One Writer’s Journey

October 17, 2018

Facts: Accuracy Is a Must

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:42 am
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Facts.  It doesn’t matter if you are writing fiction or nonfiction.  You have got to get them right.  If you don’t, you’ll alienate your reader.

That’s why I dug in my heels this week when my editor wanted me to make a change on my manuscript.  The content consultant wanted me to discuss the things teens post on Facebook.

Me:  You mean social media.

Her:  No, he said Facebook.

Me:  Teens aren’t that into Facebook.  We’re on it.

When you are talking social media, you have to know who you are talking about to know what they use.  Oldsters may be looking for what teens post on Facebook.  But that’s not where the teens are posting.  And if I say that they are, I’m going to lose my teen readers.  Thanks but no.  I worked really hard to get them.

And they aren’t the only ones who take inaccuracy seriously.  I just finished an adult novel.  A big deal scientist is discussing evolution.  He talks about people descending from apes.

I took a deep breath.  Maybe just maybe something had been botched in editing.  It’s a super picky point.  Darwin didn’t say we descended from apes.  Or monkeys.  He said we shared a common ancestor.

Then the scientists watch a computer model plot the path between chimpanzee and human.


I used to really enjoy this author.  Used to.  The book also had errors about the Dark Web and now I feel like I need to check up on everything that was said about Francisco Franko and Antoni Guadi.

It doesn’t matter if you are writing fiction or nonfiction, you have got to get the facts straight.  When you say X person who developed this theory said Z, you need to have sources.  When you say that scientists, historians, or dieticians believe W, then you need the information to back that up.

Readers are fickle creatures.  Offend them often enough and they won’t be your readers much longer.


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