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The Devil in the Detail

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Old 02-20-2006, 01:14 AM
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The Devil in the Detail


This might sounds like advise too basic even to mention, but - if you really care about your story and want to avoid potential embarressment - check, double check and then check again even on small details in your story.

To explain why I have to go back to one - embarressment, that is - of my own, which happened in the form of having someone, in a story set in USA in the 1870ies, present a young lady freshly arrived from the United Kingdom with a particular type of "purse size" Remmington revolver for self defence. Which she, in the story, faithfully carried around until a friend of mine more knowledgable about historical firearms got a look at it.

His comment: "Nice gun. Too bad it won't do her any good any time soon."

He then further elaborated, at my somewhat bemused inquiry as to what was wrong with the gun, "Nothing really - aside from the fact that it wasn't manufactured until 1893."

Incidentally, I'm not the only one that's happened too; I've seen similar things in published fiction, too, for example in one story someone driving a car two or three years before it ever rolled of the conveyer belt or in another story someone staying in a hotel that hadn't even been built yet . . .

Mistakes maybe not essential for the story, but that I find irritating nevertheless!

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Last edited by Panthere Noir; 02-20-2006 at 01:17 AM..
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:30 PM
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I had to laugh. I have a friend who is just as esoteric in his knowledge of firearms (and indeed, all things mechanical), and many a time has he torn a hole in my carefully aligned plots with a mere "Hmm. Uh........".
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:05 PM
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Hehe, looking back, I have to laugh, too, when I think of it. At that moment though it was more like "grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" or something along those lines.

Fortunately, a small handgun was a relatively easy item to replace, so it didn't affect the story really in the end - I hate to think what I'd have done had it been something so essential that it would have required a full re-write.
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A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. - Oscar Wilde
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Last edited by Panthere Noir; 02-21-2006 at 03:07 PM..
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