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That’s why we have the Internet.

18 December 2010

Short rant today — I was reading something (not provided by any of you, my lovely writer friends) that was solidly in the military sci-fi genre, which, as you may have guessed, is well within my wheelhouse. The story was fine, the characters were fine, but. . .

Well, there were just problems with simple stuff. Stuff that would be so easy to fix if the author just took the time to check facts on the Internet. I don’t expect anyone besides a Black Hawk crew chief to know what kind of ammo the chopper’s onboard miniguns fire, but the answer is out there, a simple Google search away. It’s one of those small, but important, details that a lot of authors miss or gloss over in the attempt to tell a story.

I guess my point is that details are important. People might not notice when you have everything right, but somebody will definitely notice when you get things wrong. Pay attention to the little details, because that’s what gives your story the ring of authenticity, and that authenticity helps sell everything else in your story — plot, characters, emotional arc, everything.

What’s the worst minor, but annoying, mistake you’ve seen lately in a story, folks?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 December 2010 1650

    I shouldn’t go into too many details, but there were three instances recently of historical people, who actually lived, with easily-found information about them all over the Internet and in countless books. One was sitting smack in the middle of things taking place 300 years after he’d died, another was romantically linked to a protagonist in a totally implausible and unconvincing way, and another was someone who was once thought to have lived to a ripe old age, but who has been conclusively found to have actually died as a child. Verifying any of these things is as easy as looking at Wikipedia, then following the articles and books cited in the entry, but hey, why bother with research?

  2. 19 December 2010 1823

    too many to name….but you know why 😉

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