Don’t Insult Readers by Being Lazy

Guest post
by Jim McCulloch

I’ve been a reader far longer than I’ve been a writer, and I’ve never enjoyed being insulted by authors who have written patently inaccurate detail into their otherwise excellent novels. I never know for sure if they were being lazy or just plain arrogant. Some have managed to become national and international best-selling authors but it doesn’t necessarily make what they wrote worth reading, at least for me.

I’m a fan of realistic action, adventure, mystery, spies, and tough guys so I’ll stick to those for purposes of discussion and because examples are easy to find. Apply the same concept to your own favorite genre and subject matter. Continue reading “Don’t Insult Readers by Being Lazy”

Ed’s Casual Friday: When good research goes bad

Today, I’ll be pushing the bounds of the “Casual” part of the column title, as this is more of a story than a post. However, it’s the sort of thing that often makes my fellow writers smile ruefully, while “regular people” look at me like I’m psychotic. So here we go.

Back in the mid ‘90’s, when flannel-clad Grunge bands roamed wild and free, I was an apple-cheeked (just go with it) student at a Midwestern university. I was studying Literature, with a Creative Writing emphasis, which of course means I was writing a lot of short stories. And reading a lot of short stories. And talking about a lot of short stories. But because nobody actually wants to grow up to be a short story writer (“I have a burning need to express myself through the written word…briefly.”), of course I was working on a novel. Continue reading “Ed’s Casual Friday: When good research goes bad”