One of the downfalls of being a writer is how difficult it is to read a book or watch a movie just for pleasure. The more I write, edit, rewrite, and edit again, the harder it is to turn it “off.” I recently saw the movie Steele Magnolias. After all this time, I still remembered every line, all the happiness and the sadness. Then in the iconic scene when Julia Roberts suffered from a diabetic attack, the other characters explained what was happening—her blood sugar was too high, and she needed orange juice to bring it down…
My youngest son has type I diabetes. I am familiar with all the highs and lows, AND how to handle them. While Steele Magnolias is a fantastic movie and deserves all the awards it won, this was a serious mistake. If they had only called it a blood sugar “crash,” everything would have been fine. Instead, their error took me out of the story—it was no longer believable.
You can call it “artistic license” and most people would agree. When I first started writing, I fudged the facts to make a scene work, but it never did. I decided I’d rather strive to keep my writing authentic. I want people to enjoy my stories, instead of putting them down because I attacked a castle the wrong way or used the word “pursed” to many times.