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Credibility – Why Writing It Wrong Ruins It For Everyone

When we write something, whatever it is, we want to draw the reader in. We want them to trust us. We want them to agree with us, to suspend disbelief, and get lost in the story. We write fiction. In other words, “lies.” Pretty, witty, wonderful lies, but lies nonetheless. What’s even better? We make people believe them, if only for the short time it takes them to read the story.

How do you make a lie most believable? By surrounding it with truth. A good writer knows this and uses it. We use truths to make our lies credible. We want the reader to get lost in the mix, unable to separate the truth from the lies. But the writer must know the difference. We must not forget where the line lies and we must resist the temptation to casually make up the truths amid which we will hide our lies. A simple little mistake can bring the reader crashing back to reality and start doubting. It can destroy all trust in the writer, and every time it happens, that reader’s trust will get harder and harder to win back.

But I don’t have the time to research every little detail! I’m a fiction writer, of course I’m going to make stuff up. That’s what I do!

Indeed! One cannot expect to get every detail right all the time. Therefore, we need to understand which sort of details are most critical to the story we are telling and the audience we want to tell it to.

For example, if you are writing the sort of story that depends and pivots around action and a few well-placed bullets, it might be a good idea to get your gun facts straight. On the other hand, if you missed a few bits about the intricacies of needlepoint in the same story, I doubt it would cause as much difficulty.

If you are writing a cozy mystery, about the yarn store owner who ends up investigating the strange murder that involved a knitting needle and a piece of rare silk yarn, you might reverse the factual priorities. Your target audience will probably be more in tune with yarn textures than grip styles. Luckily, the sock-knitting gun-nuts who just love those knitting mysteries probably aren’t expecting you to have read every issue of Guns & Ammo. (They’d love it if you did, but they’ll probably forgive you.)

Writers need the readers’ trust, and a great way to do that is by fulfilling the readers’ expectations. Consider the expertise of your audience and the expectations/focuses of your genre. Then use that information to decide which mistakes your readers will forgive you for and which ones will betray you.

6 Things To Know About Revolvers

There are many myths about revolvers and even more half-truths. Here are a few important details to keep in mind if you want to keep your descriptions and discussions of revolvers accurate and believable.

1. You can’t silence a revolver. With one rare exception, the sealed-cylinder, Russian Nagant m1895.

2. Revolvers do not use “clips” or “magazines” unless they are watching YouTube or reading the latest issue of Guns and Ammo. You reload a modern, double-action revolver in one of three ways:

With loose ammo. We all know how that works. Pop the cylinder, eject the spent shells, and start putting new ones in, one at a time, maybe two or three if you’re good.

Or you can reload using a speedloader.

And if your gun is cut for it, moon clips.

Don’t be fooled, if you know how, you can reload and shoot a revolver fast.

Don’t blink.

3. Revolvers can be chambered in more powerful cartridges then their semi-automatic brethren. Ain’t no automatics in .500 S&W Magnum, last time I checked. Give it time, of course. Revolvers can even be chambered for multiple rounds. Like the Taurus Raging Judge, which will fire .45 Long Colt, .454 Casull, or .410 shotgun shells.

4. Revolvers are not necessarily more simple than a semi-automatic. They have very intricate internal workings. However, a mechanically sound revolver is less likely to malfunction because of external factors such as sand, grit, water, etc…

5. A revolver is more accepting of variations in ammo. As long as it is the right kind of cartridge, a revolver will probably fire it. This is because the mechanisms run the same whether empty or loaded. In contrast, semi-autos rely on the recoil of the bullet to cycle.

6. Not all revolvers hold six shells. Most do, mind you. But not all. Five-shot revolvers are common. Small, concealable models often hold five rounds. Then there are the big guns, like the .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum. The large X-Frame revolver holds five monster shells. Some, chambered for smaller diameter cartridges can hold more than six, up to ten in the case of the Ruger Single 10. An eight-shot .357 is a very nice and not uncommon pistol, so be careful, just because your hero counted six shots, doesn’t mean the gun is empty.