It’s the little things

I’ve read several hundred different M/M stories at this point from several dozen different authors (and I’m now branching out more significantly since I’m no longer only reading Dreamspinner Press titles/authors). I don’t generally consider myself overly picky about the story plot as a whole. You’re going to see repeats of ideas and general settings and set-ups. It’s how they’re done differently that makes them worthwhile or not.

What I am overly picky about is doing the briefest amount of research if you’re going to reference something real world, particularly proper nouns. Like “Al-Qaeda”. Only it was misspelled as “Al Quaida” in this particular story.

Ok, just typing in “al q” into a Google search bar brings up “al qaeda” as the first potential topic. Research done – you’ve found the correct spelling (though missing the hyphen), but if you’re not convinced, selecting that one brings up the Wikipedia article that also mentions the alternative spellings (none of which has a ‘u’ in it). And while most teachers do not want students to consider that any and all information they find on the Internet to be automatically reliable, even if it’s Wikipedia (since legitimate references can be sketchy at best), I think we can all agree that the anal-retentiveness of certain individuals will make certain that something as well known as “Al-Qaeda” will be spelled correctly in something as public and highly used as Wikipedia. There are people who live to be that anal retentive about such things.

It was a simple, under 1-minute method of verification for how to properly spell the name of the organization. And it annoys the hell out of me that it wasn’t double-checked or caught by beta readers or something.

I understand that when you’re in the midst of writing and you’re “in the groove” that you might not want to break your train of thought in that instant to take the time out to verify right that second. But if you’re going to use a proper name, particularly one you’re not overly familiar with, you should take the time out to do that brief double-check at some point.

Yeah, I know, mistakes happen too. *sigh* That doesn’t make me less peeved upon reading it; it just makes me feel more guilty for harping on it.

~ by Adara O'Hare on October 19, 2010.

One Response to “It’s the little things”

  1. […] while back, I made a post about researching real-world details to get them right. I came across another example that made me stop and think a bit more on […]

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