Great word, huh – No, I didn’t make it up, the name is real, but what’s really great is that doing proper research brings you extra gifts, it throws into the open these wonderful little details that capture the imagination more than the main theme does – so, in the case of a hydroxyapatite implant (a prosthetic eye), the name is wonderful, but the real gem for me is the fact that the material comes from reef coral, giving you that little extra depth of information that you can relate to, something that brings a sense of wonder from outside your normal sphere of existence (assuming you’re not an engineer of surgical gadgets and/or prostheses).
The material from reef coral, coated with sclera to make it smooth, is perfect for being both lightweight and porous, it means the muscles, blood vessels and nerves can attach to it, making it permanently set in place and able to move naturally. It becomes, in effect, part of the body. I love that! How ingenious the human animal is!
It’s the detail that does it. I do love that sort of accurate detail in a book, the things that lift the story right out of the pages and brings it to life. This is where research trumps made up stuff every time. Made up stuff doesn’t bring forward this sort of item detail (I’m not talking plot here, which, of course, can be brilliantly detailed and complex).
Researching guns and weapons handling brought another one. The automated safeties of a Glock are brilliant and fascinating, but you feel like you are hands-on yourself when you learn that when you’re loading a clip, getting that last bullet in can be a real bitch against a new spring. It makes perfect sense, it’s just not something you’ve thought about unless you’ve done it.
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, but the little stuff brings it home. 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.
Hydroxyapatite implant – great. Made from reef coral – Amazing!
Update: In case you’re wondering where I got that example from – I didn’t get it from anyone’s book, I put it in my own. Same with the last bullet in the clip detail. Yep, I got them from doing my own research and both are in The Khekarian Threat.
Happy researching your thing of choice, everyone, and have fun finding those little gems.