Furthermore, in order for my story to be believable, my characters must act in a way acceptable to readers. And readers don’t think alike. For example, a character in my first book, World Eternal: Promises cans fruits and vegetables. She cans a lot of them because that is what she has done all her life. One of my editors wrote me, “That is unbelievable. No one cans anymore.”
That summer my husband and I traveled to West Virginia where I grew up. One of my nephews was canning green beans and pickles from the produce in his garden. Some of my friends and relatives were also canning. I would be too, if I had something to can.
It is impossible to know every reader’s background, but part of the fun in reading is gaining new knowledge and experiences through the eyes of the characters and their world. Authors should definitely get their facts straight, but there is no way they can know how their writing will affect their readers.
The important thing in writing is to have our characters be authentic and believable. Sure, our readers may say, “I don’t think he would have done that.” But remember, there are hundreds of directions for people to travel and many ways of thinking. Donna Wittlif