Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Details, Details by Cindy Ervin Huff

I work as a receptionist at a blood center. I have learned more about blood than I even thought was possible to know, and there is still much, much more I don’t. I share my background so you understand my comments. When my family watches TV shows, we notice details. Details from our own experience. My years working at a blood center makes me painfully aware of portrayals of blood banks on TV or movies. In one of my favorite crime dramas I couldn’t help picking apart a scene where thugs rushed into a blood bank and stole rare blood. So many things were wrong with the scene. 1) Rare blood is not stored at your local blood collection center. All blood collected at small centers are shipped to their main office where the labs prepare it, and it is stored for hospital use. 2) Very rare blood types may be frozen and are usually not in large supplies.

Another unrealistic issue: They grab the blood because the type was on the bag. Blood collection is coded and refrigerated so it wouldn’t be easy for a laymen to choose the right blood bags.

If I were writing a scene in a blood center I would be more aware of the correct details. It would be a question of which details to share without boring the reader. As you research details for your novels and short stories decide how much detail to share and get it right. Readers can be taken out of the story if they catch your details lacking accuracy. Or worse, give you a bad review because of it.

What details in books or movies were so inaccurate you groaned in disbelief?


Cindy Ervin Huff is a multi-published writer and her debut novel Secret’s and Charades won the Editor’s Choice Award in 2014 and placed third in the Maxwell Awards in 2017 and first place Serious Writer Medal 2018. Her contemporary romance New Duet released in May 2018. She has been featured in numerous periodicals over the last thirty years. Cindy is a member of ACFW and founding member of the Aurora, Illinois, chapter of Word Weavers. Although she has been creating stories in her head since childhood it wasn’t until high school those imaginary characters began appearing on paper. After raising her family, she began her novel writing adventures. Cindy loves to encourage new writers on their journey. She and her husband make their home in Aurora, Illinois. They have five children and six grandchildren. Visit Cindy on Facebook at, follow her on
twitter @CindyErvinHuff, or check out her blog at

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  1. I hate it - I'm using the word hate here - when people get the horse stuff wrong. If you write historical, you're going to write about horses. Get the details right, it's such an easy thing to research.

  2. Pegg,sometimes the web gets stuff wrong. It's great to interview people who know from personal experience.

  3. I can't think of anything off the top of my head. But interesting post, and I agree totally about the tough decision on what to put in and what to leave out. It's a hard call.

  4. I've forgotten the title, but I once read a book the back cover described as being set in the early days of World War Two. Once I started reading, I found it was set in Germany.But the June 1942 date was almost three years since Germany started WWII by invading Poland ... hardly the "early days". The entire novel was full of similar issues, to the point I didn't care whether the heroine lived or not.


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