I have a great deal of fun researching the details in my stories – The type of thing that only someone “in the know” would realize, someone actually there with that training or that experience.
When you read about a character loading a clip and learn that getting that last bullet in can be a real bitch against a new spring, it puts you there, experiencing something in your imagination that you would never have known, unless you’d actually done it. It makes perfect sense, and it pulls you right inside the story.
Some people leave the last bullet out – Now there’s a story waiting to happen, a game-changer because that last bullet wasn’t there… or because it was, the shooter pushed beyond that resistance and for the first time used a fully loaded clip. There’s tension in that one – did they or didn’t they?
The big stuff is important in a story, of course it is, but it’s the little stuff that brings it home and makes it real. That’s the stuff I love. That’s the stuff that excites me. It’s the stuff on a human level that I didn’t know at all until I looked it up or got hands-on.
Broken jaws – one of those topics that is ripe for assumption. We’ve all read the books or seen the movies where jaws are wired shut while the broken jaw heals. I’ve seen that mistake made in modern books simply because the writers made assumption or didn’t think to check.