While I wait ever so (im)patiently for my betas to get back to me, I'm getting closer and closer to completely my latest short story. I'm quite happy with the way it's turning out, especially for it being my first venture into this particular genre.
It did get me thinking, on an only tangentially related note, that writers have a wonderful resource in our time that our ancestors would have killed for. Or at least written about a murder for. A writer from even thirty years ago who wanted to write about something outside their experience was restricted to a library trip and good ol' Encyclopedia Britannica. If it wasn't there, they just guessed. This has led to some seriously weird and incorrect assumptions by authors over the years, but today we don't have the excuse.
The internet allows up so much freedom and power. Sure, I have to put in the time and effort, but if I want to write about a small village in rural France, I can learn about one! I can read blogs about people who visited the area, watch YouTube videos to see what life's like there, and go over Google Maps to see where it lies in relation to everything else. Hell, I can even pull up a Wikipedia page, learn about its founding, population, and demonyms!
This also lends itself to the most common joke in writer circles, of course, and that's government watch lists. How would I construct a bomb out of homemade materials? If I was going to shoot someone someplace nonlethal, what are my options? What does human blood taste like? What is the security in the White House like? Every writer comes up against this at least once in their career. You have an antagonist and you need them to think like a villain, but that requires information you don't possess. Information the FBI may not be keen on your looking for. Ah... c'est la vie!
What about you? What government watch lists are you on because of your writing? Shoot me a comment.
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.