Wednesday Spotlight: Marteeka Karland

Oh, You Didn’t Know?

Your azz better…

DO SOME RESEARCH!

You’re an AUTHOR, not a nuclear physicist. But if your character is a nuclear physicist, you’d better make him/her speak the lingo and do it correctly. Use as many details as you can, as accurately as you can. Know what you’re talking about, and I don’t mean just from movies either. If your story is about more than the romance between your characters–and it most likely will be–then make sure you know what you’re writing about. Nothing will turn a reader off more than if she’s a nuclear physicist reading about your nuclear physicist going… “uh, no. Uh HELL no.”

Make your story as realistic as you can. Research the details and create them accurately in your writing. Details can make a good story great. If you’re not sure about something, LOOK IT UP. Don’t guess. Yes, poetic license is allowed, but don’t have your nuclear physicist handling naked uranium bare handed or something. (Er…unless that’s how he/she got his/her superpowers.)

Personally, I highly recommend wikipedia. It’s a great starting place and can point you to places you’d never think of. Scour the Discovery Channel and the History Channel for documentaries. They may not give you all the information you need, but they may show you still more places to search. And don’t forget your local library. I once wrote a book about Atlantis where I had the mythical city located in the Challenger Deep off the shore of the Philippine Islands. It was only a few paragraphs in the story detailing where the city was, but I tried to make it as geographically correct as accurate as possible. It may not be noticed by everyone, but I guarantee you, it’s better than even one reader noticing how royally you f*cked up. Those are always pointed out and could cost you readers in the long run.

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