When you write a novel, you need to get the facts and details right. Who has ever heard of Bombay, NC or Mount Sanai, Oklahoma? They don’t exist, or if they do, I’ve never heard of them.
Sure you’re writing a fictional novel and you can do what you want. Wait a minute. You can do what you want, but if it doesn’t make sense to your reader, they’re going to shake their head and throw the book to the side. Don’t expect a recommendation.
When you write fiction, you’re already asking your reader to accept numerous situations that could occur, but odds are won’t. My novel’s hero is one of two identical twins. He was switched at birth and never knew he had a brother. They meet in Afghanistan and are blown up when one steps on an IED. One dies and the other is misidentified, taking on his brothers identity and life.
Now that’s asking a reader to accept a lot of ‘could happens’ but odds are they never would. In order to balance the story and help my readers maintain their suspension of disbelief, I did my homework to make sure all of the facts surrounding these situations made sense.
What’s suspension of disbelief? It’s your reader’s ability to suspend critical faculties and accept the surreal; sacrifice of realism and logic for the purpose of enjoyment. However, as stated, your reader will only accept so much. Even fantasy and sci-fi need to read as real.
You have to get the facts and details right. With today’s technology and the information available, there is no reason why the details should be inaccurate. I love Google and Youtube. They are your friends.
I’m never going to Afghanistan, and I definitely want be serving in the marines. I do have a son who went to Afghanistan and was a sergeant in the marines. That helped. I also found more information than I could possibly use on Afghanistan, Camp Leatherneck, and the daily life of marines who resided at the camp through google searches, interviews with my son, and youtube videos.
Get the details right and you can get away with a lot of make believe. It doesn’t have to be real, but it does have to read real.
Something to think about.