Violence: A Writer’s Guide

I hear a lot about various guides on how to write, but for some reason, I never hear about this one. Violence: A Writer’s Guide is written by Rory Miller, and, to be frank, it isn’t a guide on how to write. It is a guide for writers, and it talks about what violence is.

(To be honest, it works as a guide for everybody, but is ostensibly meant for writers.)

In the book, Miller talks about what violence is and how to cut somebody’s arms off with a sword on the battlefield. Also, if you shoot somebody with a pistol, they don’t die. But we already knew that from Anatomy 101. Right?

Seriously, the book’s jam packed with grisly, funny things. (Amend the “funny” part if you don’t share my sense of humour.) It’s of use if you write in the historical, fantasy, sci-fi, action, or horror genres. It’s also of use if you write in some other genre, because there’s more violence in our everyday lives than we care to admit.

The most interesting part of Violence, to me, are the emotions. Namely, people with experience on violent encounters have their stuff wired a bit different. It makes sense, right? If you’ve fought alien space monsters for years, you don’t have the same response to an angry nerd screaming at you as, say, a homeschooled pre-teen does. But most of us writers have jack all to do with serious violence, so we don’t know that, and we just end up extrapolating from our bubble-brained diet coke circumstances.

Violence is trying to remedy that. It’s good stuff, honeypies. Get it, read it.