We all can (probably) agree that thereâ€™s such a thing as a story being ruined by gross inaccuracies due to poor research. But it there such a thing as too much accuracy?
Iâ€™ve been thinking about this ever since I read Brenda Coulterâ€™s post on Regency titles over at Romancing the blog. Itâ€™s a pretty interesting comment trail, too. At least one blog reader remarked that readers of historical fiction know and love history, so historical accuracy in fiction should be obligatory. At least one other blog reader remarked that she could give a fig less about historical accuracy; she just read to be entertained.
Where do you fall on those lines?
I donâ€™t want my Regency miss saying â€œHelloâ€ to the hero, or the young pup dancing attendance on her to lose his dukedom to his bastard brother on the turn of a card. The reader reading purely for entertainment probably has no idea why these two things rub me the wrong way when I come across them.
Then again, I donâ€™t want my Medieval laird hero to suffer rotting teeth or the Sassenach heroine to go unbathed for long periods during the winter regardless of how accurate that may or may not be. I want them clean, I want them bathed, I want their clothes smelling halfway decent, their food unspoiled, and all their teeth nice and healthy. (Crooked is fine.)
But thatâ€™s just me, and historical is a sticky wicket anyway since obviously that period of time is over.
What about other genres? Uncoply cops, unnursely nurses, ridiculously precocious three-year-olds who take care of themselves for chapters at a time and spout college-level vocabulary? Does that stuff roll off your back, or does it make you want to scream?