Hello All, I was happy to find this forum, I've been browsing some of the posts for awhile now. I don't want to bore people with too many details, but a few months ago I started writing again after a long lay off, and this time I stayed with it until I completed the first draft of my novel. I'm now starting the process of going back and cleaning up some things and I'm struggling with the proper/accepted way to handle a few things, I'm hoping I can get some feedback on the items below: 1) As I went through the book, I found I struggled with how to properly refer to the characters. The story has two main characters, five secondary characters and maybe ten or eleven smaller or part time characters. When referring to the main characters, it felt natural to go by their first name but for all the rest...I felt like I wanted to switch back and forth a lot. Two of the secondary characters are homicide detectives and I frequently felt the need to change from "Detective Jones" to "Jones" to "Phil Jones", etc. Likewise, with new characters, I'd introduce them and then struggle on how to refer to them. I went back and looked through some books I liked and paid attention to how the authors handled this, there didn't seem to be any set pattern but I'm wondering if there is an accepted way or rule to follow? 2) For many items I wanted to research, I was able to find the answers I looked for online. However, I wasn't able to locate everything. For example, regarding the homicide detectives...I have no idea if people really call them Detective Smith or Officer Smith or Sargent Smith or what. I don't know if it varies between departments and jurisdictions or if it's a pretty set standard. Anyway, this seems like something I would best find out by speaking to an actual detective, but I have no idea how to go about that. Do I cold-call a local precinct and try to talk to someone, explain that I'm a writer and looking for information? Will that get me laughed at and hung up on? Is it better to send a letter or something, or just show up at the station? I struggle with how to to handle this. 3) Finally, I wonder how important it is to be 100% accurate regarding details that only a few people would ever know. I understand that doesn't sound good, I strive to be as accurate as possible whenever I can. An example of what I'm talking about is, a few scenes in my book take place in a local police station. The way I describe it in my book is a combination of stations I've seen in movies and on TV. I could be more accurate if I visited the real station, but I don't see how that would change or advance the story in any way, and the only people that would ever know would be those that read my book AND had visited the real police station. As a counter to this, when discussing driving to various areas, I actually drove around and made note of street names, some business locations, etc. thinking that it would help with the realism. Just wondering where to draw that line. Sorry for the long post, looking forward to some feedback. Thanks in advance for all replies.