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Violence: A Writer's Guide Paperback – March 30, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (March 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481921460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481921466
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rory Miller is a seventeen-year veteran of a metropolitan correctional system. He spent seventeen years, including ten as a sergeant, with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Portland Oregon. His assignments included Booking, Maximum Security, Disciplinary and Administrative Segregation, and Mental Health Units. He was a CERT (Corrections Emergency Response Team) member for over eleven years and Team Leader for six. His training has included over eight hundred hours of tactical training; witness protection and close-quarters handgun training with the local US Marshals; Incident Command System; Instructor Development Courses; AELE Discipline and Internal Investigations; Hostage Negotiations and Hostage Survival; Integrated Use of Force and Confrontational Simulation Instructor; Mental Health; Defensive Tactics, including the GRAPLE instructors program; Diversity; and Supervision. Rory has designed and taught courses including Confrontational Simulations; Uncontrolled Environments; Crisis Communications with the Mentally Ill; CERT Operations and Planning; Defensive Tactics; and Use of Force for Multnomah County and other local agencies. In 2008 Rory Miller left his agency to spend over a year in Iraq with the Department of Justice ICITAP program as a civilian advisor to the Iraqi Corrections System. He has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, a blackbelt in jujutsu and college varsities in judo and fencing. He also likes long walks on the beach.

More About the Author

The serious bio:
Rory Miller is a seventeen-year veteran of a metropolitan correctional system. He spent seventeen years, including ten as a sergeant, with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Portland Oregon. His assignments included Booking, Maximum Security, Disciplinary and Administrative Segregation, and Mental Health Units. He was a CERT (Corrections Emergency Response Team) member for over eleven years and Team Leader for six.

His training has included over eight hundred hours of tactical training; witness protection and close-quarters handgun training with the local US Marshals; Incident Command System; Instructor Development Courses; AELE Discipline and Internal Investigations; Hostage Negotiations and Hostage Survival; Integrated Use of Force and Confrontational Simulation Instructor; Mental Health; Defensive Tactics, including the GRAPLE instructors program; Diversity; and Supervision.

Rory has designed and taught courses including Confrontational Simulations; Uncontrolled Environments; Crisis Communications with the Mentally Ill; CERT Operations and Planning; Defensive Tactics; and Use of Force for Multnomah County and other local agencies.

In 2008 Rory Miller left his agency to spend over a year in Iraq with the Department of Justice ICITAP program as a civilian advisor to the Iraqi Corrections System.

He has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, a blackbelt in jujutsu and college varsities in judo and fencing. He also likes long walks on the beach.

His writings have been featured in Loren Christensen's "Fighter's Fact Book 2: The Street" Kane and Wilder's "Little Black Book of Violence" and "The Way to Blackbelt." Rory is the author of "Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence" published by YMAA; "Violence: A Writer's Guide" published by Samshwords; and the soon-to-be-released "Facing Violence" out in May 2011 from YMAA.

Less serious:
How to make a Rory:
First you take a kid and raise him without electricity or running water or television. Especially television. You get a whacked out doctor to convince his parents that he has a birth defect such that if he ever loses muscle tone his joints will spontaneously dislocate, so you encourage hyperactivity. Instill a love of reading and introduce to meditation at a young age. Teach him to hunt and track. Send him away to college at the age of seventeen painfully aware that he has almost no experience with people. Arrange for him to luck into world-class trainers in his first martial arts. Let him obsess on martial arts even at the expense of his school work. At some point he will get a need to go someplace strange, maybe Reno, and do something different, like be a bouncer. Let him, he'll come back. When he comes back, if he falls in love with the right princess ('cause every thug needs a princess) he'll start doing crazy things like joining the national guard and working in a jail. Let him. He'll discover that he has a way with violent and crazy people and might wind up doing stuff like running a tactical team and teaching officer survival skills and designing classes and teaching jujutsu. If he has an ugly year (and he will) he'll start writing. If he gets really bored he will suddenly quit and go to Baghdad. We're still waiting to see how that part turns out.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 39 customer reviews
If you want to write believably about violence, you need this book.
Gary Jonas
Rory Miller has something to offer all writers that endeavor to create credible and believable fictional portrayals of violent themes, characters, action, etc.
Kevin L. Keough
I found this book to be very well written by an expert in his field.
Doug Dandridge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gary Jonas on July 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want to write believably about violence, you need this book.

Unless you're writing children's picture books, you're going to write about violence in your fiction. The question is, do you want your story to ring true? Or do you want it to read on the same level as a virgin trying to write a sex scene?

Reading fiction requires the willing suspension of disbelief and readers are happy to give you one thing in order to be entertained. If you're writing a paranormal romance, the reader will give you vampires. If you're writing fantasy, the reader will give you magic as long as the system is consistent. If you're writing science fiction, the reader will grant you faster than light travel so the story will work. But you'd better get everything else right. You're basically telling the reader, look, we both know vampires aren't real, but if they did exist here's how it would be. As long as you get the rest of the story right, the reader will trust you and they will happily follow you on the grand adventure. When you get something wrong, cracks develop and if you miss something major, the trust shatters. Once it's broken, it can't be repaired.

The problem is that too many writers get violence and the way it affects people wrong and it pulls people right out of the story. I hope you've never experienced true violence. If that's the case, this book is definitely for you.

Violence: A Writer's Guide is a must-read. Rory Miller knows violence. He has lived a life dealing with violent criminals and he's seen more than his share of violence. Fortunately for those of us who write, he's willing to share that information. He presents the information clearly and holds your attention from beginning to end.

This is a great place to start.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Keough on May 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Rory Miller has something to offer all writers that endeavor to create credible and believable fictional portrayals of violent themes, characters, action, etc. Miller covers the territory in a unique and refreshing way making it a go to resource for both seasoned and relatively inexperienced writers.

Nothing will turn off a reader experienced in the many worlds and ways of violence like poorly presented violent material.

Miller's engaging and accessible writing style speaks directly to rather than down to his readers.

I am unaware of a book that covers the subject material in such a down to earth, accurate, and detailed manner.

Miller has established himself as a fresh and refreshing and distinctive voice. Might as well get this classic in it's first edition.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Crys Williams on December 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To say I enjoyed this wouldnt be quite right. It was disturbing and upsetting, and also helpful and interesting.

A window into a world I -- fortunately, thankfully -- have no personal experience with, but need to know for my writing project. The nature of my story and most of my characters (especially the main ones) has changed because of what I read, so Rory's book clearly did its job. He could've asked 3x as much and it would've been worth it.

I do wish it was a little more tightly organized, though, as some really good bits seem to float between chapters and I know they'll be tough to find again when I need them. I should have bookmarked along the way -- I know, I know! -- but I was too busy reading and read a good bit of it aloud to my husband.

Yup, the content is that compelling and his writing style is that easy-going. My husb's responses pretty much consisted of: "Whoa", "That's alarming", "Yup, that's how it is", and "Keep reading" :^)

There are a few forgivable typos and also a bit of repetition that I feel should've been edited out, but nothing that detracts from the content. I only mention it because that ruins a book for some folks.

But if you're put off by that kind of editing stuff, you may want to pick a different rabbit hole to fall down, anyway. He lists how to kill with a thrusting weapon like he's making a grocery list. As you read, text edits will be the least of your worries!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rayne Hall on February 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a great resource for writers, providing insights and practical information. It helps violence-inexperienced authors to plot plausible scenes and avoid blunders. To my delight, I found the book well-written, too. Rory Miller is the rare combination of expert and storyteller. He knows his subject, and he shares his knowledge in a captivating style.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Kane TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have both written and reviewed books professionally for about a decade. As a general rule, competent novelists tend to get characterization, dialogue, pacing, and the like "right," but they near universally struggle with portraying violence realistically. This is probably because so few have hands-on experience. To some readers this may not be a very big deal, but for far too many it pulls them out of the story, ruining enjoyment of (and oftentimes even the ability to finish) the book. This can have a huge impact on your reviews and book sales. Mr. Miller, on the other hand, has a psychology degree and has worked as a bouncer, soldier, law enforcement officer, and even as a civilian contractor (mercenary) in a war zone. His firsthand knowledge of the subject is invaluable for anyone who wants to be a better writer. His book is holistic, easy to understand, and wholeheartedly recommended!

Lawrence Kane
Author of Blinded by the Night, among others
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