There are many misconceptions in life. We just accept them as fact, and never investigate. Being a writer, your job is to research.
When I write the name Frankenstein, did that tall, square headed creature with bolts on his neck pop into your mind? That isn’t Frankenstein. Frankenstein was the mad scientist that created that monster. I know it’s the month of Halloween, and kids want to trick ‘o treat as Frankenstein, but if you aren’t going as a mad scientist, you’re not Frankenstein.
That was an easy one. If we think, we already know that, however, pterodactyls not being dinosaurs has to be something that you have to research.
The proper term for the flying reptile is pterosaur, not dinosaur. I know that’s rather anal in that geekish motif, but you have to be an uptight nerd to get your facts straight when you’re writing fiction. That way your readers can allow their suspension of disbelief when they read your tale.
All of my stories have one thing in common. They are all made up! I write things that interests me, but I’m never a scholar on the subject. I have to research the facts to make the fiction shine. When it gets hokey when the facts aren’t correct, how can a reader enjoy the story?
Being a fiction writer is tough in the aspect of entertainment. We do as much rsearch as non fiction authors. If I slip, call me on it.