Last night my husband and I were watching a TV show with an episode about a race car driver. The driver had both hands on the steering wheel but the sound track had the car shifting gears. My husband commented, "wonder who's shifting?" Then shortly after that a commercial came on. Not a big surprise. The spokesman said he was a retired school teacher and wanted to make sure the government did not take his social security away from him. Hmmmm, something didn't seem quite right about his words. Then it dawned on me, teachers have their own retirement plan, they do not receive social security once they retire. The information the man gave was wrong, wrong, wrong!
Small details are important and the writing world is no different when it comes to particulars. Using half-truths or not doing the research needed does several things to your credibility as a writer. If your readers know something you wrote is not accurate, they may not want to read another book by you. Editors and publishers will assume you are an expert on whatever you are writing about. If they find out differently, that too can be detrimental to your career.
Years ago when I first started writing, my dad read my first manuscript. It was daunting to have him read my historical family saga, but I figured I better get over that. Well, he read it, said he enjoyed it immensely, but I better research pheasants a bit more. Pheasants? I didn't remember writing about pheasants. He replied that my character went hunting and brought home a few. What I learned, thanks to my dad, pheasants were not native to the United States. I had no idea!
It was a great lesson about small details.
Have you discovered inaccuracies in books you've read? What bothers you when reading something you know to be different than how the author protrays it to be? Or, has anyone pointed out a mistake in your work?
Share with us!
Til next time ~