by David Tandet

If you’re a fan of detective novels – or just love terrific stories – you know who the late great  Sue Grafton — “A” is for Alibi . . .

Ms. Grafton told more than one interviewer how valuable for her writing it was for her to take classes to learn about police procedural stuff. And she was supposed to be a pretty good shot as well.

I think with that type of preparation and attention to detail, (but where’s that Santa Theresa place?), and the ability to captivate readers’ imaginations, she’d have had a pretty good chance of making it as a grant writer if she ever got tired of being one of the best selling authors ever.

Unfortunately, too many grant writers look like they’re going for some sort of mystery fiction award.

When you’re doing grant work, it’s okay to highlight important facts and figures in a way that makes them stand out. It’s your job, in fact.

If you’re going for a grant to a neighborhood watch program or some such, don’t just say there were 62 murders in Santa Theresa in a particular year. I mean, is that more or less than the year before? And how does it compare with a neighbor like Ventura? Also, don’t be using the numbers from a year you happen to see on the screen because you’re too lazy to call the sheriff’s office to get the most accurate figures.

Would Sue Grafton be too lazy to call? Or maybe go down in person?

Be accurate. Be complete. And go the extra mile.

You owe it to your client. You owe it to yourself.

Make sure you own it.

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Post filed under Grant Writing, Reliability, Reputation, Writing Tips.