Saturday, 4 April 2015

Weirdest thing I like about writing

It's the research.
OK, anyone who's laughing ... stop it. Seriously. Research is awesome. I'm writing a sci-fi series set in a mercenary cult. This research is great.

For example - camouflage. I found, and promptly lost again, an article arguing that the best all-around low-light camo colour would be a grayish shade of pink (Mountbatten pink is another classic) ... but everyone refused to use it. You can find hundreds of resources online, talking pattern disruption, the physiology of the human eye, smart fabric, whatever rocks your boat.

Blood spatter patterns. Made for a very fun lunch break, and scared the pants off a nosy colleague who found herself in my browser history. Vital for several books.

Image result for throwing knivesKnife throwing techniques and blade designs. Yep, that colleague never snooped my browser again :) Surprising fact: Crocodile Dundee is a lot closer to reality than DareDevil. A lot of the mercenaries in my series carry throwing knives, not least the lead character. Almost all of them carry some kind of edged weapon. (Why do mercenaries in a technologically advanced society have any use for knives??? Well, for starters, they don't run out of power. They can't be stopped by, for example, a personal deflector shield designed to stop a beam weapon. They make people dead just as effectively, and people don't expect them. I could keep going.)

Image result for BujinkanHand to hand combat. I did a lot of that in person, and most of the hand to hand you see in the Cortii series is based (albeit sometimes very loosely) on one form or another from a martial art I've studied. Pressure points are a particularly fun thing to toss in when people don't expect it.

The urban fantasy book I wrote last year was almost as much fun. Voodoo. Legends about shifters in different areas. How the feline sense of smell differs from the canine. Structure of a feline eye.

Basically, some background research is essential if you want to have those weird and wonderful touches of verisimilitude in the story. My feeling is that most fiction writers need to be information magpies. Not only can it be a lot of fun, but the universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we can imagine.

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