Wrong

Wow, what wild weather we’re watching!

Since the weather is so horrific (104 tornadoes reported since this morning, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa in Alabama extremely damaged tonight), this picture seemed fitting.

Also, it’s Administrative Professional’s Day!  I got nothing!  Well, one coworker said happy day, which was nice.  Thanks, dude.  :)

Don’t you hate when you’re reading something and you come to a hugely erroneous fact?  How about a gross misspelling?  When a paper makes a mistake, they print a correction.  When a writer makes a mistake and it gets into a published book, it’s a little more difficult to fix it.

Bloggers have the advantage of fluid editing; they can go back and fix posts whenever they want.  I had to correct my Q post.  I put costume for the dress of the Native American dancers I wrote about, and a Lakota friend kindly pointed out to me that I should have said outfit or regalia.  It’s fixed now.  Thanks, Istagi.

If a boo-boo gets into your book, there’s not a lot you can do but you’ll sure hear about it.  I’m not talking about copy editors changing a word so the sentence doesn’t scan, but factual errors or terminology mistakes like mine.  In a later edition, it might be corrected, especially if it’s a non-fiction book that is selling well.  I don’t really know.  Before you write something, it’s wise to check out your material.

I read a book not too long ago that had a great concept, but was riddled with factual errors, wrong words (affect for effect, sheesh) and outdated information.  It read as if the writer had simply lifted all his material off the Internet without checking anything.  I didn’t finish the book and gave it a firm thumbs-down in a written review.  It pained me to do it, but I had to.  I would get the same treatment if I released such a sloppy work and expected people to pay for it.

Do your research and you can avoid these mistakes.  Double-check facts and techniques.  This is especially important if you’re writing about law enforcement or something equally popular and frequently misstated.  It may take extra time but the accuracy will pay off in the end.  Your readers will not even notice that the story isn’t real, because it will feel real.  And if your work is non-fiction, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing they will have the best information you can give them.

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