March 10, 2012

Truth in Fiction/Non-Fiction

I've always been puzzled when readers point out that a novel contains factual inaccuracies and people respond by saying, "It's fiction, who cares?" A historical romance caught my eye the other day, and I briefly considered downloading it until I read the reviews. Several people who read the book stated that the numerous circumstances described either occurred too early or simply wouldn't have happened at all. Between those remarks and the complaints about a meandering storyline and three and four typos on a single page (I'm sorry to say it was an indie published eBook), I decided to stick to Beverly Jenkins, who makes a concerted effort to present accurate information to readers (and in the process informs us about facts we probably previously did not know).  

I believe that writers owe it to their audiences to present as factual a story as possible, whether they write fiction or nonfiction, or current or historical. I am stunned by the mistakes readers have pointed out in nonfiction, like dates, for instance. Imagine writing a book that states that Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1491! Okay, that's an extreme example, but if people buy a book to learn more about a subject they already know and incorrect information is given, they're probably going to spot it. I love movies, and I've seen books that made errors in release dates and the year of Best Picture Oscar wins. Even one error is unfortunate but is at least forgivable. Multiple inaccurcies is not.

Do you have any thoughts about inaccurate facts in fiction or nonfiction?
March 9, 2012

Anatomy of an eBook: Sequel to Save The Best For Last & The Heat of Heat

I have a first sentence!

Cesca slumped down in the car as she raised the cell phone to her ear.

FYI, she is hiding from a policeman.  In New York State, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while talking on a cell phone (unless it's a hands-free setup).  It's probably not the most exciting first sentence in the world, but as these things go I don't think it's bad.