Thursday, September 6, 2012

Is Ignorance Bliss?



I’m the guy who sees mistakes, well, at least when it’s not my work.  Then the story in my head overrides what my eyes are trying to tell it.  My wife long ago came to expect the eventual pause and zip backward through a movie scene, where I then point out the camera crew in the car window.  (The latest was in Get Low with Robert Duval).  I always wonder:  How did they NOT see that?  Did they just ignore the mistake hoping no one would notice?  But, what if it happens in a published book?

I’m not talking about a misplaced comma, or a missing “to,” but a whole concept, presented as an occurrence that is just wrong.  Here is an example, from a well-respected author, with multiple books out.  (No, I’m not naming names.)  In a scene, the protagonist’s car is on a dirt road and spins out.  They describe the details clearly.  The tires “screech,” the blue tinted smoke from them floats in the air, the protag smells the burning rubber scent...  None of which happens on dirt, flying dust, yep, gravel and rocks pinging off the undercarriage, ok, the rest...not a chance. 

I am completely willing to suspend my disbelief and have your half mermaid become an Olympic pole-vaulter then land a TV show about seafood on the Cooking Channel, but “mundane” things ...ooof
This brings us to the question at hand:   If you are that author, do you want to know? 

Chime in; I’d love to hear your thoughts.