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Handguns: You’re Still Writing Them Wrong. Yeah, You!

October 05, 2009  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Setting, The Craft   4 Comments

Author Lee Lofland takes authors to task for their bad gun research:

Okay, I attempted to read another book last week, a book I wanted to toss off a steep cliff into the Pacific Ocean. Why would I want to drive 3,000 miles just for the pleasure of watching a book sink into Half Moon Bay? It’s a simple answer really. I like my green tea hot with just a touch of milk, I like my Riesling chilled to the right temperature, and I like my freakin’ books to be believable. Even fantasy rings true if the author puts forth some sort of honest effort. But to write about guns, especially cop guns, and not do even a little bit of research just rubs me wrong. Like nails on a chalkboard. The information is out there. In fact, it’s everywhere – on the internet, shooting ranges, police officers, gun enthusiasts, target clubs, hunters, gun clubs, websites, blogs Google, books, libraries, newspapers…you get the idea, right?

Handguns: You’re Still Writing Them Wrong. Yeah, You!

Lee’s book is excellent, by-the-way. I used it while writing Bunny Trouble and the police officer who beta read my book only found one esoteric error.

4 comments on: Handguns: You’re Still Writing Them Wrong. Yeah, You!

  1. correia45 October 5, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    That is a pet peeve of mine. Actually, I personally dread putting screw ups into my books of any technical type. I’m a gun nut, and I’m scared to offend the car nuts, aviation nuts, computer geeks, etc.

    At the last Con I was at, I ended up having a long conversation with a bunch of other writers where they ended up asking me gun questions for the better part of an hour. I was able to prevent at least one instance of 5.56 bullets tumbling through the air. 🙂

    • Anthony October 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm

      Oh, I hear you there! For one scene in Bunny Trouble, I spent a week researching civilian jets and runways, and then I called a pilot friend of mine and grilled him for better part of an hour.

      You would like Bunny Trouble. Several bad guys die in an accurately described gun battle. I specifically wrote the novel to appeal to Libertarian Gun Nuts(TM) and one of the primary characters is a female, nano-infested alien pretending to be human so she can snack on nubile teens.

      She’s a gun nut too.

      Heh.

  2. Doug Perry October 5, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Nice find Anthony. I try not to be too specific when I talk gun stuff, because while I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I have fired shotguns, rifles, revolvers, and semi-automatic handguns, but of course, not all at the same time. :))

  3. leelofland October 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Doug – You hit the nail on the head. Many writers hang themselves by attempting to sound like experts when they’re not, and it shows.

    Your comment above – I have fired shotguns, rifles, revolvers, and semi-automatic handguns, but of course, not all at the same time – was a pleasant read. That’s exactly how non-experts should write about guns in their books. It flows well, and I believed you.

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