The author Anna Funder discusses the reality problems fiction writers face when editors go over their manuscripts:
"I've recently had dealings with four editors and two fact checkers on three continents about my new novel. The results have been almost entirely beneficial – if sometimes amusing.
The funniest and most weirdly controversial problems were caused by food and drink. In the opening pages I have my character Hans making a caipirinha with a wooden stick cocktail gavel. Were there even caipirinhas in 1933? If so, were they in Berlin? This went back and forth between London and Melbourne. One editor informed me that the drink was invented and drunk primarily by sugarcane workers in remote rural Brazil in the early 20th century, and furthermore did I not think it sounded too contemporary? We tried margaritas, but they use no stick, and the stick recurs in a later scene transformed into an object of sexual derision by the Nazis, so it had to stay."
I guess even fiction writers have to keep their facts straight, even when they're inventing them.
I think you'll enjoy reading the whole story at http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/se ... t-checkers