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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Irritating Errors

I totally need some reader advice. I need to know just how important accuracy is to you in a story you’re reading.

Some glaring mistakes really annoy me in books. I was reading a story once where the author was describing the hero’s Glock and referred to it as a revolver. But Glock does not make revolvers. Glock is a company that makes striker-fired pistols (and knives, some clothes, and a couple other gun tools…but not Revolvers!).

Author Lady must’ve assumed the words pistol and revolver were synonymous and could be interchanged. But nope. Revolvers are only a type of pistol with a cylinder full of chambers to put each bullet in. The bullets in a Glock pistol are stored in the clip that gets shoved up into the butt of the grips. Anyway, the point here is this little detail of calling a Glock a revolver bugged me…for like ever. I'm not quite sure why.

And now that I’m writing my own stories, I’ve approached a problem in a manuscript I just sold, an error I actually know about (I’m sure I’ve made tons of mistakes I don’t know about, but this one I do). It’s still in the editing phase, so it’s possible I can fix it, but the question I’m asking is…is this problem such a big deal that I NEED to fix it, cause I’ll have to cut an entire scene to do that and I’d really rather keep that cute scene if I could.

Guess I should explain what I’m talking about, huh? There’s this scene in my story where the heroine gets flagged down by a cop on the Las Vegas Strip because she’s scantily dressed and this area has problems with illegal prostitution.

Now the state of Nevada has legalized prostitution, but the city of Las Vegas has not. I thought I was being all smart by making this cop harass her because I thought she was in the city limits. But recently I’ve learned The Las Vegas Strip is technically NOT in the Las Vegas city limits, and there is most definitely prostitutes legally working the Strip.

So, how big of a deal do you find this error? I’d like to keep the cop scene plus the line, “We can surely find a wedding chapel somewhere close. We’re on the freaking Strip for crying out loud,” but I could change it if it was bothersome.

Honestly, would this kind of inaccuracy irritate you? What kind of author mistakes DO irritate you?


Jennifer Shirk said...

well, that kind of mistake wouldn't bother me--even now that I know about the mistake. LOL But maybe if I lived in Vegas, I would be bothered. Not sure.
Darn that's a tough call.

April Ash said...

I wouldn't have known the difference...and wonder if most realize that the Strip isn't in the Las Vegas city limits.

Suzanne said...

If I lived in or around Vegas, it probably would bother me. I've gotten where I'm almost afraid to read books set in New Orleans because the authors always get something so totally wrong it drives me nuts. That being said, will the percentage of your readers who actually know the difference (I wouldn't) make enough difference to cut a scene you love? Or could you work that little legal detail into the exchange between the cop and your character?

Molly Daniels said...

I'm with the rest of them; it wouldn't bother me a bit...but then, I've never been to Vegas!

Hmmmm...ROAD TRIP! Hee hee...when Miss Lydia's old enough to be left with your DH, hahahahaha!

Katalina Leon said...

This is easy to fix! Keep the scene and tweak the cop's dialogue. Have your heroine do something slightly suspicious... I just had to work a convention in Vegas a few months ago and I'm telling you the "prostitutes" and the tourist blend together quite inconspicuously... A cop would be watching behavior not attire.

Paris said...

Is there a way to work that little detail into the story? Are these girls required to carry a license and could the cop be harassing her about that?

I honestly didn't know this fact before you pointed it out but someone in Las Vegas might call you on it.

Linda Kage said...

So, the only readers I really have to worry about getting upset are Vegas readers? That makes sense. Thank you!

And great advice, Kat and Suzanne. I might run with your ideas of adding legal details and suspicious behavior.

You guys are awesome. I apreciate it.

Sandy said...


The old saying what goes on in Vegas is not exactly true. I know lots of people who go to Vegas. Most of them know prostitution is legal there. You see them in all the hotel bars but most of them look like any young woman at any college bar. lol

Dawn Chartier said...

I remember writing about a gun and I had no clue about it. I went to a gun shop and picked up all kinds of brochures just to make sure I used the right terms and ammo etc. I was so worried I'd get it wrong.

Dawn Chartier

jean hart stewart said...

Wouldn't bother me and I've been to Las Vegas several times. But could you say, we're close to the Strip without too much trouble? Jean

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