Sunday, August 8, 2010

Accuracy in Fiction

Accuracy and fiction? That's kind of an opposite concept, but it's something that novel writers need to think about. For the most part, I think writers try to be as accurate as possible in their facts when writing a novel.

My husband and I had a conversation about this just the other night. We both love to read mysteries. I tend to lean toward the romantic suspense mysteries and he wouldn't be caught dead reading a romance. We have often talked about wrong facts in books we read. He hates reading about how someone puts bullets into their gun. A bullet is the part of the ammunition that comes out of the gun when it is fired. The ammunition that you put into a gun is called a round. Such as, Jack put a round into the chamber of his gun.

I, on the other hand, pay attention to locations and time in a book. When a book mentions that the sun had set, I make a point to note the time and place and try to figure out if the sun would have set during that part of the year so early, or late. When I write, I have a web page that I use to check sunset and sunrise times for the particular month I am writing about.

Recently, I read a book that took place in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. I was impressed by the accuracy the author had of the area, especially in the town of Cherokee, NC. I've been to Cherokee many, many times and knew exactly where she was talking about in town by her description. Of course, I found out after reading her bio at the end of the book that the author is from North Carolina, which made that easier for her to write about.

So, for you writers out there, the readers are paying attention to the details of our books, so we need to make it right for them.



  1. Carol, I love the new blog! I'm adding this to my ever-growing list of rss feeds, so I can keep up with you here as I do on Carol's Food Bites. You get around, lady!


  2. And that is why Anny Cook makes detailed maps of her world(s) before she begins writing:)

    That's why I'm comfortable building my stories around places I've been. I've only used one location I wasn't familiar with, but interviewed three people who lived in that area, as well as offered an apology for 'creative license'.