Monday, June 30, 2008

It's where?

This week our topic is accuracy in the written word. I recently had some discussion on my own blog about this topic so I thought I would start out with that and go on from there.

I recently read four stories by one author and that led to a detailed discussion with the house hunk regarding the many ways a certain erect body part behaves. In every single book the author described this body part in a position that is a physical impossibility. We tried various experiments and... Realllly impossible. Unless he was hung better than a horse--and probably not even then.

That discussion led to other observations about incredibly silly things that writers describe. Now I am a woman. Yes, I know that probably comes as a terrible shock to some of you, but there it is. You'll just have to deal with it. As I was saying, I am a woman and therefore, I'm pretty sure of the general location of various specific
feminine parts. And unless the woman in a book is an alien, then her parts should be located in pretty much the same place as every other woman, right? RIGHT? Well, then, why am I reading books that have those parts in the wrong place? Is the writer in fact a man using a woman's name? Well if he is a she, then the internet is a wonderful thing, you know with pictures in living color and detailed instruction. Or he could ask the woman in his life to assist him in his investigations. If the writer is a woman, doesn't she have a mirror??? Just sayin', ya know?

You might look at it this way (no pun intended... get your mind out of the gutter!) If we're writing this stuff, shouldn't it at least be accurate? To my way of thinking, screwing that up is just as sloppy as a character walking into a room with a skirt on and two paragraphs later having her take off her jeans. Sloppy. And it reflects badly on all of us.

So you can see where I was at that point. Nothing annoys me more than a glaring inaccuracy in a book. I once stopped reading a book when I was confronted with an error that could easily be researched by looking at a map. Very simple. A map. If writers don't believe that no one notices, then they're wrong. I used the small city of Bristol, Tennessee as the backdrop for my book, Winter Hearts. Not too long ago, I heard from a reader who lives in Bristol, Tennessee. She gently twitted me about the wild goings-on in her fair city--according to my book. Readers notice.

In this day and age, there is no reason to have glaring errors when we have access to the enormous databases on the Internet. All it requires is time.



  1. Now reading this, I wonder what the editor and the publisher were doing..!?! It reflects badly on their image too!

    Indeed the readers notice as much as the viewers notice in a movie. Just look Here and you will see what I mean :D

  2. I am sad to report that in my 1st book, the space shuttle Challenger explodes twice. I tried to correct it, but the so-called 'editorial board' decided I must not know what I was talking about, and not only put in my corrections, but left in my mistake! And then wanted another $200 to take it out altogether. So it stayed in.

    Don't hold it against me, please, if you ever read it?

  3. Great start, Anny. I think we're gonna have fun this week!

  4. What annoy me a lot are contest judges or reviewers who have no idea about the setting, pointing at something they think should be different. I had some of this for my first book. Someone said: they are poor, but you describe their nice clothes. So?? Yes they are poor but they sew their own clothes and look presentable. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. Beware of the Internet. It doesn't always give you the right feeling.

  5. Mmm yes. As a contest judge I'll be describing one anonymous entry who didn't have me fooled at all.

    Great start!

  6. Great start, Anny. Blatant errors will be me out of a story quicker than anything and after I hit one, it's hard to re-submerge myself because I'm either A)still thinking about the mistake or B) because now I'm constantly looking for any other inaccuracies...

  7. Oooh, yeah, James. If I find one, I'll pick it to DEATH from that point on. How hard is it to research? Really? This is the author's deal but the editors should be involved in this too. We must be CAREFUL. Not long ago I was doing a read-through of a submission. Noticed the heroines tennis shoes squeaked on the steps and two paragraphs later she was BAREFOOT. Jiminy Christmas!!! This is why we should carefully proofread our work.

    Great Post, Anny. I can tell this week is gonna ROCK!

  8. Yeah, error detract from the story and sometimes prompt me to stop reading that story.

  9. It's critical to have someone else read your work. We're so blind to our own slip-ups. In one of my books, the heroine is taking the subway in Boston and gets involved in the car in some wicked behavior. The next thing we know, she's at her station. My husband pointed out that I'd entirely skipped the intermediate station, where someone would have seen what she was up to...!


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