A murder mystery writer, of whom I am fond, advised me to get my facts straight in any story I write. If not, I will alienate my reader. The advice was repeated to me on three occasions, so I knew my friend felt strongly about the opinion.
Yesterday I read C. J. Gorden’s “On Reading and Being Read.” The link is above. She describes her own penchant to look up facts she reads in books. For example, an author mentioned a street in Melbourne, Australia in a novel, and Gorden used Google Maps to locate the street. Then she used an additional feature that allowed her to see the view from street level: she could tell what restaurants and merchants were actually in that location. She used Google Maps and verified what the author said about an abundance of ethnic restaurants on that particular street.
Gorden illustrates the savvy of today’s reader. Technology allows the curious reader to look up facts and maps almost instantly.
Reading Gorden’s post reinforced the advice of my mentor: Don’t wing it. Get your facts straight before committing words to the page.