Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Right Weapon for the Right Job


Writing noir or hardboiled they're important. Very important. Conversely, that's where a lot of writers screw the pooch . . . to use a quaint little American phrase. Ya' gotta get the right weapon in the right hands. And then ya' gotta make sure there are no incongruities.

Like thumbing off the safeties on a Smith & Wesson revolver. Or using a hand weapon--any form of pistol--in a firefight that has ranges farther than . . . say . . . the length of a livingroom. Little things like that. It's amazing how it can drive an afficionado of the genre into fits of a screaming dispair.

I know. Made that mistake. Heard about. Forcefully and in no uncertain terms.

Little things. It's the little things a fan picks up and nags about the most. If you've established a character, and if the story line is humming along nicely, it's the little nitpicking things a fan will hone onto like acqusition radars on an F-14 Tomcat. Nail you to the wall. Skin you with a dull knife and hang the hide out to dry.

And they should. Listen to'em. They'll make you a better writer.

1 comment:

  1. That's so true about accuracy regarding weapons. One's readers do not have to be experts on guns, knives, etc., to pick up on a cartoon-like scene of a knife or gun fight. Somehow, the lack of research and/or knowledge comes shining through all on its own. The problem is, once those kinds of errors have been discovered, it won't matter how high the quality of the piece is overall. The reader will put it down and think twice before picking up anything further from that particular writer. As a reader, when I've run across 'made-up' weapon info, that's what I've done. The weapons' part of noir/crime fiction needs to be as real as it can be.