not your typical annihilatrix (furiosity) wrote,
not your typical annihilatrix
furiosity

On writing and research

Okay. So this has been sort of nagging at me since about two weeks ago, when I read two books in a row whose authors obviously did not bother doing some of their research. They (alternately) claimed that Hungary uses the Cyrillic alphabet (it most certainly does not), that Hungary's currency is called the "florint" (it's forint), and that the Hungarian secret police until 1956 was called the Allavedelmi Hatosag (it's Államvédelmi Hatóság -- it wasn't a mere typo as it appeared more than once in the same book). Now, this kind of stuff tends to annoy me greatly, and it invariably makes me question the validity of the rest of the author's information -- and I realised that this is not just with published books but with fan fiction as well. Though perhaps I fault published authors and their editors more, since they actually get PAID for this (I come from very hardworking stock so the idea of not doing your best for your money offends my sensibilities) and often their mistakes are things that could easily be avoided if they spent two minutes on Google.

And so, I bring a poll. The questions refer exclusively to works of fiction and deal with facts incorporated into works of fiction. Not "Who shot Kennedy" since theories on that abound, but rather "what's the capital of Argentina", "what's the Albanian currency called" and "what was Zimbabwe's GDP in 1985" -- in other words, facts about our world incorporated into fiction about our world.


Poll #717724 Stickler?

Do factual errors of this sort bother you in published fiction?

Yes
70(82.4%)
No
0(0.0%)
Depends
15(17.6%)

Why or why not? (if you run out of room, please comment)

Do factual errors of this sort bother you in fan fiction?

Yes
46(54.1%)
No
6(7.1%)
Depends
33(38.8%)

Why or why not? (if you run out of room, please comment)

Do you think most authors do research when they write fiction that requires it?

Yes
63(74.1%)
No
13(15.3%)
Other [please comment]
9(10.6%)

Do you think that fiction authors ought to do their research before publishing their work commercially?

Yes
82(95.3%)
No
0(0.0%)
Other [please comment]
4(4.7%)

Why or why not? (if you run out of room, please comment)

Do you think that fiction authors ought to do their research before publishing their work in fandom?

Yes
66(77.6%)
No
2(2.4%)
Other [please comment]
17(20.0%)

Why or why not? (if you run out of room, please comment)

Ticky box?

TICKY BOX! :D
8(9.9%)
TICKY BOX! >:0!1
1(1.2%)
LLAMA!1
9(11.1%)
WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO KNOW THE GDP OF ZIMBABWE, YO
4(4.9%)
BUT WHERE'S THE RUM GONE? :(
24(29.6%)

Tags: poll, writing
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