The Disagreement of Definitive Sources

Research can drive you nuts, and most especially will it plague you when your definitive sources — the ones that either are original sources, or draw directly from original sources — disagree on elements essential to your work.

There is one place where my prime source disagrees with itself, totally, within a space of four paragraphs. That one I handled by choosing the account closer in date to the event as being the correct one, but when your sources have, and always have had, a vested interest in muddying the waters about true events, and in making their side look good and the other side look bad, how exactly to you pick your way through the rubble to anything approaching truth?

The work is going slowly yet again. I feel like I’m working in a minefield.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

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