Do you tell the truth and nothing but the truth?

As Sgt. Joe Friday admonished on Dragnet, “Just the facts, Ma’am…”

But where to stop? stop-1502026_640

I’ve researched different stuff for my book and I’m getting bogged down in the details.

Didn’t someone once say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” And some of this stuff is small. However, I don’t want a reader slamming me for a glaring mistake just because I didn’t do enough research.

Besides, I love research. I can get lost for hours hopping from website to website reading everything on a subject. And what do I end up with? Files, more files, notebooks and dozens of sticky notes of important information.

“Half a truth is often a great lie.” – Benjamin Franklin 

Sometimes I get too technical, too filled with the mundane details forget the magic of writing.

So here’s to remembering the magic and sprinkling my story with enough half-truths magic-184447_640that my readers are willing to suspend disbelief. Fingers crossed.



What do you think?

Are you a researcher?

Or do you write and let the facts fall where they may?

Do you think different genres call for varying degrees of research?

As usual, I’ve left some interesting reading at the bottom. See? I just love research. LOL

Leave me a comment – I love comments.

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and

Please stop by and say, “hey!” I’ll leave a light on.

How Much Research Is Too Much?

Research: When and How Much? by Evan Marshall

Fiction Writer’s Guide: How much Research is too much? 

How to Research a Novel: 7 Tips  by:


19 thoughts on “Do you tell the truth and nothing but the truth?

  1. I’m in the middle of research right now. I’m staying with general concepts, which helps. Much of what I’m researching is more for assuring myself that what I’ve read at some time in my past has been the truth, or finding out the correct name for an item or type of person. There may be a time in my future when I’ll be doing the deep research and I hope I have the fortitude for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I research only when it’s necessary to build credibility. For instance, when writing about cities I always check google maps to make sure I use real streets, and make sure the restaurants they visit exist. If I discuss science or history, I check to make sure my facts are correct (e.g., I relied on server all sources to write about crime scene technology, on-site labs and equipment).

    But there’s a limit. I hope my readers understand that my books should never be taken as sources of information. I want to stimulate their brains with ideas, but fiction, like film and TV, should never be trusted as a source for facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You gave us all something to ponder! We want our readers to get lost in our books and caught up in the story. We don’t want them to play “gotcha” when they find a factual error and then have them stop out of the story and start to look for other “mistakes” we may have made.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My first book has one chapter set at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. I had no choice but to research the camp. I will never visit that camp or go to Afghanistan for that matter. To make my story work, I have to have enough facts to make this small, but very important section, believable. Fortunately, as you know, you can find just about anything you need on the internet. It helps having a son in the marines as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am not big on research, which is probably why I like to write about my memoirs. If I do write about someone or something else then yes reaearch is necessary. I probably could do a whole post on lieing, I don’t like lies, I don’t trust people that lie to me and telling the truth can make people mad at you. If you ask me; “how do I look”? If I don’t think you look good I am going to tell you; “I don’t think you look good”. You can lose friends that way and family members will distant themselves from you but if you don’t want the truth then don’t ask me.I have been told over the years (I am now 73) that I am too blunt and hurt peoples feelings. My answer to that is; “It’s the truth is it not”? The answer is always the same; “Yes, but”.
    To get back to research, my thoughts on that are: Some genres require intensive research and some don’t. I try to stick to the don’t genres but there are times that in order to get it right much research is required, In my opinion and this is only my opinion. In every story there is some truth. Something has to triger a writer to write and somewhere in that story regardless of the genre there is a truth. Each writer/author has his/her own way of going about putting a story together but in the end we wind up the same. We all sit down at the computer and start typing. When all is said and done we wait, success? Hopefully, if not we start over and do it again and again, the result? We never fail because we keep trying. We write because we love it, that’s the truth, the lie, we don’t care about being successful. ☺☺☺

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.