On Writing Close Quarters Combat: How to Clear a Room

Fiction writing police raids

(Photo by Spc. Monica K. Smith, US Army)

Today’s guest post comes from Michael Connick, someone who could probably sell his fictional works as writing guides for depicting firearms and action scenes. The information he presents below about clearing rooms is both informative and critical for anyone thinking of writing a SWAT raid, a protagonist’s dangerous infiltration into a hostile building or a military incursion into a structure into a story. You’re going to want to read this one all the way to the end.



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Guess Who Won a 2016 Watty Award?

who won the 2016 wattys wattpad awards

Last Friday, it was announced that one of my novels, Black Eye, a sequel of all things, won a Watty award over at Wattpad. The Wattys are the world’s largest online writing contest, and this year brought in 140,000 entries from a site that draws 45 million readers. From that, a handful win Wattys as determined by Wattpad itself.

It’s an incredible honor that brings a lot of opportunity with it. Past winners went on to fantastic success. Whatever comes out of this is going to be big. Bigly big. But even larger than that is my sense of gratitude to Wattpad, my readers and everyone who, through support or sacrifice, kept me going to get to this point. Writing is isolating, but it’s not an island.  Continue reading

Your Character Has Been Shot: Now What?

writing fiction gunshot foresensics

BANG. A character is struck by gunfire. The shot itself only takes a few words, but the effects can last for the rest of the story. Here’s what to consider.

Back again with another great guest post is Joshua Hood. You may remember him from this terrific piece about the M16, or maybe this one about misconceptions about the military in fiction. You might’ve picked up one of his thrillers, too. 

This time, Hood draws on his real-world experience in the military and in law enforcement to detail one of the most common questions writers have when it comes to weapons: What happens after a character is shot? His responses to my questions are below.


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What Writers Should Know About the M16 and Its Variants

Military guns fiction writing tips

A U.S. sailor is pictured with a M16A4 rifle in this Department of Defense photo. Fiction writers would do well to familiarize themselves with this ubiquitous firearm.

On the heels of his terrific guest post, 10 Things Authors Get Wrong About the Military, Joshua Hood is back with more insights from his background as a decorated combat veteran who served five years in the 82nd Airborne Division. He’s also the author of the novels Clear by Fire and Warning Order, both published by Simon and Schuster.

Today, however, he’s writing about what writers need to know about one of the most ubiquitous U.S. military firearms in fiction, the M16. Enjoy!


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Hands-On Research: How a Gun Shy Writer Pulled the Trigger for a Novel

I’m thrilled to bring you this interview with E.M. Kokie, author of the survival novel, Radical. Kokie knew she needed to learn more about firearms in order to write her book, and the story of how she went about it is a terrific lesson for writers who find themselves in a similar situation. Enjoy!


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