How much do you care about a book’s real world accuracy? I don’t care that much when I’m reading, but when I write, it’s a whole other story.
I think it was DaVinci Code that I read before going to London years back. I remember reading all these street names and locations and I had no idea if Tom Hanks should go north on the whatever or east. As a reader, I kind of glossed over the directions and geography. That happened again more recently while reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
The YA I’m working on is set in Florida, around Naples. A character needs to visit a certain hospital. I didn’t name the hospital, but I did spend an hour researching hospital types and locations in Florida so I could write that they drove east for three hours to visit the other character.
My question is, if I wrote that they drove north a half hour, would it have mattered? Would anyone outside of Naples say, “Hey, there’s no psychiatric hospital a half hour north of here. This book sucks!”
My problem was it took me awhile to find a decent location. I almost changed the setting of the entire book so that they would be closer to a hospital that’s mentioned in one chapter. Is that obsessive or worth it?
This has been Elliot Arthur Cross reminding you that with the ease of the Internet, there’s no excuse to get some basic geographic detail wrong. Googlemap the area and check it out. Peace.