Unacceptable: “I just wanted to be as accurate as I possibly could. There are, there are a few places that are inaccurate. The
biggest place that’s inaccurate is right at the beginning. Um, don’t – don’t tell anybody but if you’re in a dust storm on Mars
you’re not even going to feel it. Mars’ atmosphere is less than one percent of Earth’s – so a 150 kilometer per hour wind, would
feel like about a 1 kilometer wind does on Earth. It wouldn’t do any damage to anything. Shhhh. […] Most people don’t know
how Martian dust storms work. People don’t realize that it’s not like being in a sand blaster and it’s just more dramatic that way,
so I just made that concession. I know I’m a liar I just – I just, uh, wanted that more, it’s just more dramatic.”
“If you were given the opportunity to go back in time to change one thing in The Martian, would you
change anything? A character, a plot point, or something to do with the story?”
“Yeah, I’d probably make the initial disaster an engine test failure instead of a sandstorm. It’s the most
glaring physical inaccuracy in the book and I wish I hadn’t made that concession to drama. I think I could
have set it up so an MAV engine test blasted Watney, impaling him with debris, and started leaking
fuel, forcing them to launch. Something like that.”
1) You have to actually write. Daydreaming about the book you’re going to write someday isn’t writing. It’s daydreaming.
Open your word processor and start writing.
2) Resist the urge to tell friends and family your story. I know it’s hard because you want to talk about it and they’re (sometimes)
interested in hearing about it. But it satisfies your need for an audience, which diminishes your motivation to actually write it.
Make a rule: The only way for anyone to ever hear about your stories is to read them.
3) This is the best time in history to self-publish. There’s no old-boy network between you and your readers. You can self-publish
an ebook to major distributors (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.) without any financial risk on your part.
Zubrin: “The Matt Damon character in The Martian isn’t interested in Mars. He doesn’t care about the search for life on Mars, or about Mars as humanity’s new frontier. He just wants to get home. In contrast, Howard’s ensemble crew is fascinated by Mars. For them, the Red Planet is not just a place of peril; it is also a place of wonder. So while Mars may not have the star power of Matt Damon, it has something that The Martian lacks: the star power of Mars.