I’d first like to thank every one who contributed a post to this month, Fictorian and guests alike!
The idea of a month devoted to not just research collection (because we’d like to spend more time writing instead, right?), but also some new concepts and ideas we might not have thought of to apply to our stories, thus making them more believable, realistic, or even helping us think of what might be true in the future.
Overall, I hope that our information was useful.
Some of my favorites (and there were many), in no particular order:
I started us off with a discussion on why realism and accurate information was so important in media.
Mostly because I was chased by a black bear once, and man, was I ever glad I read Little House on the Prairie.
Buuut also you know not everyone in your story is going to know the most accurate information, or maybe the readers are so used to an inaccurate trope that realism would cause them to cry foul. So sometimes perfectly accurate information isn’t the most important thing to the story.
Kristin Luna explored how gender can influence perceptions of risk-taking characters, particularly young women. We take risks! But perhaps not in the same way as young male characters might.
Guy Anthony De Marco gave us a 101 on proper terminology and use of firearms. Particularly, please don’t have your character take the safety off the revolver unless they’re removing their finger from the trigger. Just…why.
Marta Sprout wrote an excellent guest post on how crime scenes should, and shouldn’t, be investigated.
Kim May implored us to do our research on the particular culture of an Asian character instead of writing them into a stereotype.
If we don’t care enough to get it right then we offend readers of that ethnicity — thus losing them as readers — AND we mislead and misinform the readers who aren’t familiar with that ethnicity. Also, by misrepresenting that group we’re ultimately contributing to the cultural oppression of that group — even though we don’t mean to.
I shared how to look for, and write about, a character drowning. Also please watch out for everyone at the pool. Even if they’re a strong swimmer. But especially watch the little ones because I had to pull a kid out who was panicking and that was so scary for them. Pools are supposed to be fun and safe summer memories.
I also wrote about the moving definition of ‘death’ and that lead to a whole exploration of what exactly cryonics are, how it all works, and what one might do with that sort of technology in their story.
M. J. Carlson gave us a Top 10 list of the most used (and misused) injuries in fiction in his very informative guest post.
Mary Pletsch talked about how misconceptions about the military and soldiers can not only lead to inaccurate plotlines and failed missions, but contribute to ugly misconceptions around real service members.
In Healing in Science Fiction, Jace Killian emphasized how quickly technology can change, and the importance of doing your research on current issues when anticipating future technology.
That’s what we have for June! Stay tuned for an interview with an amazing person tomorrow and check back in July as we discuss genre!
– Emily Godhand