By Bruce Memblatt
How many times have you been watching a movie or reading a novel in which a character has a magic gun that never runs out of bullets? How many times have you scratched your head and said “WTF?” Those head scratching moments are the “aha” moments that every writer should dread because those are the moments readers are being taken out of your story, and, they are being taken out of your story by you.
Research in fiction writing is pivotal not only to your credibility as a writer, but it is the thing that makes your work ring true. Everything about your story is false - it is a creation of your imagination-it never happened- but in order for you to get a reader to feel like it did, it must appear real. It takes good research to make the Impossible seem possible.
Research can assume many forms. They can range from factual to the speculative. If a revolver can hold six rounds, that is a fact beyond dispute. In comparison, if you’re researching an historical event, usually there is an array of opinions and views regarding what happened. You have to use your judgment, and chose what is best for your characters. You also have to remember you are writing fiction, not a term paper. Your use of facts should be limited to those which help move YOUR story forward. I had to perform exhaustive research for my story, “Abandoned,” which will appear in SHADOW MASTERS - the soon-to-be-released anthology from The Horror Zine, because most of the action takes place aboard a slave ship. I also had to use a lot of restraint to stop myself from allowing the facts to overwhelm the fiction. As a great man once said, “God is in the details.” Too many details can run your ship into the ground. The key to everything is good judgment; make your research work for you, not against you.
From New York City, Bruce Memblatt joined the staff of the Horror Zine in 2012. A member of the HWA, he has been published over one times in zines, magazines, and anthology books in publications like The Horror Zine, Sam's Dot Publishing, Post Mortem Press, Danse Macrabe, Parsec Inc, Dark Moon Books, Yellow Mama, Bewildering Stories, The Feathertale Review, and many others.
His story" Destination: Unknown" was cited for an honorable mention in the 2013 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, and his story "Dikon's Light" is a recipient of Bewildering Stories 2012 Mariner Awards.
Coming up he has a piece called," Abandoned" in Shadow Masters from the Horror Zine and Imajin Books, and one called, "Stranger than Life : A Post Mortem" soon to appear at Namless Magazine.