Saturday, May 31, 2008
Fact Checking in the Real World, part 1
I just got my galleys (page proofs) back for Just One Wish, which has made me think about all the facts authors have to check when we write novels.
For example, in this story the main character, Annika, tells her six-year-old brother that she has a genie and that he can have two wishes. He is a little skeptical at first, but ends up buying the story.
I wondered if a six-year-old would really believe the whole genie story. Luckily, I happen to have a six-year-old (my children often come in handy when I'm writing) so I sat her down and asked her, "What would you say if your sister told you that she had a genie and that you could have two wishes?"
My six-year-old thought about it for a second and then said, "Thank you?"
Yep, that part of the story works.
Second fact: There is a part in this story where Annika is going through a guy's room looking for clothes to wear. (That sounds wrong, doesn't it? It's not what you think.) The guy is six foot two, however, so I wrote it that his shorts slip off Annika's hips.
In real life my 14-year-old son is a half inch shy of six feet. He's a gymnast and pretty much solid muscle. He weighs, I think, twenty pounds more than I do. But as it turns out my son and I both have some Old Navy jeans that look about the same--except, get this, his pants are smaller than mine. I'm not sure why this is since he is both taller and heavier than me.
It is just unfair though.
Not long ago, we were doing laundry and I told him, "I think you've got my jeans and I've got yours."
"No you don't," he said.
I pulled a candy wrapper out of my pockets for proof. Then he pulled a pair of bobby pins out of his pocket, and we switched pants. (And yes, at my house we believe in washing and drying the contents of our pockets with every load of laundry.)
So yeah, assuming Annika was tall (and I never say whether she was or not) she may have fit into the guy's shorts without any problem at all.
Oh well, I'm not changing it at this point.
Here is a picture of my son and his friend showing off their abs. He is the patriotic one. (Perhaps I should start regularly putting pictures of him on my blog to increase the amount of teenage girls coming to my site . . .)
The next fact checking story involves the real life Orlando Bloom and my high school chum, Misty. Stay tuned.
Posted by Janette Rallison at 11:56 PM