The bane of the writers existence is research, last night I spent five hours digging around in a variety of links and NATOPS. All for what will probably be two or maybe three paragraphs in the short story.

Having experts that one can reach out to is a great thing. But, there is a downside. They are going to read what you wrote, and will expect you to get it right! 🙂

Of course digging back in NATOPS is even more fun, we used to call it the blue pill, because it will put you to sleep faster than anything else the next issue, is to make sure that what you want to do, is actually possible and make sense with in the story.

Having said that, today’s job will be trying to figure out the hastily scribbled notes, and get that into some kind of coherent thought in the story. Lemme see… 120kts, or was it 105 kts, and 1000 feet, and 1.2 miles… sigh…


Sigh… — 7 Comments

  1. Well, research may be a huge unseen endeavor, but it does add a very nice depth in the story. Maybe you can use the info in another story down the line?

    Or you could just say the ship went really, really fast over a very short distance…just doesn’t sound quite right somehow… 🙂

  2. Reminds me of how some of my favorite stories (like “The Martian”, or anything by Neal Stephenson) had the authors writing simulation models to check the feasibility of what they were describing on the page. Good world building or in the case of using the existing world, remaining faithful to reality does wonders towards avoiding breaks in immersion, even if the reader never sees the raw “data dump”. Keep up the good work!

  3. How about he fell asleep and when he woke up they had arrived? No? Maybe that’s why I did police work rather than made a fortune as a very popular writer!
    Keep up the good work. Having the work based on good science and exhibiting good accuracy is why I buy every book you write.

  4. Shall or shall not, will or will not, may or may not. Screw it, let’s head to the club.

    • Until you hear someone talking about the frustrations of trying not to mention [redacted] or [classified] in their work, and the difficulty of seeing if [classified] is anywhere close to [statute of limitations/non-disclosure] expiration or not. “Oh, there was that one time…nope, sorry. Um, maybe…no, can’t tell that one either. Well shoot.”

      And everyone else nodding in sympathy, and me half-expecting some wag in the audience or readership to call out “Oh, you were there too? I remember that one!”