There I was in the fulsome embrace of my couch, perusing a short story written by a client; a short story destined for a collection, soon to be winging its way around Manhattan to editors with superb taste and fat wallets.
Manhattan being the key piece of info here.
Since I've had to stop gnawing writers just for sport (Universal Studios said it was a copyright violation) I am now allowed only to gnaw for cause.
Which has turned out ok cause a lot of you have some interesting ideas about New York City geography and how publishing works.
And yet, novels are not documentaries or academic books to illuminate and/or clarify the historical record. They're ...well...made up!
But how much wiggle room do you have with real things?
Can you invent a street in New York City?
Can you put a museum or other public building in a different location? If so, how different? Across the street? Across the park? Across the island?
Can you talk about literary agents doing things that would get any reputable agent tossed out of AAR and banned from Barbara Poelle's waterfront dive bar forever?
There are those with zero tolerance for wiggling, or playing fast and loose with facts. And there are folks like me who relentlessly check geography in NYC for accuracy, and historical events for same but can let stuff go often, if I'm caught up in the story.
And of course, there are people who recognize how ridiculous Aaron Sorkin's workplace dramas are and watch them anyway (that would be me again.)
And does the amount of wiggle room depend on your audience? New Yorkers know their own geography; a reader in Boring, Oregon is probably less familiar with the byways of Chelsea. Editors who work in publishing will see "errors" that someone who tests Hula Hoops might not.
What's your tolerance for a novel taking liberties with accuracy?