You Can’t Believe Everything You Read

tumblr_ls7n23WrgF1r1ejbco1_500While I’ve been around for a little while now, I certainly don’t consider myself an expert. I consult the experts, and research everything I write to ensure I don’t spread inaccurate information.

As a new writer, we don’t always know if what we are reading is fact, fiction, or opinion. We are hungry for information that is going to help us become better writers, and more importantly, that is going to help us become successful and published.

When I began this journey, I was literally starting from scratch. I assumed like many of you, that anybody could write a novel. I had a great idea and put pen to paper, or I guess I should say fingers to keys.

It wasn’t until I submitted it to agents, that I discovered there were rules on POV, writing dialogue, plotting, use of description, setting scenes… I needed information. I needed accurate, easy to understand information from someone who knew what they were talking about.

I opened my computer and began typing. If it’s on the internet, it has to be correct, right? That’s what most of us think, at least that’s what I thought. If I was having problems with dialogue, one of my weaknesses,ย  I would type in dialogue and go for it. There were so many articles and blog posts to read. While most offered invaluable information, I would occasionally run into one that lead me astray, or left me more confused than I was before I started my research.

I feel like I’m rambling today, but my aim for this particular blog is to caution new writers. Just because something is written on-line, doesn’t mean it’s correct. Choose your sources wisely. Do your research. There is a lot of useful information out there, but you will occasionally run into something that is inaccurate, or so ambiguous you are left more confused than you were when you started your research.

My husband is always saying technology is wonderful. You have the world at your fingertips, but you can’t check your brain in at the door.

Something to think about.

-Jan R

 

 

You Can’t Believe Everything You Read

6 thoughts on “You Can’t Believe Everything You Read

  1. “If itโ€™s on the internet, it has to be correct, right?”

    Careful with that — irony is flammable.

    Just the other day, I blogged my grammar-nerd outrage at someone insisting that negative statements are passive voice and therefor Bad Writing. Nearly every day, I blog about some example of incorrect writing (mostly issues of grammar and punctuation, but there’s also a bit of fact-checking thrown in) that I found on the internet. It never ceases to amaze (and frustrate) me that so many people think Twitter-style punctuation and spelling are correct for normal prose, just because that’s how “everyone” does it on the internet.

    Once an incorrect “fact” is out there, it’s next to impossible to fight it with the facts. ‘In the Medieval Times, chain maille was impervious to all weapons, especially arrows.’ So much wrong… Wow. Mail is crap against bludgeoning or stabs — including from arrows — although it does okay against slashes. But there’s some meme saying otherwise, and that meme gets shared over and over again amongst people interested in historical or fantasy fiction, so it HAS to be true. *shakes head*

    Even the thing you allude to about quotes from famous people… Hemingway never said, “Write drunk, edit sober.” And Einstein never said that thing about a fish climbing a tree (and besides, if ‘Everybody is a genius,’ why does the supposed word of this Einstein guy matter more than that of any other person?), but it’s on the internet…

    Like

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