Sports
Follow along with Times staffers for live Super Bowl reaction and analysis
Topics

Books

The perils of writing about Los Angeles as a New Yorker

The perils of writing about Los Angeles as a New Yorker

In an early draft of the novel I'm about to publish, I had one of my main characters meet a man in an office above Wilshire Boulevard. As he taps his loafer beneath the table, she stares over his shoulder at the Hollywood sign, squinting at the letters. I thought this was a nice touch. But both my agent and editor, who are from Los Angeles, were quick to point out that one would absolutely not be able to see the Hollywood sign from such a location. Immediately I deleted it from my heroine's eye line.

Sniffing out erroneous or contradictory details is a crucial part of the editing process. If a character expresses disdain for clear alcohol on Page 40, we'd better not catch him...

Loading
73°