Opinion vs. Fact #Writing #Author #Advice

So recently I’ve come across many blogs and other writings that are attempting to pass off their opinion as fact. Several different subjects have come up pertaining to politics, nutrition, etc.

In my writing, I feel it’s always important to distinguish between the two. If I’m sighting fact, I’ll give a source and say it’s a fact. If I’m giving an opinion, I’ll make sure that’s known (look back at some of my other posts). However I’ve seen too many times that people attempt to (either deliberately or unknowingly) pass off their own perceptions as fact. In books and stories, I’ve seen it as well.

Now, for the most part, if you point out that these people could be wrong, or just flat-out are, they’re happy to debate your points with their own. In many cases they either didn’t know, or were getting their info from a bad source, or didn’t mean to pass their opinion off as fact. So you’ll often get a polite thank you…

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. A growing trend these days are the graduates of ‘Google University’ who are extremely partisan in their beliefs and don’t want to hear that their facts aren’t always facts. With these people, the best advice I can give is to ask for their credentials or their source of info, if all they provide you with in return is childish insults, block you, or a long misogyny-laden string of nonsense, then move along. PLEASE. Don’t give these people attention, and they’ll go away.

To those of you who write opinion pieces or factual ones, please make sure your readers know what you’re going for. Cite sources for facts whenever you can, and make sure your sources are legit (Partisan blog postings from people who get their info from other partisan sites are NOT legitimate sources. Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN are not legitimate sources… most of the time. A simple YouTube search will prove that.)

Now take what I’m saying at face value. My blog is advice on the philosophies of writing, so there are no right or wrong answers for the most part. It’s really your own style, I’m just trying to relay the secrets of what success I’ve had in the hopes that it’ll help others. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine, but don’t take what others tell you as fact. Do the research yourself. Check government websites, actual studies from universities, etc. It will take longer, but your facts will be less likely to be attacked and you’ll actually learn something. News agencies are usually second-hand sources.

The more people realize this and start doing the footwork themselves, the better off everyone is.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

RIP Max Von Sydow #Celebrities #MaxVonSydow #RIP

This is a sad one for me. Today, an extremely underrated actor passed away. According to the BBC:

“His family announced “with a broken heart and infinite sadness” that the Swedish-born actor died on Sunday.”

Admittedly, I don’t know as much about his background as I did about people like Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy, and Carrie Fisher (damn, it’s been a tough couple of years!), but this is an actor that has been with me all my life. I first saw him as Father Merrin in the Exorcist at six years old… and lost about five lbs. from being unable to eat for days after. Today, the Exorcist is a Halloween favorite in my house!

Additionally, though, I knew him from other great works…
Flash Gordon
Conan the Barbarian (one of my favorite franchises)
Dune
Ghostbusters 2 (He was Vigo’s voice, I’m not kidding!)
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
Nuremberg
What Dreams May Come (to a lesser extent, the movie was boring)
Minority Report
Rush Hour 3
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Again, to a lesser extent, that movie was a horrible, pretentious, piece of drek!)
Star Wars The Force Awakens (where he was criminally under used!)
and finally, Game of Thrones.

So from some of my favorite movies, to a video game I’ve play more than likely all of my other games combine… no easy task.

I think we can take some solace in the fact that we were graced with 90 years of the man and many MANY decades of his great acting. He will be missed, but will be remembered!

Please stop giving the Royals Attention! #EpsteinDidntKillHimself #ABC #AirTheInterview #Megxit

Readers, this is not a post about writing advice. If that’s what you’re here for, please feel free to browse my site.

For everyone interested… Some may consider this a breakage of my self-imposed rule of being a bastion of escapism where people of all walks of life are welcome and politics is not. If you feel that is the case, I’m sorry for that and would encourage you to not continue reading this post.

With that out of the way, everyone who knows me even marginally well, knows that I’m a child welfare advocate. I’ve donated copies of my age-appropriate books to Children’s Hospital in Boston, I’ve lobbied for better treatment for children in our social services system, and I put my career on hold for three years to work with abandoned/abused youths. I still donate to those causes in both money and time, as well as make large contributions to places like St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital , The Ronald McDonald House, as well as many others.

As such, the welfare of children comes above any other ideal I hold. As such, I have to say this… PLEASE, PEOPLE… STOP WORSHIPING THE UK ROYALS! I know there are a lot of other people guilty of this that should be under investigation, but this is a pretty big one. Not only is Prince Andrew’s exploits rightly under heavy suspicion, his family also helped quash the ABC Interview  that would have aired the dirty laundry of an elite pedo cult and saved multiple children.

Among other rotten things the family has done, this is pretty damning. So please, these are not good people. I thought, given a lot of the comments I saw surrounding the Royals following this, that maybe the world was waking up. Yet since the whole “Megxit” situation we once again have news agencies both in the US and aboard absolutely swooning over these people.

But Jim ABC claims that the Royals didn’t threaten them. 

There’s something to be said for ‘spontaneous sincerity’. It’s been my experience that you learn more about people in the heat of the moment than you’ll ever learn from prepared remarks that have been vetted by PR and attorneys. They’re also saying that the story didn’t meet their journalistic standards… yet we’ve seen many MANY other stories they’ve ran with even less corroboration.

But Jim, they’re looking out for a member of their family. Are you saying you wouldn’t do the same…

I’m going to quash this question right now. No, no I would not. If I had a family member that I knew was doing stuff like this, and I could prove it, no I would not attempt to run defense. Sorry, blood may be thicker than water, but it’s not thicker than tears.

Okay, that’s all I really wanted to say on this… I dunno, I may not even leave this up. I might just delete it later. We’ll see… I’m also not going to put my typical book plug at the bottom out of principle.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me rant.

Too Soon Tragedy

Hi Jim,

I wanted to ask you about writing about tragic events. Example, let’s say you’re writing a story that’s taking place in the modern day and then something happens, does that alter your writing?
Let me give you an example… Part of one of my stories is set in Berkeley California. There was a major riot out here and part of the area that I was writing about was damaged as a result. Do you think I should ignore it or address it in the story? I’m concerned that when people read it, they’ll be a little upset because its still a fresh wound.

Thanks,
Melinda.


Hi Melinda,

Good question and you happen to be in luck. I had a very similar situation happen to me. I was at work and it was a slow day (Marathon Monday in Boston). I opened MS word and was typing up a couple of scenes for Magnifica, which takes place in Boston. An hour or so into it, I received a ping on my phone from a friend that was downtown to turn on the news.

Yeah… the Boston bombing happened literally right where one of my scenes was taking place. I had to think about how I wanted to handle this. I know that some people may think that I was cashing in on a tragedy (the same criticism was levied against Mark Wahlberg for his movie about it).

In the end, I just didn’t see it as realistically feasible for the scene to continue to take place in that location given the police presence and repairs that would be needed over the next few months, so I moved it from Boylston Street to Newbury Street. If you know Boston, this would make sense.

Honestly, I’d say that if its realistically feasible, I’d bring it up in the story. Don’t bring your story to a halt, just have your characters notice it and move on back to the story. If the area isn’t majorly significant to the plot, it should be fine.

If it is significant to the plot and the damage affects whether or not you can continue to use that area logically… I’d say move it.

Your other option, and I’d recommend against this, would be to date your story prior to the riots. I call this time-machining. I honestly would recommend against this as it strains suspension of disbelief, but its up to you.

Hope this helps. Feel free to email me if you need additional help!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Opinion vs. Fact

So recently I’ve come across many blogs and other writings that are attempting to pass off their opinion as fact. Several different subjects have come up pertaining to politics, nutrition, etc.

In my writing, I feel it’s always important to distinguish between the two. If I’m sighting fact, I’ll give a source and say it’s a fact. If I’m giving an opinion, I’ll make sure that’s known (look back at some of my other posts). However I’ve seen too many times that people attempt to (either deliberately or unknowingly) pass off their own perceptions as fact. In books and stories, I’ve seen it as well.

Now, for the most part, if you point out that these people could be wrong, or just flat-out are, they’re happy to debate your points with their own. In many cases they either didn’t know, or were getting their info from a bad source, or didn’t mean to pass their opinion off as fact. So you’ll often get a polite thank you…

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. A growing trend these days are the graduates of ‘Google University’ who are extremely partisan in their beliefs and don’t want to hear that their facts aren’t always facts. With these people, the best advice I can give is to ask for their credentials or their source of info, if all they provide you with in return is childish insults, block you, or a long misogyny-laden string of nonsense, then move along. PLEASE. Don’t give these people attention, and they’ll go away.

To those of you who write opinion pieces or factual ones, please make sure your readers know what you’re going for. Cite sources for facts whenever you can, and make sure your sources are legit (Partisan blog postings from people who get their info from other partisan sites are NOT legitimate sources. Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN are not legitimate sources… most of the time. A simple YouTube search will prove that.)

Now take what I’m saying at face value. My blog is advice on the philosophies of writing, so there are no right or wrong answers for the most part. It’s really your own style, I’m just trying to relay the secrets of what success I’ve had in the hopes that it’ll help others. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine, but don’t take what others tell you as fact. Do the research yourself. Check government websites, actual studies from universities, etc. It will take longer, but your facts will be less likely to be attacked and you’ll actually learn something. News agencies are usually second-hand sources.

The more people realize this and start doing the footwork themselves, the better off everyone is.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!