The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.
January 6 question – Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?
In one word – inaccuracies. I’ve heard of people giving up on books because they’re written in the present, or due to being written from too many points of view, because of an unusual writing style, or an incomprehensible dialect. Personally, I can (usually) accommodate all of the above, but inaccuracies are like nails on a blackboard.
Even before I became a writer, an inaccuracy would bring me up short, especially when a somewhat fantastical tale (if not actually fantasy), it’s important that a reader believes… and when any single inaccuracy can start the process of doubt, the entire story can be poisoned by that one inaccuracy.
As a writer, I do try to be understanding of how easy it is to make a mistake. For example, if it’s an arcane fact, I can persuade myself to forgive it, but when it’s something widely known and/or easily available to check, it smacks of… well, let’s just say unflattering adjectives.
My co-written WIP takes place in relatively recent history (post WWII). We’re not attempting to include historical figures in any significant manner, but we do refer to real people from time-to-time, and to historical events. While our tale does have elements of fantasy, we both feel it’s critical that we don’t get the factual aspects wrong, or it’ll sow that seed of doubt and so lose our readers.
What throws you? Do you share my view, or is it something else entirely for you?
While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?
Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s Food Glorious Food! With the festive season just behind us, there should be inspiration aplenty. Write a story, any story, but include in it a description of the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten, in glorious detail.
If you’re inspired to give this a go, you can get full details here.
© Debra Carey, 2021