Monday, September 23, 2013

The Continuity of Toes

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!

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