Don’t Get Hung Up On Researching Every Little Thing

When The Renegade Spy came out, I inevitably had the nitpickers send me emails and Amazon reviews about inaccuracies they found in the book. Oh, this gun should be called this, you can’t do this, it should be called a suppressor, not a silencer, etc, etc. Being the polite person I am, I thanked them all sincerely for their feedback. But truth be told, when it comes to fiction, I don’t get totally hung up on researching every little thing to be 100% accurate.

Of course I would never say anything totally outrageously inaccurate in my books, like Sophie Decker bringing down a jet fighter with her pocket knife. But someone said somewhere (and it annoys the hell out of me that I can’t find the source now), that when writing a fiction book, you are not writing reality, but the illusion of reality.

When writing a fiction book, you are not writing reality, but the illusion of reality. Click To Tweet

In other words, as long as it sounds believable, then treat the book as it is – a story. Something to escape into and enjoy. Don’t get hung up on every little detail being completely believable. Don’t freak out if I call a gun part, a silencer instead of a suppressor. Don’t hit the roof if I put the full stop outside the speech mark instead of inside it. So what if someone manages to get from Point A to Point B quicker than they would in real life? Did you honestly tell me you actually timed yourself doing it just to prove me wrong?

Books are meant to be for escapism. To escape from your normal life and indulge in a bit of fantasy for a while. So if you are writing a fiction book, of course make sure there are no pink flying elephants in it. But you don’t have to specify what kind of gun someone is carrying. A Glock or a Smith & Wesson, it makes no damn difference, because it is just a story.

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