Writing Reader Observation #3

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
Groucho Marx


Zoning Out on Time

The first time I observed an author totally not thinking about time was in a scene about a woman going to Ireland on Christmas Eve. I wouldn’t have given it much thought except there was a big deal about getting to the airport on time for the nonstop flight to leave at 5 pm, which means that it would arrive around 5 am Dublin time. Yet, the scene of the character arriving in Dublin is to the sun just rising (beautifully written scene, by the way). However, on December 24, the sun rises around 8:40 am so that flight just became three hours and forty minutes longer than it should have been…must have been the detour to Paris?

The second scene involves a character being in Virginia at 8 am and thinking that her boyfriend is in London where it’s currently evening. In fact, it should just be 1 pm unless it’s during that weird few weeks where the US has turned their clocks ahead and Europe has not, but still we’re talking about an hour’s difference, so still not evening.

Lesson Learned: If you’re being specific about time, check your numbers. Google makes your life so incredibly easy. You can find corresponding times for all over the world. You can even check flight times. Write right rather than sloppy.



The World Clock

10 thoughts on “Writing Reader Observation #3

  1. Loved the title, zoning out, but more, it’s so true. Sometimes those “little inconsistencies” can be ignored, but it stays at the back of your mind for all that. Thank you appreciated this.

    1. The funny thing is if you don’t point out the time in one place, it would never come up. Can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t double check…or their editors would double check…:)

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