Oh, The Inconsistencies!

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We’ve all read a book where the details don’t quite jive. A character’s car was blue in Chapter 1, but in Chapter 15 it somehow becomes red. Or a conversation is taking place in the kitchen on one page, but then jumps to the living room on the next with no reference to movement. As a reader, you wonder why the writer couldn’t remember to keep that car blue or stick with a scene setting, but keeping track of all that stuff is incredibly difficult.

Just recently I was talking to another writer who equated fiction writing to basically telling one big lie. When we lie, we have to remember every detail or the lie loses credibility. Fiction works the same way – to make it believable everything has to be perfectly aligned. When writing an 80,000 word novel, this is tricky business as writers are essentially telling a big lie over an extended period of time. It’s easy to forget a minute detail that was created and written three months ago.

The revision process helps in aligning details, but it’s inevitable that a few details will fall through the cracks. This is where an editor comes in handy! Especially, a sharp-eyed editor with an ultra sensitive radar. Lucky for me, nothing gets by my editor.

Even though I’ve read my novel draft a hundred times, a few inconsistencies still slipped into the fourth draft. How on earth does that happen? Easy. As a writer, I get so caught up in creating a scene, I’ll forget what I did in a previous section. Sometimes, I just can’t let go of that scenic tunnel vision!

After reading two thirds of my edited manuscript, my editor has pointed out the following issues I need to resolve:

  • a random dog that shows up in the beginning of the novel, but is never seen again
  • inconsistent use of noise canceling headphones, i.e. my character owns them in one scene, but not in another
  • emotional gap from one chapter to another, i.e. a character feels one way about another character in one chapter, but the emotion doesn’t carry through to the next chapter.

The last third of my novel includes the most “rewritten” mythology, which means the propensity for inconsistency is going increase tenfold. Instead of simply telling one big lie, I am telling two. Somewhere along the way, I’m sure there is a hole in the fabric I have woven. Thankfully, I have faith my editor will find it before a reader does.

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c.b.w. 2014

Favorite Thing Friday: Chunky Cabled Hat

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It may be more than a hundred degrees outside, but I’m busy knitting as if it were snowing! After holding onto some beautiful Welsh wool for more than a year, I finally found the perfect project to do this yarn justice.

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Colinette Prism Yarn

The Veronica Slouch looks difficult at first glance, but if you can work a few basic cable stitches this hat is a snap. From cast on to weaving in ends, I knit this hat up in just one day!

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Veronica Slouch

 

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Veronica Slouch

It actually took longer to find the perfect buttons. I took a chance on mother of pearl and aluminum as they are a little outside my usual rustic aesthetic. They are a little modern, but the colors were such a nice match to the yarn, I decided to give them a try. After sewing them on, I couldn’t believe how perfect they were for the overall style of the hat. Love them!

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Mother of pearl and aluminum button.

One of the things I really liked about the pattern was that it had a chart that takes you from the beginning to the end of the cable “stripe.” There are no red repeat squares that are sometimes hard to understand. The cable itself is wide and doesn’t involved twisting that many stitches, making it relatively simple to knit.

Now, I just have to wait for it to be cold enough to wear my beautiful new hat!

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p.s. Wait until you see what I’m doing with the leftover yarn and extra button! Stay tuned. :-)

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014