“Broken Bones, Ballistics & Backdrafts” – John Gilstrap
- Clips and magazines are not the same thing.
- Weapons of war are intended to interrupt the blood supply.
- When bullets are involved, there’s no such thing as a flesh wound.
- A head shot is like cutting the strings on a marionette. You’re unplugged.
- Silencers are actually called suppressors. It knocks the sound down. It doesn’t silence it.
“Firearms 101: Avoiding Pistol Errors” – Chris Grall
- 99.9% of the guns you will write about will have magazines, not clips.
- Clips are used to load magazines. A magazine is a place for storing ammunition.
- Glock doesn’t make a 40, they make a 23 that can hold a .40 caliber magazine.
- For the writer, I prefer the double-action pistol.
- Why do you guys make mistakes? Because gun manufacturers are dicks!
“What No One Is Telling You About Developing Memorable Characters” – Steven James
- Stillness is power.
- Variable status is the key to dimensionality.
- Characters should have different levels of status in different situations.
- You can undermine 100 pages of writing by using the wrong word when describing a character.
- A character with an attitude is always more interesting than a character with a history.
“What Does He Know?” – Lee Child & Joseph Finder
- The reader creates the character just as much as the writer. – Lee Child
- Give readers just a blip here and there so they are intrigued enough to want to learn more. – Joseph Finder
- Do it once and do it right. – Lee Child
- I’ve always been intrigued by having an opening and veering in a different direction. It’s exciting. – Joseph Finder
- Editing for me is an infuriating thing because sometimes editors are right. – Lee Child
“Plot Twists” – Steven James
- If something is only unexpected, people won’t be satisfied.
- When you write, you always want to escalate the tension.
- There’s always a coincidence in a book and it’s the one that incites the story.
- Always give the readers what they want or something better.
- Foreshadowing is the way you remove coincidence.
“Writing As Engineer” – John Sanford
- I don’t have detailed, hot sex scenes in my books because they slow down the story.
- In my case, I have a crime already in motion on the first page to grab the reader’s attention.
- When your character walks into a house, you should describe what it looks like, sounds like and smells like. All of these things give it reality.
- You can use the same house layout 33 times in a row and people won’t know it as long as you change what the outside looks like each time.
- The first page is the one that’ll sell the book.
“Your Editor Just Might Be Right” – Linwood Barclay
- I’ve never written a book about a writer who wanted to kill his editor, but I bet it would be good.
- If you think that your stuff is so good that it doesn’t need to be edited, you’re missing an opportunity for it to be better.
- You need an editor whose opinion you can trust.
- Every one of my books has been made better by the editing process.
- You live or die on the first page.
“The Day Job: Fact To Fiction” – Linda Fairstein
- To go from a job where I spent 30 years surrounded by people to the solitary atmosphere of being a writer was enormously difficult.
- I go to an office to write because I approach it like a job.
- When I had a day job, I’d wake up early and write for an hour-and-a-half to two hours for four or five days a week.
- It took me two years to get into a different kind of daily rhythm.
- Most of my heavy research is done before sitting down to write.
“Learning From Your Heroes & Finding Your Voice” – T. Jefferson Parker & John Lescroart
- It’s wonderful to indulge your heroes but at some point you have to get rid of them and make your writing your own. – T. Jefferson Parker
- You can’t commit to finishing your book. You have to commit to being a writer. – John Lescroart
- Even after you find your own voice, you never know how people are going to receive it. – T. Jefferson Parker
- I set a goal for myself to fill four pages a day. – John Lescroart
- I think I get 75 to 80 percent of my inspiration from other writers. – T. Jefferson Parker