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Old July 16, 2018, 02:33 AM   #26
Aguila Blanca
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I have to disagree with MTT TL and DaleA. "Mistake" and "error" are pretty much synonymous. When the shortstop bobbles a grounder and then throws wide to first base, they don't call it an "error" because he did it intentionally.

I agree that sometimes authors include incorrect or misleading information intentionally. When they do so, the information is "incorrect," it is neither an "error" nor a "mistake."
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Old July 16, 2018, 06:57 AM   #27
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Stuart Woods, daddy of lawyer Stone Barrington, puts an afterword in his books.
Don't write to tell me about errors in this book, I already know about them by the time it is on your shelf.
He once commented that gun nuts are the worst for picking at details.
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Old July 16, 2018, 09:00 AM   #28
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Quote:
Many authors are just plain ignorant.
Fiction Authors tend to be "gun-dumb". Especially the ones from the liberal North East. I've caught some similar mistakes in Stephen King books. They are not writing for the people on this forum, they are creating sights and sounds through their choice of words to get non-gun people immersed in the action of the story.

However, you would think that people like Mr. King would know at least one gun-guy who could proofread his draft for silly gun errors. Gun-people aren't being "picky". It would be no different than writing something like:

"Jeff mashed the accelerator and redlined the 6.2 Liter V8 in his retro-styled '95 Plymouth Prowler before throwing the gearshift into 1st, smoking the back tires and launching it toward....."

Some of you will know what is wrong with ^^^^^this, and others won't have a clue. It sounds good to the average person, though.

Last edited by Skans; July 16, 2018 at 09:08 AM.
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Old July 16, 2018, 09:00 AM   #29
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If an author can find the errors by the time his book reaches the buyers, why can't he find the errors before the book reaches the printer?

The problem is, a novel tells a story. At some level, the reader usually identifies with one of the characters (generally the protagonist) and, to a degree, suspends belief to become absorbed/engrossed in the situation. When serious errors pop up, they shatter the illusion and break the reader's absorption into the story line.

An example for sci-fi/fantasy: I was a huge fan of Anne McCaffrey and her Dragonriders of Pern series. I have every book in the series, and I've read most of them at least three times. Any time I went into a Barnes & Noble my first stop was the sch-fi aisle, to see if there was a new Dragonriders book out. Near the end of her life, Anne brought her son, Todd McCaffrey, in as co-author for one or two books. After she died, Todd wrote two new Dragonrider books in quick succession.

My late wife knew how much I liked Anne's books so she gave both of the new ones to me for Christmas. I read them both, and asked her never to buy another one of Todd McCaffrey's books. After almost thirty years of living on Pern in my head, I found that some elements of the story introduced by Todd were so jarringly out-of-synch with my mental construct of the Pern world that I absolutely hated the books.

I think the same thing applies to authors who allow serious, fact=-checkable errors regarding guns, cars, or whatever to creep into their books. True, some readers won't be knowledgeable enough to pick up on the errors. Others will.
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Old July 16, 2018, 11:08 AM   #30
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Actually Tom Clancy gave an interview after he wrote The Sum of All Fears about intentionally inserting bad info. He indicated he intentionally put in bad nuclear weapon design information to try avoid helping a terrorist group.
I was going to mention this, you beat me to it. Clancy's "interview" is actually the afterword in the book.
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Old July 16, 2018, 12:33 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans
...'95 Plymouth Prowler...
The concept was built in '93, production began in '97... but there may have been a couple unreleased "proof" models built in '95. Maybe he worked for Plymouth and got one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
When serious errors pop up, they shatter the illusion and break the reader's absorption into the story line.

An example for sci-fi/fantasy:...
I don't know... consider the myriad errors in the Star Trek genre, just around the concept of "Warp" and "Subspace" speeds/distances. It's pretty glaring at times. Hell, the whole Voyager series alone is FILLED with contradictions about how long it will take to go to X, how fast the ship can go, how long it will take a Subspace signal to get to Starfleet, etc, etc. It's noticeable by anyone paying the slightest attention, but I don't think it really detracts from the fan base.
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Old July 16, 2018, 08:41 PM   #32
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Quote:
Actually Tom Clancy gave an interview after he wrote The Sum of All Fears about intentionally inserting bad info. He indicated he intentionally put in bad nuclear weapon design information to try avoid helping a terrorist group.
I was going to mention this, you beat me to it. Clancy's "interview" is actually the afterword in the book.
Clancy also said that the Tier 1 shooters in Rainbow Six never practiced on the range with their primary weapons because the diopter sights made them so easy to use.
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Old July 16, 2018, 10:44 PM   #33
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I can insert an error in to a line of code.

I can't insert a mistake.
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Old July 16, 2018, 10:53 PM   #34
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It's fiction, people. Get over it.
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Old July 27, 2018, 01:21 AM   #35
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I think directors,authors,etc make technical compromises with a shrug for the sake of tension or drama.
"Glock" is trendy,technical,and paints a picture. The author may have never fired a handgun and has no clue how its different than a 1911 or a Luger.

All of the safety clicking,slide racking,lever jacking,hammer cocking that we recognize (hopefully) as silly has been a Hollywood formula for escalating drama for so long some folks actually believe the sound of racking a shotgun is some level of tactical response.

"Saving Private Ryan" ,I'm sure,had WW2 technical experts to get the details right. If "getting it right" was the priority,then our US Army sniper character would have used the little Weaver 330 3/4 in tube scope for every shot.It was not a quick detach setup. There would be no swapping to the Marine version of the sniper scope.(The long tube Lyman or Unertl)
It just does not work that way.

I'm sure the director knew it. But there is more drama in swapping to the big scope.

So,a compromise was made.

I sometimes wonder,among politicians and news media,if conscious bumbling of firearms knowledge or terminology is a pose to be politically correct.
Its "cool" to be a non-gun person,and to be able to technically correct about firearms creates suspicion that (gasp) might out the person as one of "them",the politically incorrect gun culture.

"He had a high caliber powerfulAR-15 magazine clip" says " I'm cool,can I come to your party?"
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Old July 27, 2018, 02:52 AM   #36
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It's actually because of threads like this that I've actually put up a page on my site for firearms consulting services and target authors and video game developers as part of their audience... to help them proofread and inform them to avoid stupid mistakes that turn off readers. https://www.pottsprecision.com/consulting/

No takers yet but I haven't started marketing it really. Maybe it's easier for them to remain technically ignorant and focus on their writing than worry about the small details.
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Old July 27, 2018, 06:52 AM   #37
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Which sells more books: The raw often boring truth? Or a highly embellished story “based on fact” (with the sole fact the main characters real names were Bob and Sam) with the rest of the story a figmentation?
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Old July 27, 2018, 12:15 PM   #38
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"Saving Private Ryan" ,I'm sure,had WW2 technical experts to get the details right.
They got a lot of them right, but not all of them. Agreed, some were deliberately wrong, and done only for dramatic effect, such as the sniper cranking on the adjustable objective lens of the scope and muttering about windage...

However, there is at least one other, (pointed out to me by an expert friend) that could have easily been done "right" but wasn't.

The squadron codes on the P-51s that destroy the Tiger tank are incorrect for the time and location of the setting.

Another movie "goof" is in Enemy at the Gates. There is a scene of German Panzer HQ with facing lines of parked Panzer IIIs. The CGI is good, decent recreation of the proper model of Panzer III for the time and place.

However, one line of tanks is a mirror image of the other, which puts the bow machine gun on the wrong side of the tank! Tread heads and model builders, spot this easily. Since its all CGI to begin with, why couldn't they get it right??

I make allowances for when actual historic equipment is used, and they couldn't get exactly the right version (such as M1 carbines with Korean war features in WWII, etc.) However when its all done CGI, it ought to be right.
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Old July 27, 2018, 08:17 PM   #39
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I have talked to one fiction writer at length about firearm details. The author was agonizing over the fine details, trying to get everything exactly correct. I could tell that striving for perfection was going to destroy the picture that the author was trying to paint with words. Along with that realization, came the understanding that sometimes it's more important to get the "picture right" than it is to insure that every last detail is perfectly correct.

After all, the picture is something (if done right) that nearly everyone will enjoy while only a few people will see the problems with the details. And even many of those who see the problems may still be able to "look away" from the errors and enjoy the story.
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Old July 27, 2018, 09:49 PM   #40
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I could tell that striving for perfection was going to destroy the picture that the author was trying to paint with words. Along with that realization, came the understanding that sometimes it's more important to get the "picture right" than it is to insure that every last detail is perfectly correct.
I understand this, and actually do agree with it. However, my point is that not only is the "devil in the details" but as one engineer once told me, "God is in the details".


Including EVERY detail in the description of things in the story can be detrimental to the "big picture". However, the solution is simple, don't include those details that are detrimental to the narrative, and do ensure the ones you do include are correct.

For example, saying "he cocked the hammer and drew a careful aim" tells all the important details, and saying "he cocked the target hammer with its 24line per inch checkered pad, and took careful aim" isn't really needed, and when the gun named doesn't HAVE a target hammer with 24 lpi checkering then, for those of us who know that, its an error and a needless distraction to the storyline.

to my mind, the writer is better off leaving details out than including wrong ones.

Its fine to say the D-Day landings were in France. Its fine to say they were in Normandy, but if the writer names them Gold, Sword, Omaha and Alaska, he'd be better off not naming them at all.

Just my thoughts, and worth every penny you paid for them.
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Old July 27, 2018, 10:01 PM   #41
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I should have qualified my comments. I had been thinking about this topic and remembered the discussion in question. I didn't intend them to be a response or rebuttal to any other comments on the thread.
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Old July 28, 2018, 12:40 AM   #42
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I read a book that had a bad guy with a 45mm pistol. Anyone that could shoot and hold onto a 45mm pistol would be so big, he wouldn't need a gun to hurt someone else.
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Old July 28, 2018, 01:13 AM   #43
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During WW II the Wehrmacht used a 25mm pistol. Of course it was originally a flare gun, but they also developed grenades for it, even an anti-tank round capable of penetrating 50mm of armor (under perfect conditions).

I'm not certain but I believe there have been flare gun "pistols" as large as 37mm, so I think a 45mm one would be possible.

but a 45mm "pistol" as a repeater, using standard type ammo? no. A writer confusing terminology? yes...most likely.

One of the more laughable examples of a "writer" (in this case a journalist) doing "basic" research, but still not understanding what he read was a fellow who, wrote that somebody was using a WW I pistol to shoot people when the police informed him that the gun used in several local shootings was a 9mm Luger....

yes, that really happened...
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Old July 28, 2018, 01:39 AM   #44
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This thing is pretty big, and if I did the math correctly it's only a 28mm (which works out to 1.11 inches, or 111 caliber).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16SIvVKtuks
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Old July 28, 2018, 06:47 AM   #45
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However, you would think that people like Mr. King would know at least one gun-guy who could proofread his draft for silly gun errors.
King once said he knew he had errors about guns and just didn't care. Following the Newtown shooting, he published an anti-gun broadside, so I imagine asking him to correct that stuff now would be futile.

The television series Breaking Bad appears to document the process for manufacturing methamphetamines in detail. As it turns out, something like 90% of the process is accurately portrayed, with the other 10% being intentionally wrong so anybody trying to emulate it would end up with an inert chemical.
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Old July 28, 2018, 07:30 AM   #46
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If you want to know how to make meth properly just go on to You Tube. Lots of info on growing marijuana too. But post a gun video they don't like and down it goes.
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Old July 29, 2018, 01:06 PM   #47
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"...movies that are "based on historical events"..." Rarely have anything to do with said events. Usually not even getting the actual story correct.
However, movies and novels are not history. They're for entertainment. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many Mack Bolan books(with all the stupid nonsense in 'em.). Mack would be over 70 years old.
Tom Clancy's non-fiction stuff is good. His fiction is entertaining. RIP Tom.
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Old July 29, 2018, 05:49 PM   #48
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If you want to know how to make meth properly just go on to You Tube. Lots of info on growing marijuana too. But post a gun video they don't like and down it goes.
Actually, they take down anything they don't like, some drug stuff, some gun stuff, some ranting nonsense. There is still a LOT of gun stuff still on Youtube.

As for the marijuana angle, given that it is legal in numerous states, what's the problem? You can find beer brewing on there as well.

Quote:
However, movies and novels are not history. They're for entertainment.
True.
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Old July 31, 2018, 03:49 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by UncleEd View Post
And did not Hitler perish in a small
movie theater in Paris well before
the end of WWII?
Unfortunately, no....but that was quite an awesome movie, regardless...

"Au revoir, Shosanna!"
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Old July 31, 2018, 11:17 PM   #50
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Try Dean Koontz

Koontz has a lot of firearms in his strange form of fantasy. Near as I can tell they are accurate depictions.

Life is good.
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