Accurate Medical Writing in your Fiction

     As writers, we love to transport our readers. It’s an honor to know that we were able to make them believe the fear a character felt about dying, or the power of falling in love, or the excitement of waking up on Christmas morning. We strive to use our words to make magic, to take readers on a great adventure to places they may never see in real life, to know what something tastes like, to feel well-deserved and well-earned vindication… We have accountability to our readers to give them our very best.

      Our readers rely on us to make it real, and some will even call us on it if it’s not! And they have a right to! If you buy a defective product from the store, won’t you be in line at customer service the first chance you get? If you go through the drive-thru, and your order is not what you expected, won’t you go back and have it corrected? In the same way, we’re providing our services through our writing. What a job, right? 

     So it didn’t surprise me last week when I stumbled onto a writer’s Twitter page to see what I could retweet in support of them, that I found a reader relentlessly showing their frustration from a piece of work by the writer that inaccurately described an illness that the reader in fact had. The reader was angry, she kept insisting on private messaging the author, she kept verbalizing her discontent. The author, of course, was very gracious in her replies. 

     And that being said, I realize that we’re all learning together, and reading that interaction actually helped me, which is why I wanted to pass this along to help my friends on this writing journey that were on together.

      As writers, we also are researchers. What was in like in the 1940s? How would I describe an engine in a reconstructed Ford Mustang? What would my character do in Paris? And then there’s the medical aspect. How would I write about Diabetes? Or Chemotherapy treatment? Or infertility? Or a phobia? Here is a wonderful Web site called “Romance University.” There’s an article titled, “Medical Speak for Writers by Wynter Daniels,” at http://romanceuniversity.org/2011/06/13/medical-speak-for-writers-by-wynter-daniels/

     In this post, Wynter has provided invaluable links to several resources for any range of medical conditions your character might have, to even being treated for a specific injury and where on the body you might want that injury to be for the specific outcome you’re looking for! I have actually bookmarked this fantastic page, and I LOVE to share a good find! And finding it was as easy as doing a Web search! I hope this helps! 

Hugs to everyone, and “Write on!”

 

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