Tuesday, July 14, 2020

New SciFi Romance Release: IVOKK by Veronica Scott

Our Saturday blogger and publishing powerhouse Veronica Scott released the latest in her Badari Warriors SciFi Romance series this weekend, so for those of you building your payday book list, be sure to add IVOKK to your cart and savor the Happily Ever After!

IVOKK:
A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel

Proud enforcer of the Badari South Seas pack, Ivokk undertakes a secret mission back to their former home, in search of a cure for a mysterious illness affecting his soldiers, now in exile in the north. He’s ready to make any sacrifice to find the answer and help his pack brothers stay strong. He’s even willing to accept responsibility for the human woman assigned to the mission, although she’s a headstrong civilian, difficult and rumored to dislike his kind.

Sandara DiFerria was once a three-star chef in the Sectors, but that was before the alien enemy kidnapped the entire adult population of her colony to use for experimentation. Rescued from the labs by the Badari, she does her part to support the rebellion now by running the vast commissary operation in Sanctuary Valley. All she asks is to be left alone until she can get back to the Sectors and pick up her old life again. Her one previous romantic brush with a Badari soldier turned out badly, ending in public humiliation. Add to that post-traumatic stress from her life before moving to the colony and she’s the last person to pick for a top-secret mission. Or so she believes.

The Alpha running the pack disagrees and sends her to do the job under Ivokk’s watchful eye. Thrown together by the nature of the task they must undertake, the undeniable attraction they both feel grows. Will the dark secrets of Sandara’s hidden past create an insurmountable barrier between them? Can Ivokk and the tempestuous human chef find the answer to the Badari illness in time? Or will the elements and the enemy bring disaster?

BUY IT NOW: Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo

Monday, July 13, 2020

How do you save ideas



This week the topic of conversation is how to save those ideas that come to you at the strangest times. OIn the shower and a notion pops up, driving down the road or having a conversation and an idea for a tale hits you?

I don't save them. I kind of fih=gure if it's a good enough thought, it'll come tome again. Like all of the goodies boiling in a pot of stew. If it's good enough, it'll come back to the surface. I'll see it when it does.

On an unrelated note: along with my co-editor Christopher Golden, I have won the Shirley Jckon Award for 2019, in the category of anthologies. Chris put it better than I could have, so I'm stealing his words: 

"I'm absolutely thrilled to learn that The Twisted Book of Shadows has won the Shirley Jackson Award. It means the world to me that this book, and these authors, has received this honor. While I'm extremely grateful to publisher John M. McIlveen, co-editor James A. Moore, coordinator Matt Bechtel, and editorial committee including Linda D Addison, Rachel Autumn Deering, Lee Thomas, Nadia Bulkin, and KL Pereira (as well as to every person who supported our gofundme with a donation), I want to point your attention to the contributors. We sifted through 700 stories to find extraordinary stories. I'm so damned proud to be associated with the authors and the stories in this book, so congratulations to the authors. If you haven't read the stories yet, you owe it to yourselves to do so.
Angelmutter by David Surface
At Least the Chickens are All Right by Trisha Wooldridge
Beneath Her Skin by KT Wagner
Brother Mine by Rohit Sawant
Cake by MM DeVoe
Coyote by Jason A. Wyckoff
Elegy by Sarah L. Johnson
For Every Sin an Absolution by Kristi DeMeester
Groomed by Liam Hogan
Liza by Jeffrey B. Burton
Lydia by Cindy O'Quinn
Midnight Sun by Andrew Bourelle
Mirror, Mirror by PD Cacek
Records of the Dead by John Linwood Grant
Smeared Star in Your Hands by Sara Tantlinger
The Birthing Pool by Eoin Murphy
The Pale Mouth by Melissa Swensen
Underground by George Murray
Unto the Next by Amanda Helms"


Wow. Just, wow. I am so very honored. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Grabbing Those Great Ideas

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is all about Ideas. How do you write down or remember those great ideas that you get mid-shower/dream/car drive? If you lose them, how do you get them back?

It's funny this came up now because I talked about this very thing on my podcast, First Cup of Coffee, just recently - and even commented that I liked what I'd talked through so much that I should transcribe it. So this gave me the impetus to do that - and edit the transcription, which is the time-consuming part.

If you prefer to listen, you can listen here. Or, read on for the transcription! I included the whole thing, but set off the relevant section in bold, in case you don't care for a faithful reproduction of my conversational rambling.

******
Good morning, everyone. This is Jeffe Kennedy. I'm here with my first cup of coffee. It's Thursday, July 2, and I am back in my grape arbor and my folks are on the road this morning. So the staycation is over. I'm getting back to work today.

It's good to have a little bit of fallow time. But now I am ready to get after it. I have not yet gotten edits back from editor Jennie on The Promised Queen. She said she thought maybe week of June 29. But seeing is how it's Thursday. It might be next week. Which I told her whenever is fine, and that's really true. So that means that I can start in on one of my other projects today, because Lost Princess released on Monday, and thank you all for the wonderful reception for that book.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to have the book earn out on release day, or a little before, as some of that's before because when you guys buy through my website, I get that money right away. But to go ahead and recoup all of my costs on that first day of release is wonderful, because then after that I can consider it all income. And that's, that's just incredibly useful. So thank you all. And I'm glad that you're happy with the book. And so far, nobody seems to feel cheated.

I won't spoil or anything but there was something I had hoped I'd be able to do with that book. And I just couldn't figure out a way to make make it happen. Although I've received suggestions from several people. Spoiler: cover your ears for just a second if you haven't read it yet. I've received suggestions from several people on how to actually get elephants to Dasnaria. It could happen We'll see. Okay, now you can all come back.

So, yeah, I'm feeling rested, tanned, rested and ready. It's an old joke. Uh, yeah, it's um, it's actually a, like a Nixon joke, I think. Which tells you something. It also tells you something when our political climate is such that we long for the simplicity of Nixon who simply resigned in disgrace and flew off of this helicopter. Ah, the good old days. Right.

So, I will get back into the groove now.

The projects I'm thinking about working on are: going back to Dark Wizard which, I think I told you all, that Grace Draven wants me to just call it Dark Wizard. We're arguing about this. She says, I should just title it Dark Wizard. I'm like, you can't just name a book Dark Wizard. And so then I've started playing with variations on that, you know, a little bit of gamesmanship with wordplay, etymology, you know, sort of like Darth Vader, you know, it could be like Darth. Of course, I can't use Darth because that it immediately evokes Star Wars. But the working title is definitely Dark Wizard. And then I also got another great idea for a story that I don't know what my working title for it should be. But I think it's a really good idea. You know, like one of those ones that zings. Oh no, I started to mention it when I drove in for writer coffee last Thursday, I talked about it some and then I decided that there was too much noise on the podcast and I didn't put it up.

That's one thing about taking some time off and letting the well refill is that sometimes you just get these ideas that pop into your head. And this is one that comes a little bit out of my mentoring session too at SFWA's Nebula conference.

So, I think it's really good idea. I'm tempted to try again. I mean, I know my 3000 words a day is sustainable. I'm definitely going to try to do 3000 words a day. I'll get back into the groove on Dark Wizard - and I'm thinking about trying for more words again later in the day on this new story, on the new shiny. I don't know how that would work. I definitely can't do it right off. And there's probably nothing wrong with letting the idea percolate. Kelly Robson said something about that when I told her I had a new idea. You know, the really good writer friends are the ones who, when you tell them that you have a great new idea, they don't ask you what it is. Because they know better. They know that you're still sort of sitting on the egg as it were. And I do think that there's a possibility of sitting on an egg so long that it goes bad, you know that it's a dud. But I think that if that -

Okay, so here we're going to extend the analogy.

If you're sitting on an egg so long that nothing happens and it's a dud, then I think it was always a dud.

The really good ideas, if you sit on them for a long time, eventually, they're going to start picking their way out of the, the shell. And by that you will know. Different writers are different ways about those things. And you know how I'm always talking about, own your process. Discover what your process is, own it. Keep refining it.

And I feel like this is a lifelong process for all of us. I kind of gave my I finished teaching my class on Identifying and Breaking Bad writing habits. In my rousing goodbye screed, I talked about this, that as much as we would like - and I'll tell you what I am so this person: I want to buy thing and then have it for the rest of my life. I want to be able to learn something and then know it. I want to build a habit, and then have it. And I don't get to have that.

This is not how the universe works, to my great consternation. And with all of these things, it's because building habits and refining your creative process are our processes. And they are iterative. So this means that you keep going back over and over and you keep checking and rechecking to see how they're doing. See how you are doing. Are you still being productive? Is that thing that worked before still working? How can you tweak How can you maximize? How can you maximize in terms of not increasing output, but improving output, which I think is a different thing. You know, like Leslye Penelope, she's been talking about that she just took a break, that she took a couple of weeks off and she's been reading and enjoying herself, that crop rotation idea of letting the fields lie follow. Deanna Rayburn talks about that, that she took like a couple of years off writing, and only read. And I think that those things are very important as part of discovering your process, and refining all of these things.

Every round is different. So it's very tempting to listen to other writers and say, Okay, here's how you do the thing. Like, you know, I had one of the students in my class ask saying, Well, when I do a really detailed outline, I find I lose interest in the story and I struggled to finish it. You know that's a question that we get all the time. This comes up all the time. And it's, it's so funny, because the obvious answer is, then don't do a detailed outline. Your process does not involve doing a detailed outline beforehand. But people get so wrapped up in the idea that that is how you do the thing, that you do this thing by making a detailed outline. And they think that the problem is is is somehow in how they're executing. And it's like, No, no, this is not your creative process.

Figure out what your creative process is.

Own it.

Don't let other people tell you how you should be doing the thing.

So along with this idea of like sitting on, on new ideas, John Scalzi has a very interesting approach. He said that he gets an idea. And he thinks about it a little bit, and then he puts it away. And then if it's still there in the morning, he gives a little bit more thought and then puts it away. And then if it's still there a week later, he gives a little bit more thought and puts it away. And he'll do this for months or a year.

And I thought, well, that's a that's an interesting approach.

Some people I know, like my friend Darynda, she gets ideas, and she has to go ahead and write out a pretty detailed outline of the idea before it'll leave her alone. I don't know if she's still doing that. I should ask her if she's still doing that. We haven't done an interview with her in a couple of years, we should get her back on here. Because these things change, right? That's the most important thing is that these things change over the course of our writing career as we refine our process. You know, so the upshot was is that Darynda has something like 60 plus book outlines on her hard drive, which even she acknowledges is not super productive, because she won't have time to write all of them. But that's it's part of how ideas seize her and how she deals with them. So it would be very interesting to ask her if she's still doing it that way. I will try to remember to make a note poke her and see if she wants to do an interview. I haven't seen her in so long . When was the last time I saw Darynda? January, I guess? Yeah. So it'd be nice to have a nice a good long conversation. And you guys might as well listen in.

I usually the jot down a few notes on the idea, because I will forget it. And that's where  Scalzi would say, well, then it deserves to be forgotten. And I'm not sure I believe that's true. Because sometimes I will go back to my spreadsheet of ideas. And I'll think, oh, that is a great idea. And I'll write down just enough words to make it come alive for me again, and I think I would lose those and I'm not sure that they should be lost.

So then Elizabeth Gilbert talked about - I'll see if I can find the link to this podcast. I think it was like two years ago that I was reading her, maybe just a year. I know, I was doing a podcast on listening to her audio book, which I can't think of the name of now. It's the one on that's kind of like about creativity and magical thinking. (BIG MAGIC) But anyway, she has this idea that that ideas come to you and kind of lurk and wait. And if you don't pay attention to them - she thinks of them as like living things - that if you don't pay attention to them, then they leave and they go find someone else. That was it: she had said that Ann Patchett ended up writing her idea because she didn't get to it, and that it was uncannily close to her own idea.

It makes for a fascinating story.

I'm not sure I believe that, but I kind of like my egg analogy. Part of what I'm thinking about now is okay, I'm working to this idea is like, does it hurt to write down a few thousand words to get the story started and then poke at it every once in a while. I know writers who do this, but I'm thinking back to one concept I had that I did that on, and it did kind of die and lose impetus. So maybe it'd be better to keep it fully in the egg. Maybe this is part of it. It's like, once it starts, once you crack that egg, you know, it's okay to let the idea incubate in the egg. But once you crack that egg, then you either have to feed your little baby bird regularly, insects all the time, like my bluebirds ferry insects to their babies.

Or it'll die. You have to.

That's an interesting concept. So I like the idea of keeping the idea eggs. So thanks guys! You just helped me solve this problem. And, for your information, in case you didn't know, this is exactly how all of my conversations with my friends go: where I ask them questions and they say things and then I arrive at the answer and and thank them and they're like I just sat here and listened to you talk. So you guys are all doing this for me. All right, I won't try to do more than 3000 words a day, because that really does work best for me. It's very sustainable, and it's good. And even though I didn't get that much written the last couple weeks of June. I still am way ahead of last year. So I've been doing much better And on that note, I think I will go get to work today. I need to, I want to get 3000 words on Dark Wizard if I can. And because there's always the ramp up factor, you know, it's just as yesterday morning, I ran on the treadmill again for the first time and today I lifted weights and my body is feeling a little creaky because I've mostly been like, shopping and going out to eat and drinking wine. So, physically and creatively, I am waking up those creaky muscles and getting back to it. So all right: I am getting back to work.


I'll remind you that first cup of coffee is part of the Frolic Media Podcast Network, and you can find more podcasts you'll love at frolic.media/podcasts and I will talk to you all tomorrow. Promise. Okay, take care. Bye bye.


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Live and Let Live on Fiction Tropes

DepositPhoto

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is "Sex on the Beach & Sand in the Wrong Places: What's your favorite bit of pop-culture fiction doesn't work well in reality?"


I’m kind of a live and let live person. I don’t over analyze tropes or fictional conventions and if there’s something I personally don’t like, I just don’t read it. There will probably be many other people who do like brother’s-best-friend-the-bully-at-the-elves-prison-joining-a-reverse-harem-before-heroine-saves-the-universe. More power to them, enjoy the book and I’ll be over here reading something else. And maybe tomorrow I’ll be in the mood for some of that insane RH prison break romance. You never know.

Which is a long winded way to say I have nothing to say on the week’s topic. Oh, I can think of all kinds of things they do all the time in movies, TV and best sellers (and non-best sellers) that your average person would never be able to pull off but why ruin the fun? It’s FICTION. It’s escapism. It’s yes, if I am ever trapped on a speeding bus with a bomb and my driver’s license was suspended I WILL still drive the thing over a broken freeway ramp through the air like a lumbering whale gone airborne and go home with Keanu Reeves, thank you very much. Or if I find myself in an abandoned, shot up complex on a nasty mining colony planet, I’ll escape the Alien Queen’s hordes, shoot the place up and fly off with Michael Biehn.

I’d probably never do a Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise though. Just sayin’.

Also there’s this – humans are capable of amazing things in reality when push comes to shove and the chips are down. I think we all need some happy, hopeful fiction, especially right now, to take us out of our daily lives full of…well you know what it’s full of right now…and off to a place where anything is possible and a happy ending is guaranteed. (Being a romance reader…)


Hey, I have a new release this week!
IVOKK: A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL (SECTORS NEW ALLIES SERIES BOOK 12) by Veronica Scott
Proud enforcer of the Badari South Seas pack, Ivokk undertakes a secret mission back to their former home, in search of a cure for a mysterious illness affecting his soldiers, now in exile in the north. He’s ready to make any sacrifice to find the answer and help his pack brothers stay strong. He’s even willing to accept responsibility for the human woman assigned to the mission, although she’s a headstrong civilian, difficult and rumored to dislike his kind.

Sandara DiFerria was once a three star chef in the Sectors, but that was before the alien enemy kidnapped the entire adult population of her colony to use for experimentation. Rescued from the labs by the Badari, she does her part to support the rebellion now by running the vast commissary operation in Sanctuary Valley. All she asks is to be left alone until she can get back to the Sectors and pick up her old life again. Her one previous romantic brush with a Badari soldier turned out badly, ending in public humiliation. Add to that post-traumatic stress from her life before moving to the colony and she’s the last person to pick for a top secret mission. Or so she believes.

The Alpha running the pack disagrees and sends her to do the job under Ivokk’s watchful eye. Thrown together by the nature of the task they must undertake, the undeniable attraction they both feel grows. Will the dark secrets of Sandara’s hidden past create an insurmountable barrier between them? Can Ivokk and the tempestuous human chef find the answer to the Badari illness in time? Or will the elements and the enemy bring disaster?

Amazon      Apple Books      Kobo      Nook      Google Play

Friday, July 10, 2020

Really, Fiction??

I've been busting my knuckles for the past few weeks trying to get a novel written in short order for a box set called Beyond Twilight. It will be ten vampire novels and a portion of proceeds goes to charity. We're supporting the Southern Ohio Wolf Sanctuary.

And here's where I'd like to get into the single biggest thing about fiction that just does not work in real life, though I wish to all the gods it did and how do I get a slice of this fictional pie.

EVERYBODY'S RICH.

Have you noticed? We have all these stories about plucky heroines faced with financial adversity - someone's gonna buy Ma and Pa's farm out from under her, bulldoze it and build condos! Then, lo and behold, the hero, probably the one trying to buy the farm in the first place, shows up. In a Ferrari. Or some other status symbol indicating that he's loaded. Maybe the shoe is on the other foot and she's loaded. Regardless, it seems that few of us in the romance genre have fallen far from the fairy tale tree.

While a little wish fulfillment is good for the soul, one of the things I very rarely see handled in novels is the kind of trouble that comes from having money - people trying to ingratiate themselves. Not knowing who to trust. Fund managers absconding with cash.

I think that's why I like writing sf and fantasy as much as I do. I don't have to be weighed down by any kind of connection to or expectation of reality. Especially not in regard to how people keep roofs over their heads and food on tables. Or in the case of The Blood Knife, how they might actually *be* dinner.

The box set comes out July 22 and will only be available for three weeks. In this particular case, while not many of the authors are rich, we're hoping to raise enough money to help the sanctuary buy a 1k acre tract of land they have their eyes on. More wolves rescued and more room for them to run and play. This way, with Beyond Twilight, you don't have to decide whether you're team Edward or team Jacob.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

How do I love fiction? Let me count the ways.


(sword on display at Château de Chambord)

There’s a ton of fictional aspects that don’t work in reality. But where’s the fun in that?! 

I appreciate the fictitious gems in books and on screen that make me suspend belief. I love when creatives take the mundane and fictionalize it. I’m a fictionist because I NEED fiction.

Why do I say I need fiction? Basically, to echo my post from last week, because fiction gives us hope that there’s more out there, that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves, that we’re capable of far more than we can imagine. And everyone needs hope. 

But back to our topic of the week which is: what’s your favorite bit of pop-culture fiction doesn’t work well in reality. Vivien Jackson beat me to this with her post yesterday (such a good top 10 list, go check it out!!), but here are a few of my favorite things that are better in fiction:

1. The ringing sword draw. You’ve heard it so many times you may believe it’s real. Though, in reality, a blade doesn’t shhhinnng when it slides free of its scabbard, unless you have one made out of metal and then you’ve got other issues. But a dramatic sword draw wouldn’t be…dramatic if there wasn’t a pure, metallic ring. Think Jon Snow drawing his sword against a mob of white walkers in Game of Thrones

2. When evil's defeated, their mountain/castle/spaceship blows up and becomes rubble. I really like this analogy to life as we’re constantly in a battle, internally or externally, for good to win out. It’s just not usually as epic as say Sauron’s eye exploding.

3. Implants. No. No, not those implants. The sci-fi implants that project a computer screen in front of the character’s face, the ones that open doors with the wave of a hand, the kind of implants that sometimes require the main character’s (MC) to eject a chip from within their body to provide evidence that will bring down the big baddies. You know…those implant

4. Capes. You know someone’s someone and that they mean business when they’re wearing a cape. And they always flow spectacularly in the wind, real or nonexistent. Think Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor Ragnarok.

5. The gadget save. Tweak as you see fit for sci-fi, mystery, thriller, horror, etc. But they’re all the same, the MC's in a fix and then their gadget-supplier shows up or sends them the perfect tool. Or, the MC’s smart enough to make the tool perfect…like in MacGyver and James Bond.

6. Televators. My then four year-old son said he wanted a televator: “You know, mom, one of those elevators that poofs you where you want to go.” My mind conjured a mix of Dr. Who’s TARDIS and Star Trek’s transporter, so number 5 is an homage to all of those futuristic re-locaters. 

7. The slow-mo first kiss. In my memory, my first kiss with my husband happened in slow motion as the crickets sang around us and the moonlight sparkled on the bench. And I love how fiction can recreate the lightening jolt of the perfect, first kiss and even amplifies it with rain/music/the impossibly suddenly empty room, etc. 

8. Damage Control. I love how the MC’s car can scrape the side fo a building, be shot up, make a jump over a parted lift-bridge, and still slide into a parking spot. Same for spaceships. The Millennium Falcon’s taken on more hits and lost more pieces than any car could ever dream! 

9. Dragons.

10. I have to do it…I just have to. I have to list running in high heels as number Ten. It’s incredibly difficult to pull off in real life, trust me, I’ve done it, and it’s dang near impossible to make it appear as if you’re sprinting in tennis shoes.

There you have it. Ten reasons I love fiction for its unrealisticness! What’s one of yours?

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

10 reasons fiction is better than reality

Ten Things I Dig in Fiction That Make No Sense in Reality (Or Why Fiction Is Better Than Reality)


1. Good guys always get shot in the arm or leg, and it's never fatal. In real life, a leg shot can absolutely be fatal. Shoulders, too. I highly suspect that if I were shot in any part of my body, I would not continue to chase the bad guy to the final showdown scene. I would call 911 and leave the thrilling heroics to someone else.

2. Bad guys just as often are terrible marksmen. Okay, I think the fantasy demands that assholes cannot be competent. It offends our sense of justice. But also, stormtroopers.

3. Psychopaths are geniuses. A prosecutor came and talked to my local writing group once, and one myth he was quick to dispel is that criminals are smart. He said, basically, you wouldn't believe how stupid most of them are. The geniuses are the exception, not the rule.

4. If you're captured and imprisoned or stranded on a desert island, your makeup will stay perfect as long as necessary without having to reapply anything ever. It's like cosmic justice for kidnapped (fictional) folks. Exhibit A: Princess Leia's lip gloss. Exhibit B: Every female character (and male beard, for that matter) on the TV show Lost.

5. In olden times, nobody ever had to shave, they were just naturally depilated. Because we don't want to imagine hirsute heroines. Adjacent truth: heroes never have back hair. They just don't.

6. If one has curves, they are always in the right places and never in the exact wrong places. My arm jiggles especially appreciate this one.

7. When dismantling a bomb, no one is ever color-blind and neither must they whip out reading glasses to even see those tiny wires. Their vision is 20/20 and color-perfect. Meanwhile, I carry three pairs of glasses so I can read restaurant menus. Conclusion: Do not put me in charge of defusing the bomb.

8. "No one is ever really gone." I like how some movies even have that as an actual line. I guess it's the Terminator fantasy in all of us. Or the one that's still salty about Han Solo.

9. When protagonist gets into a terrible situation, some barely remembered childhood skill will enable them to escape, defeat the baddies, and win. Like Rose Tyler's gymnastics in Doctor Who, right. Am waiting for my super spelling abilities to shine.

10. It's amazingly easy to run in high heels. Lie. It isn't. But that scene in Jurassic World was still
pretty badass.

Bonus: When a fictional contagion spreads over the globe, some scrappy, good-looking scientists come up with a vaccine in like three days. If you find said scrappy scientists in real life, please nudge them toward some heroics. In the mean time, I'll just sit here in my comfortably fictional world a little longer, 'kay?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Shootout at the Villain's House: Can You Spot the Fiction amid the Fiction?

Dukes of Hazzard: General Lee Classic Skid
Dukes of Hazzard: General Lee Classic Skid
We've read the scene where the good guys roll up on the villain's dilapidated victorian house in the hard of night. The tires of their rental car crunching over the gravel drive. They cut their headlights on approach. The car idles with a soft purr. A barn owl hoots in the distance. Hero's heartbeat thunders in his ears as he reaches for his gun, eyeing the cracked house windows. His buddy cocks his gun and puts a hand on the interior door handle.

A cat yowls. 

Gunfire from the house. Car windows shatter, spraying glass everywhere. The front door is thrown wide. The villain steps into the moonlight, aiming a shoulder-fired rocket launcher at the good guys. A flurry of fucks and the driver hits the gas. Tires squeal as the car fishtails. Pedal to the floor, the car zigs and zags, neatly avoiding projectiles. The passenger fires at the house, taking out two of the shooters in the second story. The rocket hits a tree and explodes. The driver turns and fires his gun out the broken rear window, through the smoke and haze, nailing the villain in the chest.  A hard right on the wheel and the car side-slides on to the county road.

The good guys look at each other wide-eyed. Grins bloom.  Catch-phrase is uttered. Off they go into the moonlight as an inferno engulfs the house of hatred.

Sound familiar? Come across some variation of this in a dozen or so books? Hundred-odd times on TV? There are a few things in that scene that play really, really well in fiction but that don't happen in real life (unless there's a special-effects crew involved).

I'll give you three examples, but there's a slew of others. Can you spot them?

1. You can't cut the headlights on a common rental car. Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) became standard in the 90s, and the average rental car is kept for 13 months. 
2. Tires don't squeal on gravel. Laws of physics and friction apply. 
3.  The marksmanship of the passenger.