Friday, October 05, 2007

Skin That Smoke Wagon

Yes, a line straight out of Tombstone. That movie was fantastic and I had to steal the line from Wyatt for this post.

In my Apparitions series there's an emphasis on law enforcement and criminals. The best way I can describe them is that they're supernatural stories mingled with crime stories and honed with suspense. That said, when I first developed the series I had to learn about firearms. Can't have the Sheriff and his Deputies running around without firearms now can we?

Now I know how to take firearms apart, info on various ammo, how they handle, how to shoot (anything from semi-auto pistols to revolvers to shotguns to rifles). At Context I actually had to pack all long sleeve attire because of a bruised shoulder from rapid target shooting with the 12 guage and heavy ammo.

Anyway, I'm in revisions for book two in the Apparitions series, Windigo. Now, I've been to the ranges but always during the day. In Windigo there's a scene where my Sheriff, Trace, is firing his weapon at night. Well, we've all heard the term 'guns a blazin' and seen torrents of fire erupting from muzzles and barrels on TV and movies. Understanding that the bullet is projected out of said barrels by the force of an explosion, I figured there would be some flames, surely. much? Is it really as brilliant in life as it is on the screen?

I may write fiction, but I do try to make everything as true to life as I possibly can through research and well, doing it myself. Which is perhaps why I can never end my list of hobbies or things I enjoy doing.

So in a writerly moment (you know, those times you get a wise idea and go out and do it without really thinking it through?). Lain and I were in the kitchen, it was dark outside and it went a little like this:

Lain (who knew about the scene in question): "You know, it's dark outside..."

Me: "Let's break out the Penetrator. I'd like to see what Trace would see and experience."

And so, we did - right then, right there.

(Yes, I name my stuff...almost everything. For those of you fellow Xeno heads out there, you'll know where Penetrator came from heheheh Go Ziggy!!!)

Yeah. Let me tell you...guns do indeed blaze. That thing looked like we'd fired a torch through it, not a slug. So when you see the Hollywood films they really aren't exaggerating.

On a side note...darkness does not dampen sound. Nope. Silly me, in my writerly mode of absorbing what Trace would see, feel, hear and do...forgot my ear muffs. Ahem. So if you ever get the idea to go out and really see what happens when you shoot a firearm in the pitch of night - take it from me and do wear ear protection. There are some things we writers really don't need to experience and ringing ears are one of them :)

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