One Chapter, Two Experts

Billy on duty with the Panorama Fire Department - the years before Calgary

One family, two experts. #writetip I find myself writing a chapter about a woman having a baby while trapped by a forest fire. So what do I need? A new mom and a firefighter. Lucky for me Billy Stewart, Firefighter with the Calgary Fire Department and Adrienne Stewart, new mom to a handsome boy, Noah, not only answered my questions but are going to read the chapter and critique it.

Making a scene believable depends on the details a writer provides and experts help a writer get the details correct.

How could I know how firefighters puts on their uniforms or what gear they carry in different situations or what they worry about when surrounded by flames?

Only a new mom could tell what they might be thinking if they were trapped by a fire and having their baby.

These little details bring reality to a scene.

But when is the right time to ask for help? I wait until I have a scene written before I ask too many questions. This way, I’m as certain as I can be about the direction of the scene, I know where my knowledge is weak, and I won’t waste the experts time.

This is a big shout out to Billy and Adrienne for helping me create a better story.


4 thoughts on “One Chapter, Two Experts

  1. That’s awesome that you have people you know that you can ask questions like that too. I’d probably be too afraid. I’m still in the “embarrassed that I’m doing this” phase. Probably because I had a bad experience earlier on asking friends for help. I’ve often thought of passing by something I’ve written to a frend of mine to make sure I “got it right” but I am afraid of offending him by asking… even though I know he’d probably be flattered. It’s funny.

    Overall, I think I’d want to have something written to show them. Otherwise, they might just think I am crazy. Maybe once I;m published, I might feel more confident that people will take me seriously, and not be afraid.

    Thanks for the re-tweet, by the way!


    1. Jennifer, you’re right. Asking people for help on your novel is scary. I am very careful who I give my work to. I need to trust the person has my best interests at heart. I need to know they are willing to put the time in. And, I need to value what they think. Once I find my readers, I hang on to them. Too bad for them, but I won’t let them get away now. The same goes for experts that I ask questions of. I think people are happy to help me try to get published. It’s a fun process and I like to make others part of it.


  2. The real shout-out goes to you, Kristina. Thanks so much for including us in this huge endeavour of yours. We are both tremendously honoured!

    Looking forward to purchasing our autographed hardcovers!

    Billy, Ade and Noah.

    P.S. – We have to get Farley and Finn to meet. They will LOVE each other!


    1. Billy, As usual you underplay your contribution. Remember in the my first novel all the first aid help you gave me, second novel – snowboard binding technology, and Adrienne brainstormed with me about naming ‘Stone Mountain.’ I thin Adrienne was my first ‘reader’. You two have been with me for three novels. I can’t thank you enough.


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