I’m a perfectionist, I really do want to get things right, particularly the supporting facts and figures of my novels for the simple reason that realism is THE most important foundation you can have – ever – and if it’s not there, unless you are writing a spoof, you’ve lost it as a writer – There has to be truth in there and not just big truths, but little truths as well.
Details count. If you’ve got a cop in your story, for instance, he or she has to speak and act like a cop and behind that police officer, there have to be real (or at least realistic) laws. Same with soldiers, same with doctors, same with anybody. You cannot walk in their shoes in everything BUT their expertise – it’s their expertise that you need. That means you have to study to some extent and think and speak like they do.
Law enforcement was the issue for me. There are laws against roughing up someone. Laws against murder. Laws against kidnapping and selling people into slavery.
So, Stephen, the team leader sells his latest new recruit (Aleisha, 17) to the two Khekarians in his team because they want a psychic and she’s it. She’s not very good at it, but who cares? It will mean a life of slavery in a savage empire for her, but freedom for Stephen and the rest of his team when those same Khekarians finally go away, not to mention extra money in his pocket.
What a bastard! And what’s not to like? As it turns out, in any other format, there’s plenty not to like. The story is great, but it dies a death if all Aleisha has to do is get to the police station.