Authentic details make writing authentic

I finished yesterday’s post, published it and looked at it again — something felt Not. Quite. Right.   I did a little research, and sure enough, cardinals eat nuts and seeds, NOT bugs. Shoulda known that from my bird feeder.

So I edited Ms. C’s invitation from “Let’s go eat some BUGS” to “Let’s go eat some SEEDS.”

Phew, much better.

And then I thought about it some: I spent actual real-time minutes researching whether a talking —  hello? — wild songbird would eat bugs or seeds. I was aiming for authenticity in my dialogue.  In billable hours it would have been only five bucks or so, but still.

That’s just plain nuts. If I were Ms. C chattering away in my front yard, I’d say, for sure, “Let’s go get some chocolate croissants and maybe a latte.”

Next time I’ll try for more authenticity, more true grit.

10 comments to Authentic details make writing authentic

  • Natasha said, “That’s just plain nuts” — But I’m sure there was no pun intended. Or was there? Quick call Nancy Drew – we have a mystery to solve.

    I’m a bit goofey today – must be the fumes from cleaning. 🙂

    At least you caught it – I feed the darn things sunflower seeds every day and I didn’t even notice – I don’t think I have a future in editing — just yet.

    • Nancy

      Gah. I didn’t even think of a pun til you pointed it out…

      But we had taken down the paper covering the garage window this morning so that the plants we’d brought inside against this silly winter weather could have the sun. Sure enough, the cardinal started beating against the window again this afternoon. A. just hung an old beach towel against the window so if he keeps banging, he might not get so hurt.

      High drama in the ‘burbs.

  • You sound like me. I can never leave a blog post alone. I publish it and then I go back to it time and time again, searching for flaws and hastening to correct them.

    That’s good though, don’t you think?

  • Sounds like you’re looking for any reason to keep from hitting that 1500 word goal. 🙂 That’s okay, at least you’re keeping us entertained. LOVE the new header. Lola? Right? Great shot of her, what a mischievous little thing.

    • Nancy

      Heh heh. I went out this evening and when I got back, A had put some pics in the header for me. SOME of them are cute — the one with the toilet water bowl my brother gave me for Christmas — not so much.

      And yes, it’s Lola. There’s also one from right after we got her sleeping with Polly.

  • Awww, that’s nuts! I never would’ve caught that. Whenever I reread my posts, I find typos, etc. The problem is, I hardly ever reread them!!

    Love the photo header, very cute. 😀

    • Nancy

      Thanks! Little Ms. Lola Isabella. A has been playing around with some of our photos and he’s gonna help me make the blog look a little less cluttered. Stay tuned….

  • You made me laugh. I didn’t catch your error either. But we do waste time researching the tiniest things don’t we? I spent an hour yesterday translating menus to see what side dishes are served in French restaurants and then decided to stick with what I’d already written.

    I also frequently edit my posts … some even a year old. Perfectionism is a curse. 🙂

    • Nancy

      Pommes frites! I’m imagining some nice garlicky aioli on the side.

      Yes, perfectionism can be a curse. I’m trying really hard to just write, and not worry so much about editing and making it perfect (NOT that it ever is!)

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