Continuity, in fiction writing, refers to the consistency of all things in the work. Checking continuity is one of the more important jobs of an editor.
Errors still get through, often enough. I remember reading a Ridley Pearson book a few years ago in which a melted piece from a Monopoly game was clue. The little blob of plastic was green, as I remember it, yet it was referred to as a “hotel.” Then, it should have been red, shouldn’t it have? That’s a miniscule example, but one that can jar a reader out of that carefully crafted world of fiction.
In one of my own books the first edition contains an error in a character name. It was Emralla all along, except for on that one page where the character was suddenly named Blizzard. I didn’t catch it, nor did editors. But a couple of readers noticed. I had changed the name at some point, and thought I had done a global replace, but I had somehow missed one.
In the current book I did the same thing. This time, my editor caught two instances (so far) where the change in character name hadn’t yet taken effect. Good for her.Just now, before I broke away to do this quick blog entry, I caught a place where the number of toes on my anjels’ feet were incorrect. I had gone back and forth between three toes and four. Which is it? Well, you’ll just have to wait for the book to come out before discovering that. With a little luck, it will be the same number of toes every time I count them!