Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

Shades of Stephen Hunter — real-life snipers end pirate crisis

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Shades of Stephen Hunter! Here was a case where real-life Navy snipers put a quick end to that Somali pirate crisis that has dominated world news since last week. I won’t recap all the details of the pirate story here; I’m sure you’ve already read and seen video about the whole drama.

You’ll recall I wrote a week or so ago about Stephen Hunter and his action-adventure novels. Hunter’s terrific novels center mostly around Earl and Bob Lee Swagger, two Marines (father and son) he created. Bob Lee in particular is a phenomenal sniper.

I urge you to get Hunter’s novels and read them if you write or have ever thought about writing action-adventure novels. They are terrific reads, and they are outstandingly well plotted. (What better way is there to learn writing than reading really good, really FUN writing?)

If you’ve followed the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from the Somali pirates, you know from a ton of “breaking news” reports on all the 24/7 cable networks that the good captain was freed when some Navy snipers took out the pirates. At least one of the early reports on CNN suggested the snipers took shots of probably 40-50 yards from the deck of a Naval vessel into the small lifeboats where three of the pirates were holding Capt. Phillips.


When we learn the details, we’ll know more about what happened. But the simple (simple???) truth of the matter is, making such shots as these must have been is absolutely phenomenal. Cheers to the Navy and all the skill and training that made this possible.

Now if we could just solve the problems of pirates and piracy off the East Coast of Africa ….

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