those words. And isn’t that what a good writer is trying to do; communicate the experience to our readers so that they can feel like you’re there with you, holding that gun?
So I encourage old and new writers try something different. Get some experience of what you’re writing about, even in the smallest possible way, and see what actually happens to your writing.
I think you’ll be looking at it from a whole new viewpoint.