Thursday, December 15, 2011

Even Seasoned Authors need to do this

As an avid read and reviewer of numerous books, it pains me as both when I see inconsistencies and incongruity in stories.

For newer authors, all facts, timelines, as well as double-checking any real places should be for accuracy. Nothing will turn off a reader faster than reading about a character in the 1960s watching a program that wasn’t on-air until the 1970s.

If your story takes place in a town somewhere such as San Diego, CA as a television show did and someone that knows the town where they live, like San Pedro, CA close to three-hundred miles apart, and recognize buildings in San Pedro, you have a problem with reality and believability for your setting.

As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Never trust spellcheckers and grammar checkers, spellcheckers only tell whether or not a word is spelled correctly, not if it’s the correct word in your manuscript. The same goes for grammar checkers, they do not deal well with creativity in writing.

“You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you have something to say.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald. Be sure that you have what you want to say organized.

Real writing is rewriting and editing. Always have a second pair of eyes read your work, someone who will tell you the truth, not what they think you want to hear.

A critique, especially for the newer writer is less than no critique if there is no constructive feedback.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer/Editor/Reviewer/Marketer

Robert J Medak Writing & More


  1. I read a book like that once. Actually, I never finished it, I was so turned off by the error. Maybe to many people, it went unnoticed but since I had travelled in that part of the world and visited the two locations, I knew it was totally wrong and I couldn't get past it.

    That's never happened to me before.

  2. Excellent article, Bob. I am a big one for inconsistencies. They stop me dead in my tracks when I'm reading.

    Wishing you the best,


  3. Finally, I have Internet again. Excellent and necessary post, Bob.

  4. You are so right about checking your facts carefully. Every reader may not catch a slip up, but many will and they won't trust other stories you write. Thanks for the reminder which is always nice.