Saturday 30 May 2009

Getting It Right

I just had to edit my last post as I realised I had one of my facts wrong. The Pharaoh who followed Hatshepsut was not Tutankamon, but Thutmose III, who was both her half brother and her stepson. That was how Egyptian royals maintained their line in those days.

Anyway, that atrocious error - a result of being in such a hurry to finish and get to bed so that I relied on my memory rather than double checking before I posted - made me think of my own and other writers' credibility.

It reminded me of the time I read a book in which the heroine took a train to the west country from London, starting at Victoria Station. As I often used to take a train in that direction when I lived in London, I am well aware that the options would be to go from Paddington or Waterloo Stations. She would never have gone from Victoria, unless she intended to change at Clapham Junction, which would have been a really futile exercise from her starting point. So that author lost credibility in my eyes, and my interest in her book waned.

I actually wrote an article about this, so I should know how important it is to check all facts, and then check again. I can only hang my head in shame, and apologise.


Mike Golch said...

t is one of those oops moments that we all have.

Lillian Robinson said...

OK, now you have me trembling! I do google and surf constantly in my writing process for anyplace I'm not familiar with. And parts of my book go back to an era I can't pull up on an instant map. But, as a fiction writer, I can take a little license here, right? I'll have to let you read it first, I suppose...

Unknown said...

I love your blogs because they are so interesting and well accurate.. and you share the name with the smartest woman I have ever met (my Aunt Jean) so you must be brilliant..

keep it up, I do so enjoy your page

Unknown said...

Mike - that's very generous of you.

Lily - well, of course, we can only do our best, and I'm sure you do. I didn't when I made that mistake. I remember thinking I ought to do a check, but I was too tired and I shouldn't have posted till I could do it.

Shauni - thank you for those kind words. I am an Aunt Jean too, to two nephews and their offspring.

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