April 4, 2013 7 Comments
Yes, I used the word “write” instead of “right” on purpose. Today during home school, I reviewed the differences between the two words with my youngest son and we worked on writing sentences for each word. While we worked through the correct use of each word, I pondered with another writing issue. A few days ago, I started reading a new book and discovered early on that the author had made a mistake. This isn’t something new and, to tag onto Maureen’s post, it’s part of the writer in me that I can’t turn off.
Except this error wasn’t a typo or anything simple, it was pretty big—an oversight, I’m sure, but still I thought maybe I was the one who was wrong because I couldn’t imagine this author or publisher would have missed this.
I’ve chosen to go with the grace card on this. I mean, we’re only human, right? We can’t be perfect all the time. We can’t get things right, every time, even when writing novels. I’ve made mistakes in my own stories, so I can’t throw any stones.
There is the element of artistic license, as well—when we choose to change the facts up to fit with our stories.
Here’s a question for you—do you feel that writers have any responsibility or obligation to get the story right—it’s fiction, isn’t it? Often writers include a letter to the reader to explain fact versus fiction, but sometimes not.
As readers, what is our responsibility to understand the difference between fact and fiction? How often do we believe the author, trusting that something we read in a novel is truth (beyond the obvious fictional storyline)?