My little rant-ette

I love history.

I love the crazy people, the machinations, the smells, the sounds, the food. I like history to be tangible… but most of all, when writers fall back into history, I like to be right.

So, I’m reading… and I know there has to be a bit of history. The hero is from the 16th century and alive and well in the 21st. You know the author is going to let him take about his past…

It arrives.
And it’s all I can do to not wall-thump the damn book.
It was a nicely light brush of history. Nothing in depth, just enough to give a sense of how this man had lived. Yet, even those few sentences were totally, totally wrong. There’s a complete confusion about warfare at the time of Elizabeth I and it’s teeth-gratingly annoying.

It doesn’t take much to get the facts right. Not with so much information available.
Research is a distraction and you can whizz of into useless tangents. This from the woman, who found her house on Google Map instead of the mountains of Scotland, LOL

However, without hunting down the facts, I don’t feel I can confidently render my world.

Example: I spent this morning searching for a coffee for one scene.
I needed a sense of the taste, the texture, because it spoke about who my heroine was. And it worked. I found my coffee. It’s now made the scene more concrete. I needed to find out the details, because I knew that getting it wrong would do exactly what this book has done to me.
Make me feel as though the author didn’t care enough about her story, and about the readers reading it, to get it right.

Btw, my description was nowhere near as thick and tarrish as the coffee itself. *grin*

Anyway, my rant-ette is over and I have to go to bed.

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3 thoughts on “My little rant-ette

  1. Olivia Lorenz

    Kim, I am *so* with you on this one. I still have nightmares about that dreadful Egyptian novella I reviewed for ER, and I could name at least a dozen other books (e- and traditional) that got their facts wrong. In the olden days, that’s what editors were for – to check the facts. I don’t think that happens anymore.

    I’m like you, I can spend ages searching for a single specific piece of information that might appear once in one paragraph, but to me it’s worth it because that kind of detail can anchor a story. You never know what kind of things a reader picks up on. The coffee you referenced might be their favourite, or it might make them go out and try it. Then they’ll always remember your story.

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