Jessica at Bookends had an interesting post on typos and errors after publication that actually caused me to de-lurk and post. My post wasn’t exactly on the topic but it was directly related. The post concerned who was responsible for the typos and errors in the finished book. If the typos and spelling aren’t overwhelming I can handle them in small doses, but factual errors in a book drive me crazy. Here was my comment:
The factual errors are more irritating to me. I live in Seattle and for some reason many authors (and TV shows) base their stories here. We have traffic problems and are surrounded by water. We also have well known landmarks that haven’t moved since they were constructed. However authors have people who live on the peninsula leaving home and arriving in Seattle in 15 minutes. That’s only possible with a helicopter. They have them living on Queen Anne and driving across one of the Lake Washington bridges to arrive at a job or appointment near the Space Needle. The Space Needle is at the bottom of Queen Anne hill. It’s about a 5 minute drive – no bridges required. It’s obvious the author doesn’t know the city.
If they want to write about a specific, well known place, they should thoroughly research it – perhaps even travel there. I’ve stopped reading in the middle of some books because they were so inaccurate. If they don’t want to do the research it would be better to just make up a city.
Why do people do this? Why do they write about places where millions of people live and visit every year and make up facts about them? Do they really think no one will notice? The internet is full of information about almost every place on Earth. Why can’t they spend a couple of hours looking at maps, reading some local newspapers, reading tourist info from the Chamber of Commerce or even asking friends who live there or have been there for information? If they don’t want to take the time to get their facts correct, why don’t they just make up a city or town or country? It would be more believable and far less irritating.
Am I nuts, or does this drive you crazy too?