Nikki Kimberling, friend from the 2004 Clarion workshop and editor of my lesbian military SF story "Under Suspicion" in Tangle Girls, has posted a wonderful piece here on "Get A Job, You Handsome Bum (and while you’re at it, get a hobby, too.)"
Yes, it's a blog about gay writing -- get over it. The discussion about our protagonists and viewpoint characters, plus some pithy and insightful comments will give you plot bunnies for years.
Here's a money quote:
For example, my other career is in professional cooking. Because being a chef is now considered sexy, many writers are jumping in with characters who are either chefs or who work in or own upscale restaurants. As a result, I’ve purchased and then subsequently DNF-ed a number of books where the author clearly did no research into the restaurant industry. Probably the most memorable gaffe was an author who had their protagonist, a lowly peon who had been cooking less than a year, sass the chef without incurring severe, immediate punishment. What should have happened to the mouthy little punk? Well, here’s a hint: Gordon Ramsay’s savage mood swings are neither a put-on, nor particularly rare for his profession.
(And incidentally… Note to any of you decide to write about an upscale restaurant: go read the menus of some Michelin-starred restaurants before you start describing the food. Chicken Cordon Bleu went off the menu of most fine dining places at approximately the same moment that Schwan’s started delivering it frozen to your doorstep, which is to say, at least two decades ago.)
Much food for thought -- and thankfully one that I've thought about a lot over the years. But oh the new ideas! I was so excited to share this, that I've cut into my intended afternoon nap, so you owe me -- go read. Now.