7 New Year’s Resolutions for Writing Weapons in Fiction

Just like your other resolutions, expect this list to be recycled at this time next year. (Photo by Shondra Hull via sxc.hu)

Just like your other resolutions, expect this list to be recycled at this time next year. (Photo by Shondra Hull via sxc.hu)

It seems everyone and their brother has a list of resolutions for the new year. I’m no exception. Here are seven resolutions for writing weapons in fiction. I hope this year was good to you, and that there is plenty to look forward to in 2016.

#1 – Buy a Knife and Write it Into a Story

And I don’t mean just any ol’ knife. I mean something with an attitude. Hold it in your hand. Use it for everyday cutting tasks. A knife can and should be an extension of a character. Get to know the knife and you’ll better understand the character. ShopBlade.com and KnifeCenter.com are two good sites to make a purchase.

#2 – Go to a Gun Range

If you already own a firearm you’re planning to use in a story, hit the range for a better understanding of that story component. If you don’t have access to that particular gun or aren’t familiar with firearms at all, check out classes and/or rentals. There’s no substitute for this kind of experience.

#3 – Stop Using the Term “Assault Weapon”

Eliminate it from your vocabulary if you haven’t already. There’s more on assault weapons and assault rifles in this post.

#4 – Read On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

(Image via Amazon)

(Image via Amazon)

I don’t address the psychology of violence in the context of firearms and knives because I don’t feel I’m qualified to speak with any authority. (Imagine, on the Internet of all places, not commenting on something due to lack of proper information. Outrageous!) You owe it to yourself to check out the benchmark On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

It’s an incredible insight into how people (soldiers and civilians) overcome their natural resistance to killing other human beings (or not) through social conditioning, circumstance and other factors. If it doesn’t get you thinking about the guns and knives in your fiction, you didn’t read it.

#5 – Critique a Novel for Firearm/Knife Accuracy

In keeping with my rule, I’m not suggesting anyone go after another writer. I’m saying to read a novel with an eye toward how the firearms/knives are depicted. In the process, I think you’ll learn a lot about your own approach.

#6 – Write a Story Around a Gun or Knife

Pick out a gun or knife and use it as a writing prompt. Make it a centerpiece of your story. Who is using it? How does its presence impact the story?

#7 – Tell a Friend About The Writer’s Guide to Weapons

via James Duncan

(Photo via James Duncan)

Far more important than your resolutions to eat better, exercise and get organized is this critical commitment. With the publication of The Writer’s Guide to Weapons and the launch of this website in 2015, I received a ton of terrific exposure. I appreciated every link, comment, review, opportunity and e-mail. Really. It makes me happy to know others are enjoying the book and this website.

If you’d like to see more, I encourage you to tell a friend about The Writer’s Guide to Weapons. They can pick up a copy of the book, follow me on Twittersign up for my free e-newsletter full of exclusives, pick up some of my fiction or visit this website regularly.

That support goes a long way toward bringing some of my wild ideas to life. I want to build this brand, if you will, into something even larger and more useful. Something clicked in 2015, and I want to keep it going strong into 2016.

Thank You

Finally, I want to once again thank everyone who made 2015 a banner year for me. You are clearly more intelligent, better looking and leagues classier than the average Internet cretin. You and yours deserve an equally fantastic 2016.



8 thoughts on “7 New Year’s Resolutions for Writing Weapons in Fiction

  1. My best wishes, Ben! Sadly I am still not in optimized position, as enviously looking at that rich Maynard Soloman means I am still in a bummer of a nightmare turned reality. 😉

    Smallest blade on my list is the new assisted opening hunting knife I found on Ebay… adding sentry neutralisation from the dusty old army handbook and my, ahem, humble and vague acquaintance with clerics of the Lady Villainy I might contemplate that, though I am not really into crime fiction as such. My closest so far was a bloodthirsty half-orc thief in a Dungeons & Dragons story from my earliest (and crappiest) beginnings. x-)

    Still my most sincere best wishes for your own path through 2016!


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